Homeless Issues #125

Homeless Issue #125
Well folks, the Nomadic Shelter is discontinuing its operation for the 2017-2018 season. I will give a full report in the second week of April when I get all the records in and recorded. Until that edition, let me clue you in on some other info.
JSS spends its time and energies on working with the
single, homeless persons who are not supported by our county or city governments with shelter, food, warmth, or for that matter cooling during the summer months.. There are government monies mandated to caring for dogs and cats that are homeless.  Yep! That’s correct. Money is MANDATED for dogs and cats, but not for single, homeless persons.
I want to heap praise on the
Sheriffs, HOT (Homeless Outreach Team) team. JSS providing clothing, etc. to persons the HOT team is relocating to care facilities, back to one’s home state or city, or assisting in emergencies that arises.
I want to heap praise on
CHRIST LIKE SERVICES for their mental support, spiritual support, recovery support, to any person who comes to their door. They also support transitional living space for both men and women. CLS also provides work for those who want to get off the streets. They are a “soft place to fall” for the homeless population. Moreover they do not enable destructive behavior, or allow intoxication at their facility. This organization does what I would pray for the County Government to do. The county does it for dogs and cats.
Our “nose counters,” the ones who hit the keys on the computer, takes count of our homeless population, interviews each homeless person that they can get to sit down and talk, and advise the homeless what is where and who to go see. That group is 
“ONLY KINDNESS.”  As of January 27th 2017, they interviewed 598 homeless persons. 128 females, 315 males, 93 veterans, plus gathered other information.
Then of course the
NOMADIC SHELTER coalition of churches that provide shelter to the homeless population of El Dorado County. They were described as “God’s action team.” They are the “Doers” the ones who give of their time and energy to helping others. An inspiration for others to get involved???
You have a chance to come meet some of these persons:

Veterans Memorial Hall
130 Placerville Dr, Placerville
April 21st, 5-8 PM
(Contact Dana LaForce for tickets @ 530-748-5603)

Visit with Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS) at their table and take a chance on winning the $50.00 that will be given away that evening or take a chance on winning a $100.00 check.
Make plans to attend. I would like to shake your hand for your support for JSS and for your support for our homeless population.
            Ron Sachs


Homeless Issues #124

Homeless Issue #124                       03/16/18

Lord’y, Lord’y, Lord’y

I can’t believe it is happening.
I attended a meeting, along with a lot of other homeless advocates, with County officials. Donald Ashton, County Administrative Officer (Steers the County’s ship) and Daniel DelMonte (Oversees the County’s homeless problems and importantly, finds Federal funding)  .
What a turn-around regarding homelessness in El Dorado County. A problem I see is the treatment or lack of treatment to/for the
single homeless person. When the word “Homeless” hits the ears, one thinks of the single homeless person who appears to be dirty, possibly drunk, and a rather unsavory person. That is the face of homelessness. But this is the neglected group in the homeless world. El Dorado County has made great strides in assisting homeless women with children, as well as with the homeless children in our public school system. So when the County hears “Homeless person” they can take pride in what they have accomplished with women with children. The single homeless persons are left out.
I asked the following question at this meeting: What are the County provisions for the
Humane treatment of dogs, cats, and horses, compared to the humane treatment of the single, homeless person?
The explanation: The federal Government mandates that the County must pay to take care of homeless, neglected dogs, cats and horses. There is no mandate that the County has to provide for the humans in the same predicament. In short. County Government has to pay for the care of dogs, cats, and horses, but not for humans.



Finally on the horizons, now in planning: 

What was covered by Don Aston and Darnel DelMonte:
Warming   Centers — Preparedness compared to Homeless Response  
       a.  Criteria for opening a Public Health Emergency Preparedness  warming       room  and the primary purpose of the program.
       b.  What other counties have  warming rooms specific for the homeless?  Who
           operates the warming  rooms?
(No overnight sheltering)
Background and Best Practices on Shelters
       a.  History of evolving homeless system response specific to shelters, who they
           serve, and what is their optimal role?
       b.  Based  upon best practices, what is the role of bridge housing?
       c.  What other counties offer homeless shelters? Who operates them?
IV.    Next Steps for the County 

  • Homeless Coordinator !


               Help is on the way!

Be aware that County government moves very     


Do not expect much, if any, change for 2-3 years.
I, Ron Sachs, one of the most harshest critics of the El Dorado County government regarding the treatment of the homeless population for over a period of 13 years, sees a GREAT change in the county’s attitude to its citizens who have the very least.
Please reach out and get everyone you know involved in these changes.

