While Eureka Temperatures Hit All Time Low, Jury Trial Reveals that 100s of Homeless People Must Endure Religious Discrimination to Stay At Eureka Rescue Mission
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For the past 4 days, a Humboldt County jury has heard evidence about police harassment, religious discrimination, and a lack of county services for local homeless man, Dane Carr, as part of a criminal trial that has exposed the complete lack of emergency housing options for Humboldt County’s 1062 homeless men, women, and children.
The City of Eureka has hired private law firm Mitchell, Brisso, Delaney, Vrieze to prosecute Mr. Carr in addition to the usual City attorney. “In the Carr camping case, the City of Eureka has chosen to spend tax payer dollars prosecuting a homeless man rather than working on real solutions.,” said courtroom observer Stacy Dodsworth. Both sides seem convinced that a decision in the case can set a powerful legal precedent for future sleeping in public cases.
“Because of my religious views and sexual orientation, I have never been able to stay at the Eureka Rescue Mission. I’m taking a stand for all the people who are denied services by Humboldt County’s main homeless shelter because of their non-Christian faith,” said Mr. Carr.
During the trial, expert testimony was given by New Directions founder John Shelter and P.A.R.C. director Verbena Lea. They both described the limited housing resources available to residents seeking to get off the streets even for one night.
“Eureka Rescue Mission requires people to attend Christian sermons in order to access resources, and offers no alternative to the non-Christian members of Eureka’s 600+ person homeless community. Even access to the Extreme Weather Shelter during life-threatening cold weather is determined by participation in religious service at the Mission. The Mission’s policy forces many homeless people to go against their religious beliefs in order to have a warm place to sleep,” said Verbena Lea.
Closing arguments will be heard in Honorable Judge Marilyn Miles’ Courtoom 2 on Wednesday December 11th at 9:00 am. Please attend this important court date to document the City of Eureka’s commitment to prosecuting Humboldt County’s poorest and most vulnerable residents.
Contact: Ama Tierney 615-775-4094