Arkley speaks with News Channel 3 about his plan to curb homelessness
EUREKA- Businessman Rob Arkley held a public meeting Wednesday to address the on-going homeless issues in Humboldt County. Arkley said, "It is basically a very difficult problem that needs to be dealt with."
He suggested creating a process to get a list of people who would like to participate in the solution. Arkley said it is time for the community to step up and form a committee that can take a closer look at what county policies and programs lead to homelessness.
The first step he adds is to go through the Department of Health and Human Services budget and pick apart the mandates and grants that are created,
"Half of the county employees and half of the county dollars go to that single department, it needs to be evaluated from a negative consequence,” said Arkley.
Once that is complete, he said the committee should bring forth a presentation to the Board of Supervisors, to weigh the downsides that each program is contributing to the homelessness.
"In the future, the negative consequences must be part of the decision process and be affirmatively voted on by the individual supervisors,” he said.
However, not everybody agrees with the idea to reassess local programs. Food For People volunteer Bob Holcomb said,
"We need to understand that 20 percent of the people in Humboldt County are veterans, they fought for us, we can not turn our backs on them. I do not think we need to cut programs, I think we need to expand opportunities."
Business owners disagree, they say they are suffering and losing business. "They are there all day, they are camped on the sidewalk one door down from my shop," said one shop owner.
Arkley said in order to see our economy thrive we must take action, "My overall objective is to make sure the vast majority of us that comply with the law and live with the law, that our rights are protected by the supervisors."