The most recent Point In Time survey of Humboldt County found only 4% of the county’s total homeless population, in the So Hum area. That’s an area comprising about a third of the total acreage, and home to about one fifth of the total population of Humboldt Co. While SoHumers take credit for powering the economic engine of Humboldt County, they remain under-served by the homeless population.
The homeless people surveyed cited open hostility from merchants, lack of infrastructure and “greedy dope yuppies who would happily spend millions on yet another concert venue, but can’t find the resources for a shelter, campground, or even a public restroom” as reasons for the shortage of homeless people in SoHum. Others point out that SoHum’s clandestine economy attracts shiftless criminals, bent on gaming the system, who don’t care about anyone but themselves. Not many homeless people fit that profile.
While the survey suggests no mitigating measures to correct this imbalance, recent trends suggest that as marijuana prices continue to fall, SoHum may generate enough new homelessness, locally, to fill the gap. That’s the SoHum spirit of self-reliant resourcefulness that turned these logged over hills into forests littered with waterline, fertilizer bags and chicken wire.