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Del Norte Residents Seek Solutions to Homelessness with Board of Supervisors and City Council

Don’t just manage homelessness — end it!

Crescent City, Calif. – August 8, 2018 –

Seeking sustainable solutions to address homelessness, a concerned group of Del Norte County residents, supported by the True North Organizing Network, is launching a comprehensive campaign to end it — not just manage it — by rallying the community and critical stakeholders to the cause. Our group will meet with the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors at 10:00 AM on August 14, and with the Crescent City City Council at 6:00 PM on August 20.
For the past year, human beings without shelter have sought assistance in one form or another from Pastor Dana Gill Port of the United Methodist Church in Crescent City. “There are at least 156 homeless students in the Del Norte School District and it’s trending up,” Gill Port said. “We have as many as 500 homeless adults as well. It’s a crisis, and not just a crisis for the people closest to the pain. This is a moral crisis for our community as well.”
Equipped with sobering and hopeful information gained from 10 months of research on local homelessness and what other communities are doing to solve it, our group will encourage the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors and Crescent City, City Council to pass resolutions making ending homelessness in our community a top priority. Our group will also invite officials to join in a community-wide collaborative effort to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to homelessness.
“People are suffering, and it’s impacting our entire community,” said group member and Crescent City resident Jill Lapple. “We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we can’t keep pointing fingers at each other or demanding that the people who are homeless somehow solve the problem. The communities that are being successful are doing so by working together in a collaborative manner. That’s what we’re hoping to achieve with our effort here.”
True North supports local grassroots leadership and action to address important community issues. “People have more power than they realize”, says True North, Lead Organizer Mike Thornton. “We encourage people who care about making our community better by solving homelessness to come to the County Board of Supervisors meeting on August 14 at 10:00 AM, and the Crescent City City Council Meeting on August 20 at 6:00 PM, and show them that this is a priority for their constituents.”
True North Organizing Network develops leadership in communities with common values across Tribal Lands, Del Norte, and Humboldt Counties. True North supports families, elders, youth, and individuals of diverse faith traditions, races, cultures, and economic capacities working together for powerful change. United, using the power of relationships and a disciplined community organizing model, True North leaders are courageously challenging social, economic, and environmental injustice in our region.
For more information on True North Organizing Network, visit our website at www.truenorthorganizing.org. You can also follow us on social media at FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

4 Responses to Del Norte Residents Seek Solutions to Homelessness with Board of Supervisors and City Council

  1. Michael Thornton Reply

    August 9, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Solving homelessness isn’t just about the people who are homeless.
    It’s also about freeing our police up to focus on real crime and violence.
    It’s about lowering healthcare costs that taxpayers get stuck paying for.
    It’s about being able to spend our tax dollars on other community needs.
    It’s about making things easier for businesses where people who are homeless congregate
    because they have nowhere else to go.
    It’s about making our community more attractive to tourists so they stop and spend money here.
    That leads to a more vibrant local economy, more jobs and a better quality of life for everyone.
    Do we think that people should be treated with dignity and respect even if they’re poor and homeless?
    Of course we do!
    It’s easy to think that we’d never let ourselves be like “Those People”.
    Many people are a couple of paychecks or a serious illness away from being homeless.
    One of the fastest growing demographics when it comes to homelessness is Seniors.
    The Del Norte School District says that there are 156 students who are homeless and those numbers are going up.
    Should we be OK with that?
    Everyone who wants to try and do something about homelessness in our community ( regardless of ideology or political affiliation) is welcome to be part of the effort we’re engaged in. In fact, it can’t be done unless we work together.

    • Samuel Strait Reply

      August 25, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Pretty words, Mr. Thornton, and I hesitate to point out that there have been any number of “pretty words” in the form of news releases to the Triplicate, at Board of Supervisor’s meetings and the City’s Council for several years now and I have yet to see anything beyond words from True North. It was rather disappointing to hear when asked by the Chairman of the Board, Supervisor Chris Howard, if True North or the committee organized by True North had any resources beyond words to offer towards eliminating homelessness and the answer was “No”. I have also noticed that all of the clarion cries by True North have a remarkable affinity for progressive liberal Democratic causes rather than dealing with problems that we have here locally that could go a long way towards treating some of those social ills as well as our more material problems such as large scale poverty due to a completely lackluster economy in the County. I somehow suspect that the focus should be more on individual building of one’s character, rather than hope that collective words or government will fix the problem. Remember, something progressives often forget, that we are dealing with individual and unique human beings of whom some may not wish to live in a home. I know, perish at the very thought that someone may wish to be permanently homeless.

  2. Samuel Strait Reply

    August 9, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Just an observation… I don’t know how many times in the past fifty years I’ve heard or seen someone calling themselves “community organizers” or some such derivative, then call for the community to come together for an altruistic cause and the only people that benefit are the “community organizers”. Seems to be a pattern. If someone can point to anyone on the south side of Chicago that is living in a six million dollar home, sends his children to an expensive private school, or has a multi million dollar book deal in his pocket, I’d like to know about it. In the mean time groups like True North or “community organizers” such as Jill Lapple, Dana Gill Port and “lead organizer” Mike Thornton need to actually show that this “community organizing” is more than just “show” and no benefit for anyone but themselves. Kind of makes a person wonder what they occupied themselves with before they became so “community minded”?

  3. John Wood Reply

    August 9, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Didn’t we try this before under the leadership of Supervisor Finigan? I was there in league with the VFW effort. Nothing became of it, but we must never stop looking for solutions. But let’s be realistic, how many within the local homeless population are looking for a hand up, and not just a hand out?

    As VFW Commander Jerry Johnson has repeatedly stated, we first need a staging area to put them in one safe place, because no one can go into the homeless camps without a law enforcement escort.

    Y’all know where to find me — let’s get at it and I may write about it in my newspaper column. Let’s get at it…

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