Dear Eureka City Council, Don’t Put a Day Use Center at Runeberg Hall, Urges Letter Writer

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Embedded Google Map of Runeberg Hall on West Wabash Avenue and Union Street shows the site of a proposed day use center for the homeless.

A resident of an area proposed to house a day use center for the homeless writes an open letter to the Eureka Mayor and City Council,

Dear Mayor and City Council,

While homeless services are clearly needed in our community, the proposed day use center at Runeberg Hall is not an appropriate fit for our neighborhood. Citing such a facility at the proposed location is not unlike planning to build a highly polluting factory in a low income neighborhood that is already mired by hazardous air quality. It’s just not okay.

We need projects that will lift our neighborhood up, not continue to hold it down.

Families in our neighborhood are already on the margin, many of whom struggle to get by paycheck to paycheck, if they’re lucky. The City has clearly proven it’s already unable to help our neighborhood rise. Our sidewalks are so cracked and streets so heavily potholed that my four-year-old son is constantly crashing his scooter whenever we adventure out. I can’t help but notice that the sidewalks and streets in higher income neighborhoods are in much better maintained by the City.

Our streets need, quite literally, speed bumps and speed signs, not facilities that will only increase the transient vagrancy that already plagues us. We need traffic police that will ticket drivers that somehow think it’s okay to accelerate from zero to sixty mph within ten feet of every stop sign. We need cross walks.

The City, sadly, has not been a good neighbor. While many homes on our block took advantage of the Street Tree program and planted trees to help reduce traffic impacts and generally improve the aesthetic of our community, the City has failed to do the same in front of its large public housing complex on Spring Street. The grass in front of the complex is constantly under-maintained, failing to live up to the standard for basic lawn care set by the rest of the neighborhood. In this same regard, the City has also been unable to properly maintain the 20-30 park and playground. The grass is always a mile high, the facility is constantly covered in litter, and the playground equipment is vandalized and left in disrepair. The parks only users are clearly up to no good. It bums out my son to go there, and I assure you the kid has never before met a playground he didn’t like. It’s a sad place, not a joyous one, in desperate need of basic maintenance.

Now, I realize the City is not proposing to run the proposed day use center and will not be responsible for doing so, per se. However, the day use center would impact our neighborhood, and we would need to the City to help regulate and mitigate those impacts. Based on the City’s present inability to overcome fiscal constraints and other limitations to meet the very basic needs our neighborhood, my neighbors and I have absolutely no reason to believe that the City could possibly ensure that the proposed facility wouldn’t be a further determent to our daily lives.

Please do not allow a day use center for the homeless community to be located in our neighborhood. We have enough problems.

Sincerely,

Andrea Hilton
2319 Spring Street, Eureka

P.S. Let’s make an appointment to talk about those street trees and speed bumps soon.

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56 comments

  • Poster formerly known as Matt

    F street between Henderson and Buhne desperately needs some speed bumps too.

    • yes indeed. I live on F, between Henderson and Buhne.

    • Speed bumps are NOT a substitute for traffic enforcement. If EPD wasn’t running call to call dealing with criminal activity and had the time to stop drivers for breaking traffic laws, we’d see a HUGE reduction in bad driving and crashes.

    • You people are to much. oh the poor homeless. Its not there falt. they need help. let give them a dog a bike, clothes food, meds exct. we need to take care of them. they need a place to sleep, money, bla bla bla bal bla bla . Hay good new we have place for them to hang out during the day. And when i comes time to put your money where your mouth is ,most do nothing. they dont want to be around homeless or ever talk or deal with them. so what what to do talk about speed bumps. lolol And you dont want the new center by you. lol you should be embarrassed. what a bunch Bunch of Hippocrates. ok correct my spelling and gamer so you can feel good about yourself.

      • But how do you know they are the same folks? Some probably are. But I know for sure that some are like you and don’t want to help the homeless in those other ways you mentioned.

        • i do help the homeless and the ones with mental problems. i don’t help drug addicts except to get into recovery. generosity begins at 11%.

  • My neighborhood in cutten got speed bumps approved and will be getting them installed soon. We did have to pay for a portion of the materials.

    • As soon as they’re built, the closest homeowners will realize they are now forced to endure non stop 24 hour mini earthquakes. This happened in Jacoby, the house that nearly fell down belonged to the CR and HSU Geology Prof. He used a machine to prove his Victorian was absorbing 100s of 3.0 to 4.0 quakes every day all day long. Finally the government provided some relief. So if they build new bumps, at least four houses will be super sad and the idiots will keep speeding anyway.

