ACTION NEEDED NOW
I must make it clear that the mission of JSS is to serve the homeless and at-risk persons in our community with the most basic needs. What they need right now.
Back in 2012 when I was a member of the CoC, Continuum of Care, we talked of our wishes together but nothing was done. In those days the Upper Room served food, CRC, Community Resource Center under Rene Evans, was the only place doing any meaningful service for the Homeless population. Bring Rene back. The Nomadic Shelter was a truly community effort working every winter with volunteer help. Hangtown Haven was sheltering the cooperative homeless population. Christ Like Services was an open house catch-all location for the homeless. The County was just marginally involved. Placerville City would work with us or against us depending on the political flow of the time. And, yes, yes, JSS was on the streets giving freely the necessities for life on the streets.
Now the County is much involved, with a full-time “Homeless Coordinator,” a very expanded CoC with a professional legal arm very much involved with walking the minefield of government bureaucracy to obtain government funds coming into El Dorado County. The “Room Key” program has taken over the “Hangtown Haven” project. And the others?
Now where are we? What is needed right now.
THESE ARE THE BASICS!
No 1. A Navigation Center, “Knowledgably” staffed, like the old CRC. A place to go for information, emergency help, direction as to where to go from the place I now find myself. Educational classes aimed at fulfilling one’s immediate needs and planning for the future. The County has money for that program in the amount of $273,000.00.
No 2. A Winter Shelter. The Nomadic Shelter of the past no longer exists. That money, as I remember, about $15,000.00, two transportation vans, mattresses and blankets, that were donated to the Nomadic Shelter, were taken over by a private organization that is known as Housing El Dorado. Is Housing El Dorado Inc. going to set up this winter’s sheltering the homeless like the “Pathways” project of this last winter? Or who is going to take on that responsibility this winter? The largest problem of the past was location of a shelter site.
El Dorado County has around 600 homeless persons, and that has remained about the same since JSS took the censes 10 or so years ago. About 54% male and 45% female with the 1% non-committed.
You are urged to contact our County Homeless Coordinator, Alyson McMillian, email@example.com :
as well as your County Supervisor, urging them to begin to act on these two issues NOW.
There are other important issues, like receiving 70 government housing vouchers but having no houses to put people in. But these two above are of the most important issues that will take time to implement. We need to get started NOW.
BTY, I commend the BOS and our new County Homeless Coordinator on the efforts and progress of providing for our homeless population. A GREAT change from the past.
Ronald SachsJune 8th, 2021 View Profile