Lack of applicants leads to end of homeless housing program

EUREKA – A $300,000 program to support the homeless will be discontinued due to a lack of qualified applicants.

Redwood Community Action Agency launched the Americorps Housing Support Partnership last fall. The program sought to place twenty trained Americorps members with local agencies to help those at risk of losing housing stay put. Members would also find housing for those living on the streets then continue that support with ongoing case management.

Though funding is approved, RCAA only had twenty-six applicants during the recruitment period from April to July when a typical job announcement would attract more than 200 resumes.

Program manager Lynn Kerman said while the living allowance of $18,000 is high compared to other programs, unemployment is so low in Humboldt County, applicants can find work for higher pay.

Currently only three of the twenty budgeted positions are filled and the program will end in November. Kerman said that will leave some of the most vulnerable without help. “Those people are not going to get served. They will not have that kind of long term case management,” Kerman said. “Those people will not only not get the support to stay in their housing but not have the support to get other services that they need to become more self-sufficient in our society.”