(BTW, the above picture is not Ron.)


What was not covered.

Dumping patents discharged from Marshall Hospital on to the doorsteps of the Nomadic Shelter locations that do not have the faculties or expertise to care for them.


For now the Non-Profits all need your financial support. No one at JSS is financially paid in any way for their volunteer help. Every cent gathered by JSS is spent on supplies and services to the homeless population. Yes, one time in our 13 years, JSS received one “Grant” for $1,000.00. All the rest has been from donors. WE at JSS bless and thank those individual donors.


Homeless/Unhoused Issues

– C. S. Lewis

A combination of prayer, activism and plain old “Guts”: We have got a ball, however small, rolling. We have Rolling Hills hosting the first night of this incoming storm. Discovery Evangelical Church has said they will host this Thursday and will continue to host the Thursday night Nomadic Shelter. Then we have the City of Placerville contemplating with a meeting on the subject of the homeless and freezing temperature nights.

I want to give special thanks to Pastor Mike Harrell at Foothills UMC for getting a writing campaign going aimed at our community leaders. It included great commentary, e-mail addresses of County Supervisors and City Officials, phone numbers, meeting dates; all necessary for a forceful commentary regarding the humane care of our homeless population. Don Vanderkar, Schelly, Stacy, of the Nomadic Shelter, with the assistance of Christ Like Services’ Jeremy and his crew, and many others have given of their time and talents to help those in our community who have the very least. Special blessings go to Pastor Randy Wells, Discovery Hill Evangelical Free Church, for joining our efforts to provide for God’s children who are without.

We now have: Foothills UMC hosting on Monday nights.
                        Tuesday nights: still looking for a church to host.
                         Wednesday nights: still looking for a church to host
                         Thursday night will now be hosted at Discovery  Evangelical Church
                          Friday nights are Green Valley C.C.
                          Saturday nights are Cold Springs C.C.
                          Sunday nights are Federated Church

That very simple request: Can our governing bodies provide the same humane treatment that they provide for dogs, cats, and horses for our human citizens who are without warmth from the freezing cost and are out in the elements during this very rainy season?

Melody Moore: The spearhead of the delegation to the City Council Meeting: Her presentation.

A humanitarian crisis occurred last week when temperatures reached as low as 23 degrees. Neither the City of Placerville nor El Dorado County were able to respond to the crisis. Scores of people with no shelter spent the freezing nights outside.

If a humanitarian crisis affecting a broader cross section of the population were to occur, I am sure the response would have been different and immediate. When disasters occur and shelters open, it is an ironic fact that the first to appear for shelter and the last to leave are the chronically homeless, they are not turned away. So you see, we are able to provide for everyone under some circumstances.

I respectfully request the city council create a disaster preparedness plan that includes providing for homeless people during weather-related emergencies. Places to provide warmth when the wind chill temperature is forecast to reach 32 degrees, and cooling stations when the temperature exceeds 100 degrees are needed.

We, of the Faith Community, want to cooperate with the city. We can help by staffing emergency shelters with seasoned volunteers, and we can provide supplies.
I spent last evening talking to guests at the Nomadic Shelter hosted by Foothills United Methodist Church. This is how some of their guests coped with the cold:
“I slept under the eaves on the backside of a business. No one knew I was there, I was alone, frightened, and cold. I am a vet and I have PTSD.”
“I slept behind the stores. I am sick, have a bone marrow tumor and receive social security, but can’t afford any place to live.”
“I spent the night in jail. I didn’t plan it on purpose, but at least I wasn’t cold.”
“I slept in a tent until it flooded. Then everything got wet, my clothes, sleeping bag, it was a mess, I was very cold.”
‘I slept in my car. I hate it all, this isn’t supposed to be, I want my life back.”
“I camped out with eight other people. We had tents and a little fire.”
“I was afraid to go to sleep. I went to the hospital and was treated for hypothermia.”
Noteworthy is that all the people I spoke to were long time, or life-time residents of the area. These folks are not transients. They are our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and our children. We must take care of them.


FYI Homeless

FYI. Read it and think about this!

To all who participate and are concerned or those who hold some degree of responsibility.

