August 12, 2020
RE: Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction
On October 8, 2018, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) authorized the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction’s Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) in Eureka, California for a two-year period. The CDPH is now deciding whether to reauthorize HACHR’s SEP in Eureka. The CDPH asked the City of Eureka to provide input on the re-authorization process.
On August 7, 2020, the City of Eureka submitted a letter and memorandum in opposition to HACHR’s application for reauthorization. The City of Eureka is in favor of SEPs that comply with the letter and intent of the law, as evidenced by the City Council’s Resolution in Support of HACHR in 2016. However, the City cannot support the SEP as operated by HACHR at this time.
The City’s opposition is based on its investigation into ongoing concerns about HACHR’s operations at its 3rd Street location. Based on neighbors’ complaints, the Eureka Police Department launched a fact-finding investigation, the details of which were forwarded to the CDPH and are linked to this release.
Years of effort by the City and the community to work with HACHR have been ineffective. It is the City’s stance that HACHR has not, in good faith, responded to the community’s legitimate concerns about HACHR’s operations, and that HACHR’s SEP is not operating in compliance with state and local law. The City of Eureka’s letter and memorandum in opposition to HACHR’s SEP reauthorization can be found here.
Additional information will be released by the City Attorney as it becomes available.