  • “If you build it, they will come.”

    • And that’s the concern. The problem is when the facility closes at 3 or 4 pm, where are the homeless to go? They will surly wonder into the residential neighborhoods. The city’s proposal is bad. Kmart would make a better choice.

      • I agree, Kmart would be a good place for this facility. Let’s not create bigger problems in neighborhoods that have so much to deal with on their own. Kmart is removed from much of the eureka neighborhoods. And if people really wanted help they would go the extra few blocks.

        • How about the former Myrtletown lumber place? building, covered smoking area, dog space, near bus stop, empty, …

        • hillbilly. what a nice man your are. put them in kmart. im sure the local business will like that idea. if they real want help they can push there carts a few extra blocks. lol lol . how did you put it. Let’s not create bigger problems in neighborhoods that have so much to deal with on their own. lol lol . you should be ashamed of yourself . i know lets but them out at the old nuke plant. they can make it out there if they real want help. lol lol

  • The police need to pay attention to these neighborhoods that are crime ridden. I realize that can’t be everywhere but these bad places need attention. Our whole town is becoming squiresville!!

  • Just chased a tweeker from the Syringity Inn out of my backyard this morning. This is becoming a frequent occurence. Why not build the thing in Cutten or over by the Golf Course? I bet they have more recycling over there.

  • My concern as Andrea Hilton and many others is “our neighborhoods and the home owners”. Where are the advocates for the homeowners who are the stakeholders in Eureka? I do not understand how a day center from 9-3 each day will work in that area. It seems this is already in the works as the center is suppose to open on October 1st. Have a lot of questions and will be at the meeting.

  • The issues are more than having people gather in one place. Is EPD going to do their part patrol the general west side neighbourhood? Will EPD come and move the sleepy out of my covered doorway and out from my yard? Will there be something constructive to do there during the day? drug, alcohol, life counseling from DHSS ? There has to be reasons the people want to gather there, other than someone said go there. and more and more ….

    • they will come for sure. now they have a place to hang out all day and net work with each other. and there dogs and carts too. i think a good place to buy and sell drugs. i have a name for it. lets call it the Enabling center. lol lol

  • What could go wrong? OK, we already give the bums free food, free healthcare, food stamps, cash, clothes, free needles, dog food and pet healthcare, we tolerate their total lack of respect for themselves and others, we pay dearly for law enforcement to monitor their drug addled behavior and I could go on. Now we want to give them a place to hang out in comfort. Really? How about we stop enabling? How about we make it harder to be irresponsible instead of easier?

    • Make your world better through genocide

      Van Braun does to homeless people that locals did to the Indians in the 1860’s. Deem them less than human and not fit for inclusion to their society. What next Mr. Braun gather a bunch of citizens who think like you and eliminate the problem? Or maybe you are feeling a little humane and you would agree to rounding up these degenerates and put them on reservations. Maybe throw them in with the Indians.

      • WTF are you talking about? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that catering to the irresponsible will only harden their dependence and that is all I’m saying. Nice jump to “rounding up” and “eliminate the problem”. You must be stupid.

      • Make your world better through genocide. lets put them in your fount yard. in fact if everyone in your neighbor hood put a tent in your fount yard it might slove the problem. worth a try. lol lol

      • There is a heck of a false connection being attempted between Indians and white settlers fighting over who has rights to property and current property owners and people who use other people’s property and have zero rights to occupy the same under anyone’s history.

        It is a false analogy designed to lay guilt from every white infringement of Indian historical occupation on the current situation solely because there is no possible effective argument to be made that makes it right for people who are totally unwilling or unable to participate in a community in a positive way to demand accommodation on their own terms. The homeless are not historical residents being shoved aside. They are trying to shove aside the current historical residents by squatting on property not theirs and taking whatever they want on the assumption that they have nothing to lose by getting caught. The homeless are more closely related to the white settlers of the 1860s and the current homeowners are more closely related to the Indians being rudely shoved aside and made unwelcome in their own land.

        That argument attempts make a melodramatic emotional soap opera victims out of people who are self destructive and destructive to society. Not victims as much as victimizers.

        That analogy is nothing more than blatant emotion blackmail.

