Homeless in El Dorado County
What I found out at the Continuum of Care (CoC) meeting. (County bureaucracy is supposed to handle homeless issues within a county and is a HUD requirement.) Big let-down. No County homeless coordinator! That dream died. The County Government is going to hire an outside the County group “www.HomeBaseCCC.Org” Law firm, for one year to ……. do what???
I arrived early to the meeting and heard the last part of the “Official/Executive” part of the scheduled meeting. The “decision makers.” The conversation was regarding the Nomadic Shelter or a Winter Shelter. But of the 20+ persons in that position, none were representing the Nomadic Shelter. After the meeting, “others,” like the Nomadic Shelter representatives, are allowed to participate. What was said after the “Official/Executive” portion is over is just “dressing” as I see it now. They meet only 4 times a year. BTW; All members of that “Official/Executive” group are made up of non-profits that pay salary to employees with the money they receive for their work. Just might be that one or two are not in that category, but I don’t know them. I understand that. Where should most of the monies go? The financially strapped homeless persons? The poverty burdened 70+ year old? The emotionally disturbed elder? Or to county financed locations that provide bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities, counseling/training, warmth/cooling shelter? And to the 3% of our school’s population who have experienced homelessness in their school years. Also, another statistic: one in five homeless are veterans. (As reported at this meeting.)?
A tantalizing mention was made during the CoC meeting regarding “Perks Court,” a county owned property that Art Edwards and I worked hard to up-grade for use by the homeless community way back in 2009. That was taken away from us, used a couple of years and then abandoned. It has just set been idle for all these years. County used it to park some equipment on. Will that ever come to be?
The Nomadic Shelter is an ALL Volunteer endeavor, carried out by all volunteer help and effort. Done by persons who have a passion for their fellow humans who, as the Bible says, are the “least of these our brother and sisters.” It is financed by donations with, one-year, financial help from the County.
Such a county wide offering can be done. It had been done. I was involved. I incorporated the East San Gabriel Valley for the Homeless. In L.A. County it continues now and has for over 25 years. A winter shelter as well as transitional housing for the homeless are provided.
Placerville Police Dept. and JSS has not always gotten along. During the Police Administration of Chief George Nielsen, and the Hangtown Haven days 2012-2013, police, and homeless population got along well. The Chief was pro-active in homeless issues. Unfortunately, he retired in the fall of 2013. The city hired a new
Chief. The change, we saw was immediate. Police dropped by Hangtown Haven, the homeless encampment, only to arrest someone. The Police harassed those of us who distributed clothing and lunches in public parking lots. And I in my van was followed when I drove within the city limits. That is the way it’s been since 2013 and until the new Chief was installed..
The County Sheriff Dept has started a H.O.T. team; ie. Homeless Outreach Team, working with the homeless population. Placerville has a new Police Chief and although they do not advertise their involvement with the homeless population, they also have started to interact with the homeless population. A BIG change. JSS has offered to assist them when they need clothing, hygiene, necessities etc. for a homeless individual or any other assistance we can provide.…………………………….