On Saturday, April 23, 2017 a memorial service was held for Elliot Cohen. Our homeless, mentally challenged brother. His brother and sister-in-law flew from New York to take part. The church was packed; chairs were put in the aisles, the choir loft was full, others sat on the floor around the altar, and still people stood. The outpouring of love and compassion for “one who has the least” was awesome and mind-blowing. His brother had said he was going to title his talk, “Elliot’s War,” but after seeing the crowd he decided to call it “Elliot’s Grace.” Truly a deserving tribute to our brother.
I suspect that many if not most of you were at the memorial service for Elliot Cohen Saturday. This was truly a deeply moving and most significant event. I agree with Frank Gates, we must not let the Spirit of that event fade. If we had on-going shelter for homeless people, Elliot might still be with us. We need to surge forward. I hope we flood our elected leaders with letters, phone calls and presentations. We need to let the world know that something must be done to relieve the fate of our homeless friends.
We know that the County has the Opportunity Knocks group working on long term solutions funded by Federal money. The project is basically good, but the reality is that it will be many years before anything is actually in place to shelter and care for homeless people. We need an interim solution while the longer term one is being developed.
There is a Placerville City Council meeting at 6:00 PM this Tuesday the 25th. The Council usually allows public comment on matters not on the agenda, but limits them to a short time, I believe up to 3 minutes. I plan to speak and mention Elliot’s passing and memorial, report on the Nomadic Shelter program that just concluded and ask the Council to help us develop a facility to shelter homeless people in all inclement weather and ultimately around the clock.
I encourage others to attend and be recognized as supporters of developing shelter for our sisters and brothers. If you are moved to do so, speak as well.
Regarding the County, there is some work underway. We had three members of the BOS visit the New Hope Nomadic Shelter a few weeks ago. There were staff members there also. There have been meetings with key staff members. There is an effort to define and contact all agencies providing some form of service to homeless people, The goal is to get caring people and agencies working together. We will be asking county staff how best to proceed and how best to work with the BOS.
Please consider letters to the editor and personal contacts with public officials via phone, internet and letter.
I, Ron Sachs (JSS), here now petition the City Government of Placerville City, to replace the bench that was taken away because of Elliot, from the front of “Off Broadway” store located on Broadway and attach a easily readable plaque with this inscription.