I am a resident, citizen, of El Dorado County who volunteers to help provide for the homeless who are not capable of fully providing for their own basic needs.  I do this through donating my time, concern, and financial support through the Nomadic Shelter program.  I am so much more fortunate in many ways when looking at my childhood family environment, my economic security, general health, emotional stability, and general luck in life as compared to those elements that comprise the lives of the homeless that I share time with each Monday evening at the Nomadic Shelter at the Foothills United Methodist church in Rescue. 

I would like to put forth an anecdote based on my experience earlier this Monday evening of Presidents’ Day 2018, something upon which to reflect as this holiday celebrates an aspect of the governance of this republic, a society governed at all levels to support the reality of the real needs of each of we citizens, each of us working for the benefit of the other. 
After a meal, its components purchased, prepared, and served by five members of the church to 40+ homeless clients, the majority quietly withdrew to the floor against a wall around the perimeter of the narthex of the church, getting cozy on a 2 inch thick foam mat and snuggling beneath a thin blanket, no pillow, and thankful for the warmth of the room as the temperatures outside this night plunged below freezing.  No pajamas for most, just several layers of clothes in which they live day after day after day.  These are hardy souls.  By 8:15 most either were or almost asleep.  A young woman is very very slowly walking beside the row of tables on which we’d served the meal, and she comes to a stop, her hands beginning to tremble, her head pointed straight ahead eyes fixed ahead but beginning to close.  A woman friend comes up beside her and speaks some reassuring words to her, cradling the young woman’s arm, and placing another arm around her waste to both support and guide her.  The young woman partially resists but eventually is guided about 15 feet around the tables to where her mat and blanket are on the floor and she helped down and then she begins to shudder and her eyes roll back and close and her breathing becomes ragged with grunts as she contuse to shake and seize.  This is not the first time, this scene has been repeated at our shelter in previous weeks, as well as at other shelters in previous days.   I am simply a host to these folks, nearly all adults, though this particular evening 4 young men a couple apparently high school age and new to the shelter make up part of this population.  At this point three or four of the older ‘clients’ simultaneously attempt to take charge of the situation, arguing with one another about how best to care for the young woman, one saying she’d been a nurse and knows what to do, but is a bit hysterical herself , another here boy friend, it turns out to be her husband I think, is just placidly sitting back, while two others attempt to put the poor girl on her side then prop her head up, or is that roll her on her stomach?   Oh well, she is beginning to go limp, and she seems to be going unconscious.  Oh well, she done this many times in the past.  Meanwhile a young man has called 911 and notified me that the paramedics are on the way.  Beside the young woman another slightly older female is stroking her hair and saying come out of it we are here, you are OK, repeating that chant for several minutes as the young woman now remains comatose.  At least a third of the once quietly sleeping folks are now up and around and noisily talking.  Flashing red lights outside and I’m trying to find the check in register to determine the young woman’s correct full name, all I know at the moment is she’s Anna.  Over the past 3 or 4 weeks, Anna has been recorded at our church having had this same situation repeated sometimes several times a night.  The paramedics enter and calmly do ‘their thing’ they’ve treated Anna many many times.  They check her blood oxygen levels, determine that her blood pressure is about 178, she is verbally slow to respond.  She really is not cooperating with the paramedics.  They repeatedly ask her if they may take her to the hospital, her ‘husband’ defers the decision to HER, and she says she doesn’t want to go to the hospital.  The paramedics are patient, but she refuses.  Eventually the paramedics pack up and leave, and tell us that this scenario is a repeat of many in the past and they know Anna very well.  If she seizes again, they tell us to call them and they will return again, and again, and again.  The talking and confusion begins to reside, and the several people sleeping beside Anna whisper and encourage Anna, and her pitbull dog snuggles up against her, hmm, I can’t remember where her dog was during all the turmoil.  Its now 9:30, a half hour beyond my shift, and Michael, another volunteer has arrived to stay with this crew until 2:00 a.m. when the next shift takes over.
Michael like all of us are discouraged, as we are so ill prepared to deal with this kind of situation, we are just the gate keepers providing the roof over their heads on the cold night and helping to fill their stomachs.   Most of our ‘clients’ just expect the food and the roof and the warmth, and express their great fullness for the little we are providing them.  But, it is so troubling to them and us as well, to see those like Anna, who need so much more, not to mention the disturbance to the general atmosphere when severe physical, medical, and emotional problems arise like this one tonight.  If Anna continues to deny help and the environment for the other 39 homeless is disturbed, what do we do, put Anna out in the cold, call the Sheriff and have her taken . . . . . WHERE?. . . .   And HELPED HOW? . . . . And for HOW LONG?
We, the Nomadic Shelter Program, are not the answer for Anna.  Sometimes we have 3 or 4 Annas at one time.  Who are the ones to clean up the Vomit, the Diarrhea, the broken colostomy bag, the fights between mentally disturbed or intoxicated individuals, or simply quiet down those who are emotionally disturbed and non stop talkers, loud talkers, those incapable of moderating their own behavior?   Each one still needs shelter from the cold, and food and water!  
This has been just two hours of my evening, and the evening of those forty others.  Thanks to the other 9 volunteers that preceded me this day, transporting in several van trips from Placerville’s Upper Room and Walmart, the check in crew, the cooks, servers, and those others who will continue to see them through the night, feed them in the morning, and see them transported back to Placerville?  Thanks to the paramedics, how frustrating this must be for them. 
Now the 40 and many others who did not make it to the shelter will be without a roof for the next 3 nights, and other churches that had participated in the sheltering program have become frustrated and had to throw in the towel, so to speak.
Let’s reflect on this Presidents’ Day and how we meet the needs of the less fortunate, the less lucky, the others.  Do we have what it takes, or is there just not enough to go around and its survival of the fittest?  Should we at Foothills United Methodist throw in the towel, and save our time and money and have a steak BBQ?   Sure would like some help and encouragement from the greater society.
I haven’t proof read this yet, and am not going to, I’m tired!
Rowland Gaal

