Homeless Issues #39

What about that SUPER meeting on Jan. 9th?

The one about a facility for sober, homeless citizens of El Dorado County.

Well, 44 people showed up. Not the 100 I was praying for. We had a good cross-section of those who had various commitments to investing time and energy in helping the sober, homeless population of El Dorado county re-enter “the main stream.”  9 people marked the sign-in roster with an big asterisk, indicating that they wanted to participate in making a facility for sober, homeless citizens of ED County work.

It was pointed out that Progress House and Vitality Lake Tahoe/Sierra Recovery Center had empty beds for homeless persons and were very under-used. Something like 20 some beds were available. We thought we should check this out. Progress House: I know homeless persons and others, who are/were under their care for recovery of addiction. They are a premier rehabilitation center serving all who are addicted, at a fee, that fee is not always affordable to persons who are homeless.

I am familiar with Progress House, I needed to check the possibility that persons who are sober/non-addicted would be welcome. I got their info. that is current on their web site. Then I phoned the number that was posted on their web site. A young lady answered the phone, and I said I was inquiring about the services provided by Progress House. My questioning was as if I was interested in applying to Progress House. I did not get far and was told that they are a recovery facility and if I was not addicted they could not help. (This is all paraphrased, not word for word.)  I did the same with Vitality Lake Tahoe/Sierra Recovery Center. I am really jacked up with knowing that they will accept sober persons who are homeless. I know Progress House charges for “Out Patient” as well as “In Patient” services…………..  I ask, that if one finds out that they do accept sober persons, the question arises, is what happens when they need the beds for substance abuse treatment or transitional services for that population; and my other concern is the issue of the appropriateness of services available or influence of the addicted at those facilities, in meeting the needs of sober homeless persons.

Tuesday’s meeting of the Nomadic Shelter Providers committee reveled that 4-5 out of 10 persons who use the CRC are sober persons. That is 40% to 50%. Thus, as sober, they are not able to enter a recovery center. A transitional/re-entry facility is very much needed so that those who are not addicted, are sober, can move on in their lives to becoming productive members of our community

Almost 25%, attending the meeting, that included some who are opposed to the idea of this facility, indicated that they would put time and efforts into this project. What would happen if 25% of all of you who have some interest in our homeless population stepped up and said, “Include Me! That would give us over 100+ people on this project for a facility for sober, homeless citizens of El Dorado County..

The Nomadic Shelter is going very well. The shelters are having some of the sober, motivated, helpful, “guests” assist in the operation of the shelters. These persons are doing a great job as the volunteerism within some of the churches wanes and “burn-out” sets in. You are encouraged to step up and give 2-3 hours a week helping at one of the shelter sites..