    • I could not agree with you more!

    • Warner. they are going to turn this into hate speech. i still theink the old nuke plant is a good idea. lol lol. im with you

  • The Marxist councilwomen/man surely care for the homeless. Why not put any facility the endorse right next to their home? They wouldn’t accept that idea! So this is why the same attitude prevails for the impacted neighborhood of their choice. Baloney! Make City Hall the daily use area and see how they would feel about their “endowment flock”. Stop spreading the crap of society!

    • These dang Marxist Catholics!

    • To be fair, City Hall already seems to be a homeless shelter or at least looks the part on the rare unavoidable occasions I have to drive through Eureka…

      The simple truth is that as long as these areas and assistance programs don’t actively root out and stop drug abuse, they will never, EVER, improve the situation. They will only enable. There is no kindness in helping someone kill themselves with chemicals.

      If you stand by a friend as they get hooked on drugs and turn to crime, never calling them out, never putting your foot down, anyone with half a brain would see you were making the situation worse. Yet when the city and county spend our tax money to do the exact same thing, it’s a wonderful thing. Stop enabling, start HELPING!

    • God damn Marxists: that’s how Trump got elected! Russians love to infiltrate American politics but how they know about little old Eureka is a mystery. Must have seen a little blurb on fox FAKE news for dummies.

    • Crime stopper thats a great idea. Im thinking something close to the jail. be easy for them . lol lol

  • Hey maybe we should make 20/30 park the new corp yard.

  • The writer cites lack of street maintenance, but did she vote to increase the transportation tax? If the city replaces sidewalk, they typically assess the costs to homeowners. Are you ready to pay for it ?

    • The more money fixes everything fallacy

      Right after the county or city displays they will stop wasting the money they already take. That is a total diversionary argument. Giving more money never seems to fix anything except the solvency of the citizens.

    • Would pay happily. I always vote yes on that stuff. Used to vote at Runeberg Hall as my polling station, actually.

  • Neighborhood watch, groups walking or riding bikes. Instead of hiding in your homes, hit the pavement and take your neighborhood back.
    It will be a slap in the citizens and residents if they put any homeless daycare in a residential neighborhood. Sick of having the city coddle these people. Rex Bohn spoke about containers from PGE. Put them out of city limits..Quit throwing the citizens under the bus.

  • I live in the Cutten area, and we are starting to see homeless wandering around, near the greenbelts. Had the SO here last night because of it. The dregs of society need to be responsible for their actions and lifestyles. If they break the laws that the rest of us follow because it is the right thing to do, then take away the perks they get (general assistance, free phones, coddling by the soft hearted enablers). I am really tired of my taxes going to those folks that want a handout, but won’t allow a help up to a useful and law abiding life.

    • ‘A Nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it’s lowest ones’ -Nelson Mandella

    • Me . im with you. i have a idea. im going to pretend im homeless and see what the county with give me. a free phone. that would be nice. medical wow . my medical cost $350 a month. i get a free dog and food and health care. i dont have a dog a cant afford one. but with free food. why not. i have never even though of getting a hand out until to day and im 80 % disabled . dam i have been miss the boat. I think we get free bikes too. i don’t have a bike.Maybe if I’m a big enough of a pain in the ass i can get a free fishing license and a pole. yo im excited. if a get caught never mind. if i can get some jail time i can get mt teeth fixed too. I don’t have dental or the money to go. wow no more tooth pain and a free dog . plus i can save money in jail. Im going downtown and pee in a flower pot and smoke cigs and see how much the county will give me. more to follow. lol lol

  • AKA: Keep the Homeless Away from my House

    Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw recently: Home of the Controlled Land of the Terrified. Did you make your voice heard before Devils Playground was disbanded? Or the South jetty before that? There was an “out of the neighborhood” “homeless” camp if I ever saw one..

    Gotta agree a “day use center” is kinda a joke. I’ve been to plenty in cities across the country and have seen good things happen, with all available outreach agencies able to reach an untrusting scattered scared scarred and battered population in one place. But we CAN do better… I’d say we have to as our economy is on the way down south. Again.. you think WE have a drug problem now??

    How bout a place to sleep, a SAFE USE SITE, and a JOB cleaning the city to pay for it all.

  • Speed bumps are not the answer. People like me with spine injuries are literally tormented by these things. I am really tired of them. You may be fixing one problem with them but you are creating a new problem for people like me.

