Betty's Blue Angel Village
What It Is
Betty’s Blue Angel Village consists of five Conex shipping containers retrofitted into double rooms which are capable of housing up to 40 of Eureka’s most chronically homeless individuals and their pets. Located at 801 W. Washington St. in Eureka, the Village is a 90 day program which provides case management services to all residents. In addition, residents have access to all of the Day Center services as well as opportunities to participate in Project Uplift and Pathway to PayDay. Betty also provides three meals a day, seven days a week, which offers residents another opportunity to save money in order to transition to the next stage of housing. As a long term program, the Village promotes employment and money management, as well as fostering community bonding and new hope for the future. In its 7 years of operation, from May 1, 2016 through April 30, 2023, 1,233 people have been served.
- Identification Cards & Birth Certificates: The majority of our residents have experienced chronic homelessness for 5-10+ years and many lack basic identification documents.
- Medical Interventions: Open Door Mobile Health comes to the Village every Monday at 1pm. People living on the streets are often exposed to harmful weather conditions, malnutrition, communicable diseases, and violence which create/exacerbate health problems.
- Mental Health Services: The experience of homelessness is inherently traumatizing, and many of our residents struggle with mental health issues that interfere with essential aspects of their daily lives.
- Substance Abuse Services: Substance abuse is often a cause as well as an effect of homelessness, and can present a significant barrier to obtaining stable employment and housing.
- Employment: Employment opportunities are essential to reducing and ending homelessness by promoting self esteem and facilitating self sufficiency.
- Housing: The cycle of homelessness ends when a person is able to maintain permanent housing.
- Other Benefits:
- Government subsidized cell phones
- General Relief
- Cal Fresh
- Resume development
- Harm reduction resources
- Enrollment in GED and college courses
Many amenities often taken for granted can have a tremendous impact on one’s sense of comfort and self worth, which is an essential prerequisite for addressing the complex trauma that often accompanies homelessness. As such, the Village strives to provide a comforting yet firm hand in supporting its residents through a multitude of activities:
- Weekly movie nights
- Voluntary weekly Community Clean Up group
- Staff and residents maintain a community garden & lending library
- Volunteers wash the resident’s laundry multiple times a week
- Clients with dogs: Dogs provide emotional support, companionship, warmth, and security to people living on the street. However, they also present a significant barrier to services because many shelters do not allow dogs. Betty’s Blue Angel Village is one of few shelters on the northern West coast that allows dogs.