By Donna Westfall – January 25, 2023
There was food and drinks. There was clothing and haircuts and agencies to help the homeless. There was a Mobile Clinic to deal on the spot with medical issues. Daphne Cortese-Lambert was there with their Mission Possible bus and many volunteers. The Workforce Center was there and spoke to me about helping the homeless become employed. Used clothing and shoes were provided by St. Vincent de Paul. New socks, personal hygiene items and pet food was also provided. Showers were available and more, but there were very few homeless in attendance. People were scheduled to go into the homeless encampments to continue with the Point In Time (PIT) count.
Nevertheless; I was visibly impressed with the PIT event and here’s why. The tide is turning on the entire homeless issue. Even Daphne said the community is finally on the same page to finding solutions.
Let’s start with the showers:
Wes Nunn works several times a week, week-in and week-out driving the portable showers around town. Having the opportunity to clean up is a wonderful feeling. The homeless are very appreciative.
Besides the showers, Felicia Camilli came up from Eureka to cut hair. Her philosophy, “If you have a gift, share it.”
I spoke to “Jack” for a while about his circumstances. He’s been homeless in Del Norte County for the past three years. Suffering from anxiety and some health issues, he was tired of sleeping in a tent in such extreme weather conditions. Recently he moved into a RV which he shares with others. He has a service dog that keeps him grounded. He was really grateful for all the people involved in helping people in similar circumstances and in particular Pat Black.
Local Patricia “Pat” Black works with half a dozen others at Open Door to advise the homeless. Open Door is located at 550 E. Washington Blvd in Crescent City. Beside speaking English, most speak Spanish.
In addition, Open Door has a Mobile Clinic staffed with a Doctor and two nurses. While at the PIT, I noticed some homeless in the unit getting medical attention. No appointment is needed and it’s free. The mobile clinic will be at Park City Superette located at 725 Elk Valley Road on Sunday, February 5th and 19th from noon to 4:30 pm.
The table I learned the most information at was manned by Eva Campbell who started AmberSong Outreach after the death of her daughter to drugs five years ago. Every Saturday at Park City Superette, she and volunteers provide Lunch Sacks at noon; and every Sunday at 4 pm they provide Dinner Boxes.
Being woefully ignorant about opioids, Eva along with Nick and Germaine Corcovelos had so much information to share that it will take a separate article just to cover it. Suffice it to say I was given a free box of NARCAN nasal spray in the event I came across anyone overdosing. One squeeze up their nostril could save their life. These people were not so much interested in changing one’s life due to drug use, rather they were interested in being non-judgmental and just saving lives.
If you know someone that needs assistance then on Thursday, January 26 many of these same services will be available at Park City Superette from 10 am to 1:30 pm. In addition, Norris’ Family Kitchen will be bringing freshly made soup.
Another article will try to delve into the costs involved in helping the homeless, saving lives and changing lives.
2 thoughts on “Point In Time Event”
Well done on a few people making a difference for those wanting help.
Can someone from The Workforce Center talk about the methods they use, what works vs what doesn’t ?
Its an important piece of the puzzle
Thank you for the good reporting, Donna.
I think we can all agree there are a lot of needs in the community.
I also agree in the concept of changing lives for the positive. Instead, we seem focused on dealing with the consequences of poverty (lack of private jobs), poor education, and enabling social services. It will be interesting to know how many homeless people were counted. Even more informative would be to know how many salaried employees helped facilitate the PIT event compared to number of homeless. Do they ask the Homeless where they were born? How do they determine a homeless person is a resident of Del Norte County?