  • The not in my neighbourhood people dominated the meeting. But there was also a verbal acknowledgement that people would be open to the concept in a better location with enough staffing to actually go something constructive. So stay tuned in as things develop !

  • Not in my neighborhood!! <÷o

  • NIMBY is the word of the day, apparently.

  • I went to the meeting. I no longer live in the neighborhood, but still do not believe that the center belongs in a residential area. Their argument for the center is that the people have nowhere to go and are causing problems. The bigger problem is, now you are concentrating them in a residential neighborhood hood and at 3:00, they still have nowhere to go. Things may be better between 9:00 and 3:00, but then what? I think the problem of where they can go at night is a larger one. One of Betty’s supporters described her container park as “the calm, surrounded by a sea of chaos”. Would you want your neighborhood to become this sea of chaos? If they are going to follow through with this project, it seems like an industrial area that is not surrounded by homes and family’s would be better suited.

    • Warner skirting the issues

      Sempervirens and County Mental Health are located right in the middle of a residential community. Wackos of all categories and descriptions wander in the neighborhood. “Would you want your neighborhood to become this sea of chaos?” If MIMBY neighborhoods are being considered then Sempervirens, County Mental Health and Healthy Mom’s need to also find another places. The neighborhood has Day Care businesses, a large High School, a Teen Center and a shopping center that locals are afraid to walk to because of all the homeless druggies that harass people who live near the Humboldt County’s Mental Health zombie playground.

      Where is your outcry Warner Von Braun?? Looks who calling the kettle black!! You are irresponsible AND out of bounds.

  • Among the many things I wouldn’t want in my backyard would be a nuclear power plant, a cement factory, a rock concert, hash lab, a sewerage plant, etc. Many things would be disruptive and some down right dangerous.

    The concept of NIMBY, to have any meaning left, includes something used by the individual but that individual doesn’t want it near them. A homeless center, besides being a concept of unproven efficacy, certainly is nothing that 99.999% of the population would use. The neighbors only get the negatives. It will create another center to draw people to get whatever freebies are on offer then leave them to wander around causing whatever disruption they choose.

    It is not unreasonable for NIMBY to be a big issue. On the contrary, it is totally rational despite the spitting of those who like their fantasies. What is really callous is those social dictators who shout down others with ‘who cares about you’ -WCAY. It is dictator speak for ‘don’t dare disagree with my opinion.’

  • Is anyone using the former Eureka Boilerworks building under the Somoa Bridge? How about the former COOP building on 1st St. ?

    • There are a ton of unused buildings in Eureka that would be better placed to serve as a day-use homeless shelter, closer to recycling centers and further from residential neighborhoods. The old truck stop on broadway springs to mind. I don’t want to have to move because my neighborhood now looks like 2nd street down by the soup kitchen.

  • Let’s keep those property values down.

  • Assuming that not having a home is automatically going to be bad for society, then isn’t the sensible goal to reduce homelessness while at the same time not doing it in a way that increases the the damage to society?

    One way would be simply to fork over all the necessary resources so that what causes people not to house themselves is compensated. But that, while making it more pleasant and safe to have the problems that lead to being unable to provide for themselves, not only does not fix the problems themselves and also removes some of the motivation from those who can provide for themselves to do it.

    The other way is to make being without a home so unpleasant and dangerous that everyone who can possibly get it together does it despite not liking it.

    Which way to weight society’s efforts in this should depend on the cause of the problem and the backbone of society to address it. Making a mentally ill person, for example, the target of abuse on sight only makes the problems worse. But then allowing them to act on whatever mentally ill impulse they have fixes nothing either.

    That is where American society is right now. There is such fear of wronging a mentally ill person by taking action that society prefers to wrong them by taking no action. It’s a cop out. And copping out is a wrong too. We need some backbone to live with the fact that sometimes a problem can not be solved, mistakes will be made and stop using that as an excuse to do nothing.

  • in the old days, Runeberg was a Swedish fraternal organization. they held dances, meetings that were open to Scandinavians and others. like Sons of Norway, membership is down, so those that own their “lodges” have to figure out a way to continue the traditions but also rent out their buildings to cover maintenance costs, etc. If Runeberg owns the property, they have a say in how the hall is used. remember at least once a month they still serve up the best Swedish pancake breakfast with all the trimmings. Best in Hum Co.!! Vat say da Swedes??

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