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73 visits

Eureka waterfront (#1033)

Eureka waterfront (#1033)
This and the adjacent photo (#1035) are an older wharf area on the Eureka waterfront, just across the street from the abandoned locomotives seen in #1027. The crates on the wharf, the active Marine Supply store on the left, and an active fish processing plant further to the left and out of the picture, indicate that there is still an active fisheries industry in the area. However the physically homeless and displaced in the area, described in nearby photo #1027, suggest that there isn’t enough economic activity in the area to either provide employment or provide support services.

The decline in Eureka dates back many years. My first visit to Eureka was in the 1980’s and at that time it was already a port town dying from a decline in both the lumber and fishing industries – on that first visit the downtown was mainly fairly derelict older store fronts. The entire north California coast seems to be doing better now, but that appears to be money from increased traveling, telecommuting tech people who like the area, retirees moving into the area, and some cash from the surge of pot farmers in the area. The downtown has thus had a resurgence with restaurants, entertainment, and specialty stores, but that isn’t employment opportunity for the people (and their children) whose skills and backgrounds were in the lumber or fishing industries.

On every visit to Eureka I’ve seen a high number of displaced people, but their visibility seemed to be much higher on this trip than in the past. Considering the changes in the economy and the increasing visibility of income inequality (the pricey restaurants downtown, the vacant buildings and abandoned railroads in the industrial sectors), it’s not surprising that there may be both more displaced, and more anger and frustration about the increasingly visible divide.

Don Barrett (aka DBs travels)
Don Barrett (aka DBs…
As I put in a comment to Michael on another picture, I think there's both more homeless and more visibility, which aren't the same thing. Clearly the economy is a big part of it, but I think a parts of the reasons we're seeing more is the reduction in services to help them AND the decreasing sense of community. We seem to have less sense of taking care of friends and relatives who are falling out of they system, and people seem to be more hesitant to ask friends/relatives for help, so less can fall back on the support systems we used to have.
2 years ago.