Who and where do the Homeless go?😟

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.

“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.


Homeless Update for Now & W😃inter

I was out to join a group of people on Monday, in fact I was out with the same group the previous 2 Mondays. A happy group, smiles, conversation, ages from around 30ish to 75 and 83. The group of 21persons were getting information from another group of persons who volunteer their time and knowledge to help others. All were clean, all were polite, all were healthy with some of the older ones having “Old Age Issues,” all had beds to sleep in and clean rooms to preside in. I was in a “Homeless Camp” as some would put it. No, not one alcoholic, none on dope, not one mentally challenged beyond control. These are the homeless population we can help get along in life.

Under the leadership of
Shaunda Crane, RN, MS, CWCN, PHN, from Marshall Medical, these two groups come together to help persons to “Navigate” life through their “homeless” period of their lives. The project is called
Room Key. The same type of operation is also going on in the South Lake Tahoe area at a different location. By the way, the 83-year-old woman left the program and chose to live out of her car and travel around.  

These volunteer guides and support individuals are providing information:

      Health insurance (which helps with qualifying for disability for income),
EBT (Food Stamps)
IHSS (In home support workers},
Help with
El Dorado Transit,
Social Security,
Mailing address,
Court and Legal help,
Housing applications,


For anyone wanting to volunteer with this group, phone Shaunda Crane, at 530-735-7339


Winter Shelter
Much more than a “Shelter” it’s a “Pathway.”

 Partnering with El Dorado Community Foundation and Housing El Dorado, the
Upper Room will be operating a New Program; The Pathways Project.
The Pathways Project will identify a cohort of individuals who will receive services beginning December 1st and extending through the winter months that will include sheltering, case management, and a pathway to sustainability in their lives. This program will mirror the very successful Project Room Key currently in operation at a Pollock Pines motel to provide housing for the COVID19 high risk homeless.
Upper Room has submitted a congregate sheltering plan, to the El Dorado County Public Health Department. Upon review by Dr. Nancy Williams, Public Health Officer of El Dorado County, the plan was approved. Dr. Williams was very appreciative of the comprehensive approach that was taken in developing the winter shelter plan.
Under the approved plan Green Valley Church has graciously offered their facilities
for shelter 7 nights a week for up to 20 individuals.  Guests will be provided shelter at the Church and will be transported to and from the dining hall.  Both breakfast and dinner will be part of the service.
Both, volunteers and financial support are needed and if you’d like further information on how you can be a part of the Pathways Project please contact our Program Manager at 
judy@upperroomdininghall.org or visit our website at upperroomdininghall.org
Charlie McDonald
Director of The Upper Room




We came a long, long way

WE HAVE COME A LONG, LONG WAY towards the humane treatment of our homeless population. 9 years ago, I was part of the Continuum of Care (CoC), a required County organization by the U.S. Government, if a County wanted to receive Government funding. 6-8 persons would meet once a month at the County Senior Center, talk and suggest what the County should do to provide for our homeless citizens. A report was written. Nothing came of our suggestions.

TODAY! I am again a member of the CoC board. MIND BLOWING DIFFERENCE. The county is a participating partner with the many organizations now involved in caring for our homeless population. The County has spent $715,113.00 so far not only on housing our homeless but also providing Counseling and Navigation into permanent housing, teaching life and social skills needed to be happy and safe in today’s surroundings. We now have a total of 641 homeless persons that were interviewed and screened in our county. This amount varies and the homeless population flows due to economic conditions. However, as JSS took the homeless census years ago, that number was always around the 600 mark. That goes back 8-9 years ago. With personal connections with individual homeless persons now, “NAVIGATION” is the goal.

How did this all come about? The following is Ron’s interpretation on how this grew and from where.

Young, active, individuals as well as city government and district County Supervisor, are working together, in overcoming the homeless problems in
South Lake Tahoe. They organized, worked together on ideas, fund raising, with a large investment from and interest from Barton Medical Center. Thanks much to Dr. Marissa Muscat, they got it together. And were successful….. The west slope of El Dorado County was poorly organized with constant rebuff from Placerville city and no County support.

Now those ideas, hatched
in South Lake Tahoe have migrated to the west slope of El Dorado County. Marshall Medical Center and County government has gotten involved on the west slope.

