A woman was found dead crouched in the doorway of Arcata City Hall on Monday morning vainly trying to escape the cold and rain of this past weekend. If this doesn't scream to you the need for an extreme weather shelter (or shelters) for the homeless, I can't imagine what would speak to you, Arcata City Council, Karen Diemer and David Loya! ("California Housing Crisis Worsens as Newsom Falls Short of Goals," posted Nov. 3.)
What can we do, you may be thinking. Here are some suggestions: Open up some city owned buildings: the community center on MLK Way, the D St. Neighborhood Center or the Crabs' baseball field for tents with platforms to elevate them from the wet ground and with propane heaters to keep the area relatively warm.
A friend of mine has also suggested the need for "warming centers" during the day for those having to spend the nights outdoors. Those same buildings: the community centers could serve as warming centers. People could come in to have something hot to drink, maybe some donated food. The centers, I understand, have washers and dryers that could be used to dry wet clothing and especially sleeping bags (which are useless as protection once they are wet).
And another urgent request is please don't sell that "surplus" city owned property without putting it on the agenda for a council meeting, so that we, the residents and taxpayers, can debate it!
That property could be used as a pilot project for tiny house villages! The two parcels on West End Road are zoned for "affordable housing." There is no more affordable housing for the lowest income (or no income) individuals than tiny houses!
Rezoning to industrial and selling the property to a manufacturing business is not meeting the state requirement to sell "surplus" property for affordable housing!
Nancy Pelletier, Arcata