Categorized | Arcata, Politics

NCRC To Temporarily Shut Down

Financial difficulties, interference by Arcata officials contribute to collapse

 

By Charles Douglas
Humboldt Sentinel

 

After nearly a decade of struggle with City of Arcata elected officials, police and bureaucrats over how best to handle issues of homelessness, the North Coast Resource Center may have reached the end of its rope.

A notice plastered on the door of the NCRC office at the Arcata Service Center informed the public that all services will be suspended as of Dec. 31.

“We are working on setting up an alternate food pantry that will serve Arcata in January,” the notice read. “We will have more information available soon. We at NCRC are making every effort to resume services as quickly as possible.”

Their Executive Director, John Shelter, did not respond to inquiries as of 11 p.m. tonight, but the Sentinel was able to reach Anne Holcomb, executive director of Food For People, which runs Humboldt County’s largest food pantry in midtown Eureka. She said FFP was informed by NCRC that they were dealing with financial difficulties and would close temporarily, for a month or more, to deal with them.

“We’re trying to develop alternative options for the people they’re serving so they don’t go without — we’re in the process right now of trying to find temporary alternative locations in Arcata,” Holcomb said in an interview this evening. “We know the cost of gas to drive from Arcata to Eureka or even bus fare can be prohibitive…we’re committed to assuring people that food pantry services continue for Arcata residents.”

She didn’t want to speculate on the reasons behind the collapse of NCRCs finances, but sympathized with the situation of humanitarian non-profit charities in general as giving has declined in an environment of economic crisis.

“It’s really unfortunate,” Holcomb said. “I’m not sure exactly what the problems are in Arcata. I think there needs to be a collaborative organization that needs to spearhead that and I gather the North Coast Resource Center just does not have the staffing resources to do that.”

NCRC evolved from the Arcata Endeavor, which has served homeless and poor people in the greater Arcata area since the 1990s with food, showers, laundry, job referral help and case management services.

The NCRCs federal grant funding dried up a few years ago due to the lack of “site control” when a newly elected Arcata City Council refused to extend their lease on the Arcata Service Center, located in between the Intermodal Transit Facility and the Arcata Ballpark in the densely populated downtown area. This led to a tense series of public hearings and lawsuits, and while the NCRC eventually got its lease extension, the damage had been done in terms of undermining its ability to operate fully staffed.

Most recently, the longstanding project of an Extreme Weather Shelter for Arcata was ended after City Hall bureaucrats threw up roadblocks against the use of area churches to house homeless people during nightime conditions with sub-freezing temperatures and/or heavy storms. Ironically, this same project has been launched in Eureka with widespread support from city officials and the business community there; similarly, the NCRC New Directions program of providing non-violent clean-up services directed towards homeless encampments has garnered Eureka’s support at the same time as Arcata has slammed the door on working with the NCRC.

All these controversies have taken their toll on NCRC volunteers, too; their Board of Directors has several long-standing vacancies, and most staff had already been laid off. Shelter himself served for several months last year as Executive Director without compensation.

Shelter sat down for an hour-long episode of Sentinel Interviews on Jan. 12 to discuss the work of the NCRC in local communities.

6 Responses to “NCRC To Temporarily Shut Down”

  1. Pastor Robert Vaughn , Senior says:

    The work of heartless hypocrite lost secular hellions !
    In utopia space port Arcata the open psych ward where the
    MEANEST and VILEST creatures sit on the city council , break
    laws to their personal profit , and generally behave as if
    they are the lord gods of the mess that Arcata has become !

    PURPOSEFULLY and after much OPPOSITION to humanity .

    God built the service center .
    The vile creatures who will be gladdened by the news of
    the service center closure are the ” beautiful evil ”
    sort of people Who have EVERYTHING but a soul !
    Heartless, selfish mean spirited creatures
    they !

    Since Arcata churches refuse to take people in ;
    God had the service center built . A place where ,
    at first churches and others in the community took part .
    CONTRIBUTED .

    Then a series of wicked city officials took personal
    interest in violating various laws and of making up rules
    in order to shut the service center down : – ( A pet
    leader was the manager who died of cancer . Michael
    the hack man Hackett .

    To get an idea of just how lost He truly was look
    up his farewell letter to the ” editor ” of the Arcata
    ( black jaundiced ) Eye rag someday .

    Well Arcata represents the BEST and the WORST
    in secular America NOWADAYS ! Not that area churches
    are any better .

    ” Separation ” of church and state the selfish
    secular monsters cry for . Then ATTACK churches
    by way of city hall ! Such monsters !