HomeKey: a program that houses, engages and Navigates a homeless person into a safe, productive life style. 40 rooms are available. 115 persons screened. 74 persons are placed. Yes, a few had to be removed due to non-cooperation in the program.

Probation “HEAP”: 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.

Covid-19 Homeless Response Team: Headed up by Marshall Medical Center, Dr. Martin Entwistle, engages and oversees the HomeKey program.

After all these 14 years of effort, it is rewarding to me to be able to see these changes.
JSS still goes on with Brian, Colleen, and John going out twice a week distributing the necessities of life to the homeless population. Hobbled Ron is chasing supplies and clothing.

Next Issue will have information regarding a sheltering plan for the homeless who will be unsheltered throughout the winter. Yes, a group is working on how, when, where, that will take place.

    Next County issue: Mentality challenged and addicted

Marshall/County Action

BOY, has El Dorado County made strides in caring for our homeless population. The following is an update from those from Marshall Medical Center who have taken on the burden of caring for our homeless population.

Care Coordination for Vulnerable Populations (CCVP)
Population Health Division
 Shaunda Crane, RN, MS, PHN, CWCN, S-FNP
 Director of Care Coordination for Vulnerable Populations

 August 2020 OVERVIEW: Care Coordination for Vulnerable Populations (CCVP) is an expansive interdisciplinary program Led by Marshall Medical Center, strategically reaching our most vulnerable populations in El Dorado County. These navigation support programs reach those that present the highest risk for health complications, unmanaged chronic conditions, and other social complexities that impact all in the county. To date, multiple projects are established and growing.

The Director of CCVP, Shaunda Crane, RN, MS, WOCN, S-FNP, has established and oversees multiple programs for Marshall Medical Center and Et Dorado County that align with El Dorado County’s Community Health Needs Assessment and strategic plan that was presented in January of 2020.

GOALS: 1. Provide coordinated care to vulnerable/low income populations such as our unsheltered/homeless, the elderly, women, and latino communities 2. Increase community collaboration in mental, behavioral and physical health, support family planning, coordinate effective social services, and improve environmental outcomes in our communities.

                                  Team in the field


State Program; Project; Roomkey & Navigation Program: The state funded motel housing program for the most at-risk homeless populations likely to suffer dire consequences and incur significant medical costs if they are positive for the Covid19 or another complication. El Dorado County supports CHWs, the Sheriff’s Department and the Navigation Program, incorporated into Project Roomkey to further support our most vulnerable.

Marshall Medical Center: Community Health Workers (CHWs): Trained community volunteers who support and guide our most vulnerable populations related to securing health insurance coverage, income, housing and all that impacts such areas for success.

Multi-visit patients (MVP): Identification of the highest utilizers of the Emergency Department that could have been managed at an outpatient/community outreach capacity.


3 unsheltered individuals have found long-term housing.

16 unsheltered individuals are “document ready” for long-term housing.

2 women have successfully coordinated appropriate family planning.

1 elderly woman has successfully found safe housing.

4 CHWs have been trained on HMIS.

11 CHWs are coordinating with county and veteran agencies successfully.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT: The cost of the current Care Coordination program is very low. Through one program director, 11 volunteers and engagement from multiple agencies, the only additional expense is related to wound care supplies and transportation costs. Lack of transportation to and from medical, legal and other appointments is an ongoing barrier for our vulnerable populations in a rural county such as El Dorado. The program needs vehicles in which designated drivers could help clients travel to and from appointments, receive wound care and other health assessments could be administered privately, and confidential areas are available for clients to engage in the support they are seeking. Further, the program will be more effective and efficient if a grant specialist is regularly engaged.

Shaunda Crane


We give a special thanks to Dr. Martin Entwistle, Administrator of the Marshal Medical Center under whom this program flourishes.

Community Partners

Meaningful dialog between
Community partners who care.


Boy Scout Troop #700 from the Rescue area took it upon themselves to do something for our citizens who are living on the “edge.” Those surviving on our streets and in our wilderness areas with little to nothing. Socks, colored “T” shirts and “Jeans” are a necessity to both the women and the men who are homeless.. Troop #700 took it upon themselves to do a collection of just these critical items to help their fellow beings out.

