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Multiple Assistance Center in Eureka to no longer house families

EUREKA- A transitional living program in Eureka is going through a transition of its own.  Now, some residents are saying they’re worried about what the future holds. 

The Multiple Assistance Center in Eureka temporarily houses 17 previously homeless families who are participating in CalWORKS.

"I genuinely love the MAC.  I really like what the MAC offers.  It doesn't just teach us about housing, it teaches us how to be good parents, it teaches us how to be stable individuals, how to be a productive member of society," said Denise Mattson, who has lived at the Multiple Assistance Center since October of 2014.

Starting July 1, the center will only house single people and the families currently at the MAC will have to find permanent housing.  County officials say the change is due to Federal Housing and Urban Development funding shifting towards rapid re-housing programs and permanent supportive housing as opposed to transitional housing.

“If we were not to respond in kind with looking at these changes and regulations, our ability to attract funding would be greatly diminished,” said Val Martinez, the Executive Director of the Redwood Community Action Agency.

County officials also say new funding opportunities led to the MAC only housing singles in the future.

"Those are opportunities, particularly with the Affordable Care Act, that we didn't have before to serve the singles who have not really been addressed in our community," said Barbara Lahaie, the Assistant Director of Programs for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Officials say the families who will have to find new housing will continue to be served moving forward.

"We're confident that with the expertise of our employees and with the hard work of the families and our community, that we'll be able to find the permanent housing that these families need," Lahaie said.  "The funding that we have been using to support the families at the MAC will go with them, so that's the CalWORKS funds, and that will support them in their first and last month's rent if that's what's needed, in addition to case management services, employment services, debt services.”

Some residents are still worried what the future holds.

"Will we be in housing?  I'm not sure.  It's a real struggle for my family personally because we don't have great credit and my husband is a surgical technician, he has a degree and he can't get into work right now. Unfortunately, there's only two hospitals and they're not hiring.  Myself personally, I've looked for work and I've struggled having employment, so getting into a house is kind of unrealistic for us," Mattson said.