Eureka: Providence Mother Bernard House

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Providence Mother Bernard House?
Providence Mother Bernard House is a permanent supportive housing program for people who are experiencing chronic homelessness. Scheduled to open in spring 2022, this housing program will include 48 studio units, common areas, service space and offices.

Who is Mother Bernard and why was this housing project named after her?
Mother Bernard Gosselin is the foundress of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. She began her Eureka, California ministry in 1912 with seven companion Sisters opening a school for local children. In 1920 Mother Bernard opened St. Joseph Hospital in response to the influenza epidemic of 1918. Her faith and leadership led to the opening of health care and education ministries across the State of California.

What is permanent supportive housing?
Permanent supportive housing is a housing first program that combines affordable housing assistance with voluntary support services to address the needs of chronically homeless people. The services are designed to build independent living and tenancy skills and connect people with community-based health care, treatment and employment services.

What is Housing First?
Housing First is a homeless assistance approach that prioritizes providing permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness, thus ending their homelessness and serving as a platform from which they can pursue personal goals and improve their quality of life.

What does it mean to be chronically homeless?
A person experiencing ‘‘chronic homelessness’’ is someone with a disability who has been continually homeless (sheltered or unsheltered) for a period of at least 12 months (continuous or combined over a three year period). This is a definition set by the federal government to describe a particularly vulnerable segment of the homeless population.

What is the benefit of Providence Mother Bernard House to Eureka and Humboldt County?
More than 1,470 unsheltered people were counted in Humboldt County during the 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) count, according to the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition. According to the North Coast Journal, the per capital number of people experiencing homelessness in Humboldt County is three times the State average. Providence Mother Bernard House will provide a permanent affordable home and supportive services to Humboldt County residents experiencing homelessness.

Is Providence Mother Bernard House a medical facility?
Providence Mother Bernard House is not a medical facility. It is a studio apartment building. Tenants residing in the building will have a lease and Providence Supportive Housing will function as the landlord providing property management services.

What is Providence Supportive Housing?
Providence Supportive Housing is a division of Providence St. Joseph Health, the third largest not-for-profit health care provider in the country. Providence Supportive Housing owns and operates 16 affordable housing communities for seniors and people with disabilities in Washington, Oregon and California. For more information visit https://providencesupportivehousing.org.

How will Providence Mother Bernard House be staffed?
The property will include a full-time professional property manager complete with an office on site. Part-time maintenance technician and environmental services staff will ensure the property is maintained and clean. Providence Mother Bernard House staff will include a staff person living in an on-site apartment. Front desk staff will provide security and be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial Hospital CARE Network team will be the lead supportive services provider.

Will the project design contribute to downtown character?
Located at the site of the former Budget Motel, the building has been redesigned to contribute to the unique character of Eureka's downtown. Highway 101 and M streets will be activated by an expressive new two-story building and a significant amount of new, native plant landscaping, all of which will replace an existing surface parking lot. A butterfly roof form will create a sense of movement along 4th Street and act a part of a rainwater catchment system, while a site trellis and fencing are designed to tie the new and existing buildings together. The project will feature natural colors and materials, including natural wood for siding and site elements. A mural utilizing local artists, is also planned in the courtyard that would highlight a special aspect of Eureka's identity or history.

Who will live at Providence Mother Bernard House?
To be eligible for the supportive housing program at Providence Mother Bernard House, applicants must be currently or chronically homeless, high-cost utilizers of healthcare services, and enrolled in or eligible for Medi-Cal benefits. Applicants must have income at or below 30% of the Area Median as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Applicants must meet screening criteria as established by Providence.

What services will be provided at Providence Mother Bernard House?
Case management services at Providence Mother Bernard House will include assistance accessing and linking tenants to Medi-Cal enrollment and enrollment in other benefits the tenant may be eligible for; peer support activities; referral to medical, behavioral and/or mental health care resources; benefits counseling and advocacy; basic housing retention skills (such as unit maintenance and upkeep, cooking, laundry, working with a landlord, getting along with neighbors, and money management). Referrals may also be made to educational or vocational resources, food and nutritional programs.

When will Providence Mother Bernard House open?
The building will be acquired in November 2020. Construction is scheduled to commence in May 2021. Providence Mother Bernard House is scheduled to open in May 2022.

How do I apply to live at Providence Mother Bernard House?
Providence Mother Bernard House property management will receive referrals through the Coordinated Entry system in Humboldt County. Coordinated Entry in Humboldt County may be reached by calling 2-1-1 or via the internet at http://211humboldt.org/.

How do I apply to work at Providence Mother Bernard House?
Posting and hiring for jobs at Providence Mother Bernard House will begin in October 2021 and continue through April 2022. Up to date information about postings and jobs including links to online applications will be maintained on the Providence Mother Bernard House page at https://www.providencesupportivehousing.org.