Homeless Issues #50

Mentally challenged and homeless in El Dorado County: What don’t we do? The wide chasms between help and a cold, wet, tent.

at HangTown Haven became frustrated due to what we found to be going
around and around in circles when we attempted to address the mentally
challenged guests we encountered at the Haven.
needed, on the ground, protocols to address what we can do to be of
help to those at the Haven who had mental challenges, and lack the
ability to function. Now.Today..

The major players are:
Placerville City Police. They involve themselves in criminal activity only. Being mentally challenged is not a against the law. El Dorado County
Dept.: They are
in only Civil law within the city limits of
Marshall Hospital: A privately-owned medical facility that can chose to admit or discharge persons regardless of what county, city, community mental health professionals recommend. Then there are County, community non-profits, and “mental health” advocates. Among that group is the “Crisis Team-Mental Health.” And finally,there is HangTown Haven Inc. with Laurie Marchant
as liaison/coordinator on mental issues at HangTown Haven. She will be
asking for volunteers to help her in transporting mentally challenged
person to their appointments. Contact her at ……….. 
lauriemerchant@att.net …….. if you want to help out.
have a subject; we will
use the name “Jordon,” a real person, mentally and medically/physically
age 61, and how he has fallen “through the cracks” of the care of the
challenged persons with little to no income in El Dorado
County.Jordon’s mother is in an assisted living facility unable to take
care of herself, leaving a son of 61 years of age who can’t take
care of himself, in a tent at HangTown Haven Inc.

The following is a summarized timeline of one incident with Jordon. Those
involved are Larry, Chair of HangTown Haven Community Council, Kenny of HTHCC, and
Laurie of HTH.
And City/County authorities.

10-21-12 (Sun)
PPD called by Larry at HTHI for unsanitary health/incontinence.  Ambulance transported Gordon to Marshall
ER.  Released within a few hours.

10-24-12 (Wed)
Laurie Marchant called APS @ 1:45.  Spoke to Ben briefly that we needed help for
a 61-year-old man living at HTHI with mental illness, medical challenges of
chronic incontinence, and concern for possible contagiousness for all residents
at camp and the Upper Room.   No help by
Laurie drove to APS office @ 3:30, met with Jayle Goucher
(and Ben).  Meeting eyeball to eyeball to
convey our concerns was imperative. 
Jayle was compassionate, concerned and helpful. Case opened.
Drove to Rite Aid to get prescriptions for Gordon and order
refills @ 4:30.
PPD did a NAMI check that evening at HTHI.  Sgt. advised Larry Allum that PPD would do a
follow up check in the morning.
10-25-12 (Thurs)
Gregg DeLuca of APS at HTHI to meet with Jordon and Larry @
9:30 am
Laurie met with Gregg @ 10:00 at HTHI.  Advised to get medical evaluation. Due to intractable
incontinence, concern for contagiousness. 
Gregg very helpful.
Laurie called Community Health to get stand by appointment @ 12:00.
Laurie and Ken Greene drove Gordon to Community Health at
1:00.  Unable to get a stand by
appointment but scheduled for appointment. tomorrow at 5:00 pm (expedited).   Advised to take Gordon to Marshall ER to
test for C-Diff. and rule out contagious concerns.
ER 2:30 – 8:20. 
Rather than simply dropping Jordon off, Laurie and Ken stayed to
advocate and give history. 
Larry Allum arrived @3:00 to relieve Ken.  Social Worker Jennifer Dwight-Frost
compassionate but unable to help with housing placement.  Tests negative for C-Diff and other
potentially contagious health issues due to fecal incontinence. 
Gregg DeLuca (APS) called Laurie @4:30 and advised we get
two necessary documents for placement in Assisted Living or a Residential Care
Facility: Obtained copy of chest x-ray to rule our TB; however, physician on
call would not complete the “602” form required for placement in a Community
Care Facility.
Marshall ER discharged @ 8:20 pm with instructions to follow
up with personal physician.  Jordon does not have a personal physician, he is homeless.

Jordon picked up at Upper Room @4:40 by Laurie and Gene for
Community Health appointment. at 5:00 – 6:30. 
Appointment. scheduled for Mental Health on 10-31-12 with Dr. John Bachman and
full physical on 11-1-12 with Kate, FNP.

Laurie asked Larry and Gene to set up a used tent, sleeping bag and
blankets, as Jordon’s was nothing short of a health hazard to ALL residents
with fecal matter, urine, and filthy contents.  
Laurie asked Gordon if he would be willing to purchase a new tent and sleeping
bag when his SSDI money deposits on 11-3-12.  Jordon agreed.

10-28-12 (Sun)
Larry called Laurie @ 10:00 am to advise that Jordon was
covered in feces and urine while in common area at HTH.  Laurie suggested calling NAMI and CIT.
Larry called Cathy Hartrum (NAMI) and then CIT @ 11:00 am.
Sgt. Hammitt, PPD, responds at HTHI and placed Gordon on a 5150
hold.  Ambulance transported Gordon to
Marshall ER.  Sgt. Hammitt advised Larry
that Gordon would NOT be back to HTH.
Apparently no Social Worker available at Marshall. 
County Mental Health is contacted for
evaluation.  Robert Bloom and someone
from his staff (Eric?) determine the criteria for a 5150 hold is not met.   Marshall ER releases Gordon and sends him by
cab to HTH after 8:00 pm. 

Laurie met Larry, Ken and Gene at HTHI @ 11:00 to clean out Jordon’s filthy tent.  All bedding placed
in plastic bags for disposal.  Feces,
urine, loose tobacco, cigarette butts scattered amongst all contents. New Rx,
Depends and some clothing soiled. Tent flooring and mat cleaned.  Another sleeping bag provided.  Gordon was instructed afterwards that he is
NOT to smoke in tent.  He agreed.

That is just one person out of many.

Thank you Jordon for being the catalyst to bring all Mental Health operatives in El Dorado County together. Lt. Norlen of the ED County Sheriff Dept. and Cathy Hartman of NAMI, called a
on Monday of all the Mental
Health operatives in El Dorado County together, and working together,
we pray, will find all the cracks that homeless persons fall through in
El Dorado County, and improve their care..

in mind that HangTown Haven is a Tent Encampment of Homeless guests
staying in tents. HTHI is not a Mental Facility that has the expertise
or ability to manage Mental Health issues.

Ron Sachs 😉
Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS)