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Officials discuss upcoming transition at Multiple Assistance Center with public

EUREKA- The Multiple Assistance Center in Eureka houses eight families participating in CalWORKS, but this July, the center will only house single people and couples without children.  At a public meeting on Wednesday, county officials assured people those families will have permanent places to live come this July.

"We're just looking at different models to serve those families, we don't want young children in institutional like settings, we want them in neighborhoods, close to schools, close to parks, and we want them to be in a place where they're going to wake up tomorrow and not worry about where they're going to be the next day," said Barbara Lahaie, the Assistant Director of Programs for the Department of Health and Human Services

The Eureka Police Department organized the meeting to address the transition.  County officials say the change is due to a federal housing and urban development funding shift towards rapid rehousing programs and permanent supportive housing, as opposed to transitional housing.  After the change, there will also be office space available at the MAC for officers with the EPD and the EPD Mobile Intervention Services Team.

"One, it’s a visible presence and deterrence to possible crime and disorder.  It makes the EPD more accessible to individuals who may be concerned about what's taking place there and more responsive to the kinds of issues that arise out of the MAC Center as well.  So that office space isn't going to be staffed 24/7, but it is going to be made available to our officers who are encouraged to use it," said Captain Steve Watson with the EPD.