El Dorado County Community Health Assessment.
Impressive! 34 pages of information regarding Health services, Charts, Reports, and yes Assessments of El Dorado County. Very well presented and in full color. But the word “Homeless” is not to be found any place in this grand document.
“85.2 percent of the population is white. 92.6 percent have a high school diploma or greater. 12.7% are ages 15-24; 20.5% are ages 25-40; 32.1% are ages 45-64; 11.5% are 65-74; 7.0% are ages 75 or older. People with a “Usual Source of Health Care” is all over 89% except 18-24 years of age. That is only 27.3 %. Far better statistics then the rest of California.” The report goes on about “Wellness & Lifestyle,” “Family Health,” “Nutrition & Weight,” “Mental Health,”” Substance Abuse,” “Chronic Disease.” ……………………..
Page 22. “Community Health Improvement Planning Process”
“MARR Phase 4: Identifying Strategic Issues.”
Full page of Jargon. “Nutt’n coming even close to the word
“homelessness,” “homeless,” or Nutt’n like it.
”Nutt’n” about the 600 documented homeless on our streets and in our woods. “Nutt’n” about those persons who are in need of mental, physical medical needs or substance abuse placing a burden on the 4 churches out of 80+ churches in El Dorado County who take on the responsibility of caring for them..
Those churches that provide shelter do not have the expertise needed for mentally disabled persons, the persons with bleeding medical problems, the one that needs her colostomy bag empted, the one who complains of chest pains, the extremely infected leg and other wounds. The violent mental cases. Where do they go for recovery? Yes, an ambulance or law enforcement is called and they are taken away. But they are then sent back to the church to recuperate, and, yes, to be loved and prayed for, but not taken care of like you would want to be taken care of. “Oh, but they are homeless,” who cares? We now have 195 registered “guests” in our Nomadic Shelter system. 14 of them, .07%, are problem cases and where instrumental in one of our churches stopping the shelter program at their church.. Are You are judging 195 persons by the actions of .07% of the homeless.
90% of our homeless are from El Dorado County. Born here, went to school here, had jobs here, had homes here, and yes paid taxes here. “Oh, but they are homeless,” who cares? People do, but County government lags behind.
I feel that there is hope ahead. County Supervisors are sloooowlyyy showing interest and are even bring up the possibilities that El Dorado County MIGHT hire a “Homeless Czar” to tackle the homeless problems in our county. BUT it will take time. Budget talks don’t start until April. Then round and round of talks and meetings with those in the county that want all homeless removed from the county. Yes, there are those who advocate removing all homeless. They don’t care where they are moved to. “Just get them out of “Our” county.” That last quote was from a former Supervisor to me while standing in my church years ago.
Art, Dana, Rene, Rich, I and others have hung on for over 13 years that I know of. I pray we will see that day when our county supports a place for our homeless to stay warm/dry, shower, be fed if need be, find resources that will enable them to get out of homelessness, and prosper. Our faith books tell us that we will never end poverty and homelessness, but we can help those who want to overcome homelessness and reduce those 600 homeless we now have down to 100.
Yes, I do believe in a God given miracle. And our Supervisors wisdom.