God bless you Rowland and Sharon!!!!


Homeless Issue #123

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.


Homeless Issue #122

Homeless Issue #122                                                 01/24/18

The following was written by a fellow who was “living” in an abandoned trailer with part of the siding missing. I tried to use photographs of the pages he wrote in his hand but they would not transfer. There are 6 pages. He gives us an idea of what it would be like for us to be put in that situation. At the end I will tell you a little about his journey into homelessness.

(Page#1) Couches, cots, hammocks, stretchers, sleeping bags,piles of old clothes ….
Old campers, abandoned trailers, tents, caves, leaky roofs (better than no roof at all), broken windows covered w/old blankets or tarps that block the wind but not the cold. Plenty of sources of water, some potable, some not–, hot water? Leave it in a bucket in the sun for a while…., if there is any… sanitary conditions  are primitive at best–a hole in the ground. So how does life go on? How do the poor and homeless survive? What, and how do we eat? If you’re lucky enough to be near someone willing to let you do so, you may have an extension cord running from a house to your hovel…. a light or two, a radio or a TV (for two more months at least)–not much though, a refrigerator is iffy, a microwave is out of the question because of the power required…..generators are nice, as long as you have the resources to be able to buy gasoline for them and the ability to transport the gas the 30 or 50 so miles round trip from where you are to where (Page #2) you can find gas, and then back up the mountain. Vehicles are watched driving by more than ridden in–if you can afford a license, registration, insurance and the price of a vehicle. You’re probably not going to be able to relate to the above–simply because if you are, the amount of money necessary to “legallly” own and operate a vehicles is usually forever out of reach, because any cash you are able to pull in can’t realistically be saved up as it gets spent quickly on things that are absolutely required for survival. If you have a delibitation disease, any no medical coverage, medications are expensive–often you have o make do with stuff that isn’t really what you would be prescribed, but is close enough to relieve excruciational pain, or help you breathe or keep your heart from exploding. (The people that help you in these matters do so without reservation, knowing that in doing so that they are committing a felony, but the need those people feel to help others (Page #3) overcomes any fears of punishment, and God bless them for it–without these meds, many homeless (or just poor) people would not be alive today. I know I would’nt be.
And now the perhaps most important thing of all–FOOD. The Air Force survival manual describes “pine forests” of our type as one of the most least likely places on the planet to be able to find enough food to survive, (wildlife not withstanding) only surpassed by the arctic and the desert. Cooking is done, if at all, either with a fire, or small propane stoves. If you have electricity, maybe a toaster oven or a hot plate. If not, food might be cold, but hey–cold food is much better than no food at all. (Page#4) Fortunately, there are many organizations that are involved in the acquiring and distribution of foodstuffs and commodities for the poor, homeless and needy. Without these various organization, I hate to think how difficult things would be for so many without the help of some man, who do so without reward, except for satisfying the desire to do something when and how they can help. From those who volunteer their time to help on the gathering and distribution of food and commodities, to those who donate items and cash, including business, churches and private individuals, these selfless acs enables those in need to secure stability, comfort, shelter, and of course, food, the maintain,rebuild shattered live, to continue to struggle and survive and not give up hope in these hard times. I have what I consider to be a good knowledge of our language, but I find myself at a loss to adequately describe in (Page #5)  words my gratitude and thanks for the times which these folks are indeed in deservance of for that which they do.
The Fed. Gov. does whatever it is they do (like gives $900,000,000 to rebuilding the “Palestinian infrastructure” in Gaza–[like such a thing ever existed!] meanwhile, here at home, they bale out bogusley inept auto corporations, savings and loan companies, and that 12K–(yeah, executives being unable to buy a new Rolls-Royce every year and has to fly commercial flights instead of using private company owned Lear Jets. Brings tears to my eyes–bummer! So much for our federal government.
On the state level, it’s not that bad–not much better, some unable to do their jobs properly probably is their best excuse (if that can count for one)> Anyway, the Fed, State and Local governments (Page #6) are not really they who this letter is in regards to, and I only mention them because of their inability and/or failure to deliver/provide the help which we so desperately need-that is provided by people–just folks, families and individuals.
He is a 3rd generation southern Californian. Armed forces veteran. Skilled in many manual crafts. Looks to be in 70’s but was 60 years old when I knew him. No drugs. Alcohol was a problem 10-20 years ago. Family long gone from contact. He got hurt and lost his job as a maintenance worker at an apartment complex. Although homeless, he was very helpful at our shelter locations, and helpful to other persons who had problems. Since I moved to NorCal, I lost contact. But two years ago I saw him when I returned to SoCal for a visit. He had a smile, gave a hug and wanted to know how I was doing.
My wife, an Administrative Secretary, went “bonkers” not making corrections in spelling and word usage while typing from his transcript.


