President Mindy Sehon called the meeting to order at noon, via Zoom, with 26 people in attendance.

Inspirational moment– Carly Robbins.  Today is national story day. Carly read this thought, “The courage to share your story might be the very thing someone needs to have hope.” Carly encouraged everyone to share their story.

  • The scholarship committee met and gave out 3 scholarships to College of the Recipients. Krystina Dias, Reese Walters and Mandy Martin were this years recipients. There are more scholarships coming in the near future.
  • Recognitions: Darus was mountain biking at Strawberry Mountain this weekend and Carly received a gallon license plate for reaching 1 gallon of blood donations. Jera Newland and her team at Coast Central Credit Union joined together to donate blood last week.
  • Upcoming Birthday: Blaine O’Shaughnessy on 4/30 and Anniversary, Ted Loring on 5/2.
  • The small grant committee is looking for new members. Please contact Steve Allen if you can join.
  • Mindy is looking for volunteers to help with a new Zoom committee to help with hybrid in-person/zoom meetings.

Our guest speaker is Darlene Spoor from Arcata House Partnership.

Arcata House Partnership is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year of providing shelter and homeless shelters and food, for people who are hungry.

Today they are the only non-profit locally who provides a full continuum of services to all of Humboldt County.  They provide a lot of assistance but they are focused on affordable housing.  If someone has to provide more than 30% of their income on rent then that starts causing problems for people and they need help.

COVID-19 really exposed the vulnerable in our community who have housing challenges and are living near the edge.  They’ve had many requests for help over the last year.  How do we make housing affordable?  High medical bills, loss of a spouse through death or divorce, there are a lot of ways somebody who has always had a home can become homeless. Since COVID rent and availability has increased quite a bit as more people from the city are moving here to work remotely.  They are seeing an explosion in the number of homeless in our community.  In 2019 they counted 1,500, they estimate today there are over 3,000 people without a place to sleep.