AND THE OTHERS?
In the last issue we talked about the 20 something homeless persons housed for the winter in the ROOM KEY projects on the west slope. We also talked about 20+ on the South Lake Tahoe ROOM KEY project and the 20 homeless persons who will be housed during the winter PATHWAYS PROJECT by the UPPER ROOM/GREEN VALLEY CHURCH. All of these persons “housed” have been interviewed and chosen for their ability to follow instructions, cooperate with the program, and show an effort to get themselves out of homelessness and into a productive lifestyle.
THE OTHERS?????????????? The “PIGION HOLES.”
A.The mentally challenged who fight demons daily, large and small, real and perceived, who do not have anyone willing or able to take care of their basic needs, such as shelter and food to eat. I carry a burden with me from 20+ years ago. Penny, a very challenged woman, very thin, so very not aware about where she was or what she is doing. In and out of “institutions” then back on the street. Penny was in our shelter when I was president of the East San Gabriel Valley Collation for Homeless. That week at St. Matthews UMC, I was in charge of about 72+ homeless persons, a very chaotic evening. Penny had “messed her britches,” I told Penney to go to the side and stand there while I got her cot cleaned up or exchanged. I then got involved in many other issues and continued to run around the multi room (showers outside) shelter trying to stay ahead of the issues as they arrived. Later that evening as I was making “the rounds,” I came across Penny still standing in the same place I had put her hours ago. I was crushed and still am that I had forgotten Penny and her condition while I fiddled around the shelter doing what I thought was what I was supposed to do. I had forgotten Penny, a person in distress, with no place to go, no one to look after her, or anyone to care for or about her. A lost person of God, and I was too busy with my life and forgot her. WHAT DO WE DO FOR THE “PENNEYS” WE WITNESS IN OUR LIVES? JUST FORGET THEM?
B. The addicted to alcohol and legal and illegal drugs who are escaping society. This starts at a very young age as they are not taught accountability, cause and effect, responsibility, and a good work ethic. A good indication of this is to learn what productive jobs they held before age 16. Those who do not have anyone willing or able to take care of their basic needs, such as shelter and food to eat. These persons are just escaping reality, pain in body or soul, in some demons that they perceive. Their only advantage of this lifestyle is to be able to sleep while laying on concrete on in an asphalt gutter.
C. Those just out of prison on parole. (Parole is a state institution) with one or more “sub-pigeon holes” attached. They are dumped by the state in living areas where they have no connection. Are not allowed to come and trim your lawn, dump your trash, wash your windows or do home repairs to make some money to have a place to sleep or money to purchase food. If they find a place to sleep at a residence after being approved by a parole officer, and a family friend of the homeowner happens to bring a beer with them while they visit the home, the Parolee can be sent back to prison. The parolee is restricted in their ability to make a living on their own without a burdensome bureaucratic procedure. They need to get approval by their Parole officer for almost everything. That is understandable. Under threat all the time. BUT. Are they taught to be capable? Who is to assist them in adapting to a normal life?
Probation “HEAP”: Probation is local courts’ jurisdiction and judgements. Homeless Emergence Aid Program: The Probation office in El Dorado County is now operating a Recovery/Housing facility that takes those on probation off the streets and guides them to permanent housing, as well as job opportunities.
COULD THE STATE HAVE A “HEAP” PROGRAM FOR PAROLEES IN OUR COUNTY????
“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” Marie Curie
FLASH: I wish to share with you that the fiduciary agent for the Nomadic Shelter, HangTown Haven, Inc. (doing business as Community Haven), has a role in this new effort and is going through some dramatic changes. Hang Town Haven will change its name and transfer its assets into Housing El Dorado. Housing El Dorado will be the legal corporation supporting the efforts at Green Valley and the Upper Room.
The assets of the old HangTown Haven will become the assets of Housing El Dorado. These include the three vans, mats, blankets, sleeping pads, and funds provided to shelter homeless people. These funds are from individuals, churches and the Nomadic Shelter fund raising events. The assets of equipment and funds will be applied to the same purposes for which they were donated, sheltering and feeding homeless folks. JSS is contributing 34 sleeping bags and 10 tents to this effort as well as continuing it’s ministry in going out directly to the homeless population.