Troop 700 contacted JSS to do the distribution to the homeless population for them.

The used clothing and used socks have been completely washed by the Scouts family before delivery to JSS. The distribution will be done with “social distancing” in mind and without allowing our clients to “Rummage” through the clothing. Items will be held up and our homeless population will be offered each item being offered.



How about our homeless community and the up-coming cold weather?
Well I have heard of many proposals, wishes, conjuring, praying for a solution to the homeless in the winter. But nothing nailed down by the Health and Human Services has arisen. The “Room Key” project (A County supported project) is attempting to get funding so they can continue housing those who are now enrolled and adding more to that program.

There are many involved in the “Room Key” project from both the west slope as well as the
So Lake Tahoe basin.

“God bless you guys! For sure!


The “Faith Community” on the western slope cannot take care of those in the community who can’t care for themselves. They do not have the space available, the finances, will, or the personnel to run a winter shelter. Only two non-profits in El Dorado County have the finances and influence to make a difference and neither are interested in caring for the homeless population in general.

County report & County obligation

Came out of a meeting on Friday involving the County Human Resources, the Covid-19 Response Team, and enduring the long bureaucratic reporting necessary to manage Homelessness in our County. A CoC/EDOK meeting. JSS has been involved since 2006 and was involved in the CoC in 2011. JSS is back again in the CoC.

The major issues:

The County Board of Supervisors has not issued any directives to the County Health and Human Resources to begin planning on what the County is prepared to provide for our homeless population during the winter months. As the County works, it will take 3 months for the County to plan on a course of action as well as determine how it will be funded. You are strongly urged to contact your Supervisor NOW and demand that planes begin now on this issue and be implemented in November.

Covid-19 among the homeless population is reportedly quite small compared to the 600+ homeless in ED County. Less than 10 persons among the homeless have shown symptoms of the virus. A considering facture is that most, if not all homeless are concentrated on the outside where the virus can dissipate, and not contained in enclosed spaces where the virus lives for a longer time.

The Covid task-force that are handling the “Room Key” home;ess project should be commended.They have housed 20+ person that were deemed to be the most “at risk” as well as the most cooperative to be managed by the task-force. This at a cost of $392,000.00 for the three-month period. Now we have the biggest question; Can the County concerns for their citizens, as well as coffers, maintain this expense that is covered mainly by “Grant” monies from State and Federal governments? Do our most disadvantaged citizens who are where they are now due to being unprepared for their future and find themselves homeless, deserve love and kindness?

Overall, the Tahoe Homeless Coalition, has the best handle on the Homeless problems in their domain.. There city government and their community supports and backs their recommendations.



What comes to mind? Brush your teeth twice? Sometimes forgetting. Wash you face and hands? A bath or shower at least once a week? Clean underwear could be included. But you don’t include the bowel movement or urinating. How come? Most of Europe and other parts of the world recognize these necessary and consistent needs to clean out the body. In those countries provisions are provided for by their governing bodies. Americans don’t even have a second thought regarding this issue because “we all have toilets.”

Well we don’t! The number one issue when being homeless, is where can I move my bowels or urinate without causing a great commotion? Food is the first thought. Then how to get rid of it is the all-encompassing issue for a homeless person.

Colleen of JSS gives out 24 rolls of toilet paper each Thursday. A number one issue. A number one issue at many Town Hall meeting regarding homelessness is this issue of the necessity of the homeless population having to relieve themselves on persons properties, but they have no issue when other animals relieve themselves on their property.

HangTown city of the 1800s recognized the need for a community toilet facility and built one. You can use it today. Relieving oneself out in the woods was not a problem and was an accepted practice. Now it is a criminal act. A necessity, just as breathing is a necessity, is now a criminal and social breaking of the “laws.”
Can the governing bodies of our County “do away with” this necessity? Or can they address this forbidden issue with some solutions?

Build or arrange some sort of public “restroom”? And it would be wonderful if they included a shower also. Sanitary issues abound but can be overcome with disinfecting and the ultimate cleansing by ultra violet light. And yes, some mentally challenged persons will misuse and attempt to destroy or contaminate the premises as they have done with the public “restroom” in Placerville. This is also the excuse for some to forbid acquiring or building such a facility. This would NOT be a “porta-potty! Ron has a recommendation.
Folks, this issue was ordained by your God. It was put into play by the maker of the human body.  Don’t fight it!