 I have an opportunity for you to interact with the homeless population. Only 2 hours, 3:00 – 4:30 PM, one day a week, Thursday or Friday, long time commitment. Stopping at only two locations. Upper Room and Christ Like Services.
Work with JSS, distributing, toilet paper, socks, hygienic supplies, clothing, jackets, batteries, underwear, while showing understanding to those in our homeless community. All from the trunk of your car, with a JSS magnetic sign on your car..
The only cost to you is tax deductible mileage.
This is an opportunity for you to get involved.

Let my know ASAP if you want to participate directly with the homeless population. And see where your generous donations go.

Please think about it.


Homeless Issue #121

Homeless Issue #121                                                    01/16/2018

El Dorado County throws away property that could be used to benefit our citizens who have the very least to nothing. Case in point!
Perks Court: County owned property, outside Placerville city limits. From functional property, well conceived, to totally trashed.
This property was rehabilitated by Art Edwards’ “United Outreach” and Ron Sachs’ “Job’s Shelters of the Sierra” plus a coalition of volunteers from faith organizations, and some responsible homeless persons, to provide for the Homeless population of El Dorado County. We envisioned offices for councilors and other organizations that would benefit a homeless person. This was back in 2009. Then with Art being ousted from United Outreach and JSS being kicked out of one building of the 4 on the property, the new “United Outreach,” and County restrictions, restricted the 4 building property to be used for only 6 persons total. After a short stay, they abandoned the property and the County allowed the 4 buildings to be trashed as this photo attests to.
What other empty buildings does the County own that can be turned into a haven for our
Responsible but destitute Citizens of El Dorado County or can these buildings be rehabilitated? I am pleading for the people in our community who act responsibly, but have no place to stay warm and dry, have easy access to information on where they can have some companionship and assistance. And be protected from the menace of the drug and alcoholic groups that are disruptive.
Can this property be rehabilitated? Would you support such a place? Will our newer enlightened Supervisors make things happen so that JSS, Community Haven, Only Kindness, NAMI, AA, and other non-profits, working together, can provide a safe warm place for our citizens who have the very least, can feel protected and advance their self esteem? Other faith organizations, as they are able, could administer to the disruptive group as they wish. And the responsible can improve their lives.
Let your Supervisor know.


Homeless Issue #120

Homeless Issue #120                                 01/02/18

The following was found the morning after one night of the Nomadic Shelter:


Dear Nobody
Can I ever change

Will I ever change. With every breath I grow weaker. My mind racing a million a minute. Yet I can’t seem to find a reason to breathe.
Tired of trying only to fall short. Always on trial like in court. Pleading guilty to the lack of faith. Faith is believing things in heart what is unseen.
I see pain and misjudgment.
I ??????????????
(????? Large scrawling  ????????)





