I appreciate the heartfelt insight of Joshua Kinch's letter of April 16 ("And Another Thing...").
In Humboldt County, we have a homeless population larger than the size of many towns, but priority for relief of their suffering is not on the official agenda. I agree with Joshua, that reactive measures we use now in emergency hospital care, extreme shelter and eradication of camps by police are costly, inefficient and dehumanizing.
The idea of military style barracks, however practical, does not address the safety, dignity and need for privacy that human beings require. We have a model in Portland, Eugene and other cities, of small self-regulated villages of "tiny houses" or tents for secure sleeping, in addition to common areas used for cooking, showers and bathrooms. There are online videos of Opportunity Village and Dignity Village that are very inspiring. The Eureka group AHHA, Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, is organized around these principals of safe housing and are actively pursuing them.
It's time to open our eyes to the effects of our failing and predatory economic system. We know that many middle class families fell into poverty and homelessness after the financial crisis of 2008. That house foreclosures are still happening at a frightening rate. That business and political concerns get the big money and human welfare just doesn't. That knowledge makes us all frightened, but helping our fellow citizens would make us less afraid and benefit the whole community.
Peg Anderson, Redway