               Accommodate it!

Being homeless is not a beautiful condition. So many factors of the human condition are involved. Mental and physical issues mold one’s life. Opportunity and upbringing play into it.

We as compassionate humans must face these facts.

JSS would attempt to underwrite the expense of an overseer at minimum wage to manage this facility if it would come to fruition under County ownership.

I pray you all to become active and vocal on the behalf of “Those who have the very least.”
Ron Sachs


Your on the front line of caring

JSS is your arm on the front line of caring for “those who have the very least.” You, through JSS, are at the Upper Room twice a week distributing the necessities one needs to survive on the street or in the woods, along with the food provided by the Upper Room.  JSS is in direct contact, with your sisters and brothers “Who have the very least.”
Colleen visits every Thursday. And along with the general necessities, she also distributes masks to our sisters and brothers
“Who have the very least.”
Brian visits every Monday to distribute the necessities. Our friends in need vary on who wear masks or not. I have observed that the “cleaner” the recipient is in their upkeep, the more likely they will wear a mask.
John is the one who keeps track of what we are running out of as well as controlling our supplies that we give out. Brian and Colleen both draw from the stock supply that John maintains.
Then we have the Secretary, Doris, then President, Ron,
and the Treasurer, Fred.

And very most importantly we have you, the breathing body of JSS that keeps us in the fight for decent care and understanding of those in our community “Who have the very least.”

Praise for the “Covid-19 Homeless Community Planning Team.” A group headed up by Marshall Hospital and inclusive of many groups in protecting and isolating those in the homeless community who are at greatest risk of catching and spreading the Covid-19 virus. This group is dominated by those groups that have the most experience with this virus on the east slope of ED County but are housing this vulnerable population on the west slope of ED County. JSS started out working with this group but has been phased out by the group for reasons of “efficiency.”

Can this program “morph” into a permeate program for our most venerable and cooperative homeless population? Equipping them to manage their lives better?

It appears that the County Government is following the lead of our County Sheriff, who has indicated, through his head deputy of the H.O.T, that there will not be any permeate shelter or gathering place for those in our community who “Have the very least,” our homeless population. As stated by his lead deputy of H.O.T, (I’m paraphrasing,) “If the Sheriff says no, it won’t happen.”

So, for you and JSS, and others like The Upper Room, Don and Peg of Community Haven, and those who volunteer so faithfully throughout the winter months as well as the rest of the year, we have to continue to do what is right and what some describe as their God’s commandment and will. Our County “Health and Human Services” employees do what they can, with their limited resources but they can’t keep this population warm and fed.

It is going to be cold and wet these coming months. Those without resources are just going to freeze. That is the prognosis as it stands now.

Oh’, By The way. JSS needs a van or SUV in good running condition to supplement the cars we have to use to offer what we have to give out. If someone has one, they can donate it to JSS who would be Greatly grateful.


Ron made a grave mistake in stating that one has to have a symptom of the virus to be tested at the Placerville Fairgrounds.


The reason I was turned down the first time was because the site was not open as yet when I attempted to sign up.


Covid-19 Testing

Testing sites for the west slope of El Dorado County have opened up. Allow me to introduce you to locations on the west slope.

Keep in mind that you can get tested
only if you are showing some systems of the virus. All are by appointment only. Plan ahead! I pray you do not plan to contract the virus ahead of time.
You have to go on your computer to:



And another one is at the CVS Pharmacy in El Dorado Hills:

4330 Latrobe Rd. Town Center Shopping Center.
You must contact through your computer for an appointment:                 


The South Lake Tahoe has had a testing site for some time.
Lake Tahoe Community College (Tuesdays-Saturdays) 
1 College Drive
S. Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150
Tuesday – Saturday
Hours 7:00 AM-12:00 PM & 1:00PM-7:00 PM


it is common sense.  This is not political;
Wear a mask. Avoid crowds, Use sanitizer,
and Wash your hands.




Do You Care?

Do you care? Do you want to stay informed or do you just want to drop the whole “Homeless mess” in the County?

Did you open the last “Homeless Issues”?



  You, have a good day. And pray that you don’t join this group. Or prepare to join this group.