    Where do such idiots think that the poor will go ?
    People over the decades drawn to Arcata by their very
    selfish attitudes stemming from the revolting so called
    drug and alcohol , etc. glorifying REVOLUTION of the 1960′s !

    Locals long ago abandoned going to downtown area .
    Due to the very people DAMAGED by the vile drugs and alcohol
    which the elite in places like and unlike Arcata enjoy .
    Interesting timing here .

    With martial law being considered by the local elite
    to clean the streets ( keep them clean that is ) on New Year’s
    eve . By the very hypocrites Who ride around during Halloween
    day on the vintage fire truck waving to people . Before all
    hell broke loose ! Which had begun the weekend before helloween !
    Their unholy secular holiday of doing what the elite do by their
    very evil beings ; glorifying hell on and in Earth . Them !

    Well Arcata is in for CHANGE !
    Yes Mister President change is coming to the USA .
    Not by way of Washington, D.C. or city hall though .
    Hell no !

    By an ages old process .
    LIFE and DEATH .

    When Your day comes secular scum ask not for Whom
    the bells of hell toll . They toll for an indifferent
    church filled with cultural ” christians ” ( lost souls
    Who go through religious motions ) and do LITTLE or NOTHING
    to obey Jesus other people in general .

    Pastor Robert Vaughn , Senior

    a full gospel bible minister

  2. Wendy Schulze says:

    I am unaware of any roadblocks put up by the City of Arcata in regard to the Extreme Weather Shelter program of the North Coast Resource Center.
    Insufficient staffing and funding forced the NCRC to not offer EWS this season.

    • And the insufficient funding was in large part due to the City of Arcata’s roadblocks on site control causing the loss of federal grant funding over the last few years, isn’t it?

  3. kathy Anderson says:

    What has become of the HCRC is what I predicted would happen when I retired from the Arcata Food Endeavor, the parent of HCRC, back in 1995. Partnership with the city of Arcata and the Feds resulted in policies that hurt the programs that were touted as helpful to both the poor and the city.
    Take for instance the involvement of the police in daily procedures. Food For People has no such relationship and has a safe, yet respectful atmosphere where clients come first before RULES. The spirit of the rule is love, NOT intolerance.
    In Arcata during the 1990′s a group called Concerned Citizens went to the plaza with there radios and blasted Rush Limbaugh to who were affectionately called the Plazoids in an effort to transform these people to their way of thinking, or to run them off UGH!!!
    Then there were the people who decided they wanted a dress code on the Plaza. Really! They brought the idea to city council. It didn’t pass but sleeping in the Plaza and other rules were placed on the targeted group, the homeless.
    There was a committee which I was on with city council and other entities to find suitable space for a campground. After a while it became apparent to me that this committee was just going through the motions and was not seriously meaning to incorporate such an idea into city planning. One day I recieved a phone call from a then city council person warning me that my jobs as Director of both The AFE and Arcata House were in jeopardy because I was pushing for a campground.
    One of the most disgusting thing the city has done to homeless people in Arcata was during the January storm of 2005. The city had in their hands federal money for homeless people that instead of using to give them shelter from the storm that tore out many Redwoods in the Arcata Forest the city gave that money to the police to increase SAFETY.
    There are many more stories to tell but I hope my point is made clear. Government is no longer for “the people” in Arcata, it is for a select group of people. Arcata has become just another bigoted small city seeking money instead of peace and justice.
    Yes there is change coming because the people united are demanding to be treated respectfully. And as with all people what goes around comes around. I feel for the stingy and snobby people who think they are kings and queens for their falls will be long and hard. POWER TO THE PEOPLE

  4. skippy says:

    This is news to me– and a good report for the community to be aware of in a timely manner. I appreciate it being brought to the fore. And I’d like to hear more from others, readers’ comments, on the NCRC closure and Food for People’s efforts.

    This is a subject that is dear to myself and important to our community. It represents a great loss. Thank you for bringing attention to it.

  5. skippy says:

    UPDATE:

    “Its ability to aid Arcata’s needy sapped by funding shortfalls, a depleted staff and board of directors and several high-tab equipment malfunctions, the North Coast Resource Center (NCRC) is taking a time out… As part of the restructuring, the NCRC hopes to hire a new executive director, administrative manager/director/grant writer, operations manager and case worker. In addition three “strong” board members are joining the NCRC, leaving five slots still open.

    Longtime NCRC Director John Shelter is leaving the organization, Schulze said…”

    Kevin Hoover and the Arcata Eye report much more here regarding the NCRC closure, restructuring, repairs, plans and the December 15 press release.

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