Humboldt County Caregivers Call on Board of Supervisors to Act Now and Address the Care Crisis Facing Humboldt County residents
Over a thousand caregivers urge county leaders invest in program that protects seniors and disabled
HUMBOLDT, CA – Humboldt County is home to thousands of low-income seniors and people with disabilities who depend on an In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Provider to survive and hundreds more who, unfortunately, are not able to receive the care they need due to an IHSS workforce shortage in the county.
About a dozen caregivers and Kim Evon, Provisional Officer of SEIU Local 2015 (CA’s long term care worker union), will address the Board of Supervisors (BOS) tomorrow and urge them to take action to address the care crisis facing Humboldt County.
There are currently 1,482 IHSS Providers in Humboldt County, making the program one of the county’s largest employers – second to St. Joseph’s Hospital which employs 1,000-1,499 workers according to the CA Department of Labor. This large and diverse sector of the workforce is responsible for maintaining the health and well-being of the community’s most vulnerable population, yet their value has been held at minimum wage which means workers can barely make ends meet and provide for their own families while staying devoted to a career where people depend on them to survive.
Furthermore, studies show that the care crisis in Humboldt County is growing and will only continue to grow as baby boomers age. From September 2015 to August 2016, of the 2 million-plus authorized care hours in the county, over 280,000 IHSS hours went unused; the result is that many elderly and disabled residents lacked sufficient care due to the county’s home care worker shortage.
“Humboldt County is in a care crisis when disabled adults and children and our elderly who need care go underserved because caregivers can no longer afford to work for minimum wage and provide for their own families here in this county,” said Kim Evon. “Care providers are calling on this Board to take action to resolve the crisis that puts the health, the independence and the lives of the county’s most vulnerable population at risk.”
After addressing the BOS, workers will meet with county representatives on December 14th for a follow-up discussion.
WHAT: Workers demand that Humboldt County BOS take action now to address the care crisis affecting the county’s most vulnerable population – seniors and disabled persons.
WHEN: Scheduled to address the Board on Tuesday, December 13, 1:30 PM
WHERE: BOS meeting: 825 5th St, Eureka, CA 95501
CONTACT: Cindie Fonseca (916)804-1708 (Director)
ICYMI: BOS meeting was broadcast live and archived here: County website
KIEM-TV Channel 3: SEIU Local 2015 speaks at Supervisor’s meeting on ‘caregiving crisis’
Follow the conversation: @SEIU2015 #WeCareHumboldt