Homeless Issue #119

Homeless Issue #119                                                       12/22/17
Nomadic Shelter Review
Don Vanderkar
Hangtown Haven, aka Community Haven
and the Nomadic Shelter

The Nomadic Shelter is in its 7th year of operation.  The Shelter program is the product of the efforts of local church pastors and lay people who take religious teachings very seriously.  The Nomadic Shelter volunteers work hard to find churches that will open their doors to people with no housing.  They operate a program of care and love within the church facilities.  Those of us volunteering to make the Nomadic Shelter happen may have differences in some aspects of theology, but we come together, work hard and focus on our shared belief that we are made in the image of God and called to follow Christ.  Christ tells us that we are to love others, and are called to shelter people without houses, feed people without food, clothe people without clothes, and talk with people who are lonely or in despair.   It is wonderful and inspiring to work with fellow Christians in harmony and with common goals, all focused on love and care of those less fortunate. 

The Nomadic Shelter needs help.  We can provide shelter currently only four nights of the seven day week. We need three more churches to open their doors and welcome people who otherwise are on the streets suffering from cold weather, unhealthy conditions, and loneliness.  An option to a church facility could be a rented facility where volunteers could conduct a shelter.

Core in our tasks of sheltering is the opportunity to show love and respect to our fellow human beings.  This can be in the form of bringing food to shelters, helping to transport our guests in shelter vans, being supportive and loving in other ways, including listening to personal stories, or contributing funds that pay for sleeping mats, blankets, vehicles and fuel and other costs of operation.

Parallel with our religious focus is a secular reality.  Our Country’s Declaration of Independence includes these words:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Every human being is deserving of basic needs for life.   Being without a house, clean clothes, a recent bath or a haircut does not alter basic humanness.  We all have the same genetic structure.  We all have “inalienable rights.”  We all have need for safety, food, shelter and people who care.  We all need community.

We human beings have stories that are special.  These stories may include joy, friendship and warmth but all too often include trauma of loss, loneliness, despair, fear or assault.    These stories may be hard to deal with.  We may try to forget but the traumatic experiences often stay locked inside and we may relive them.  Some of us end up without many resources and may be desperately trying to find a place where we can survive the night without freezing or being robbed or physically harmed.  In a situation like this we may turn to alcohol and or drugs to help ease the fear and pain.
When we share stories with others and are listened to, we become more human.  We are touched by another person and fine that we are valued enough to be heard.   It is usually a relief of loneliness and grief, at least for a moment

The Nomadic Shelter provides not only shelter and food but an opportunity to share life stories and be truly human with others.  It is an opportunity to gain insight in humanity. During the nights that the Nomadic Shelter operates, there is time each evening to sit with another human being, be present with that person, and share a few moments.   Often the listener will be in awe as to how this person survived the experiences he or she has had.

Some homeless people may put up a stern presence, as many have been conditioned to expect scorn or distain.  The “scorners” may not have had the opportunity to understand the history of another person, to recognize the “inalienable rights” that the homeless person has or to understand the impact of respect. 

Those of us coming from a Christian perspective may not have taken the opportunity to look for the face of Jesus in the face of the person with whom we are present.
If you are moved to help, the Nomadic Shelter may be an opportunity for you to be of service.  You may experience some amazing things that will change your life.

May God bless each and everyone with what we have to offer and what God has to offer.Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Ron Sachs/JSS

Homeless/Rain #1

Nice, warm, dry, bed last night?

Can’t we find some building to shelter our homeless citizens on raining nights of
Tuesdays and Wednesdays?

The Nomadic Shelter will host/supervise the location.
JSS is there for our Homeless population but only with your support and help. Contact JSS  at
  Another way you can help out Job’s Shelters of the Sierra without any expense to you is when shopping at Amazon.Com, you connect to “Smile.Amazon.”

This is how you do that: On the internet address, type in: HTTP://Smile.Amazon.com/ch/26-1384622 hit “Enter.” After AmazonSmile appears on your screen, go to the top, right corner of your screen and click on the little star. When the screen appears, delete all the wording EXCEPT “Amazon.Com Smile”. Then move down and click on “Tool Bar.” “Amazon.Com Smile” will now be on your tool bar for your convenience. Yes, you will have to again set up your password etc. again. But Amazon will send a donation to JSS for each of your purchases. And JSS thanks you!