Major Development

Community and County and City Together. YES!
 
Maureen Dion-Perry with Peg Vanderkar gathered together the movers and shakers of the County government, City government and major Community activists and formed an alliance of purpose, strategies, and action to take ahold of our Homeless issues as well as guide the Homeless through this pandemic. This is a major improvement and involvement by all parties.
 

Shelter and services are priority #1.

 

Who are these people? The Homeless.

 
Homeless “Pigeon Holes.”
So many “Pigeon Holes” that societies will never be able to plug them up. 

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.
 

B. The addicted to alcohol and legal and illegal drugs who are escaping from reality because they can’t deal with the realities of living in the general 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 jobs they held before age 16.  And who do not have anyone willing or able to take care of their basic needs, such as shelter and food to eat..
 

C. Those just out of prison with one or more “sub-pigeon holes” attached. And who do not have anyone willing or able to take care of their basic needs, such as shelter and food to eat.. 

D. Those unskilled individuals who do not have the opportunity or ability to learn wage-earning skills. And who do not have anyone willing or able to take care of their basic needs, such as shelter and food to eat..
 

E. The older persons who are viewed as too old to learn a new trade, a possible burden to one’s business and might be “set in their ways.” And who do not have anyone willing or able to take care of their basic needs, such as shelter and food to eat..
 

F. The 54+year old who lost everything and was deemed “too knowledgeable” in his field to be trained for a younger, growing company and was perhaps a past competitor, (in my case) And who do not have anyone willing or able to take care of their basic needs, such as shelter and food to eat..
 
G. The transient, wandering explorer, “Hobo” of past years, who is an adventurer in their mind. They’re always looking over the next hill.
 

H. 18-year olds who have aged out of Foster Care. They will fit in many of these Pigeon Holes. And who do not have anyone willing or able to take care of their basic needs, such as shelter and food to eat..
 

I. Victims of domestic violence. Special facilities and treatment are needed. El Dorado County does have places where these victims can go for help.
CAN WE HELP?
 
A & B are 70% and will always be with us. Hospitalization, compassionate incarceration, continued tailored professional mentoring and care would be the only solution, and would need to be formatted to suit each individual’s needs without enabling them or their bad behavior. And this is not about to happen.
 

C, D, E,F, & H are 30% are there for us to uplift spiritually and materially. Giving them a job for long/short term with minimal or above wage that gives dignity and allows some sense of independence.
 
These groups of people do not mix together well.

We must recognize that these persons do not see the world as you do. They do not organize well, they do not follow direction well, their minds are first on where will I eat? Where will I sleep tonight? Things that you had have never ever thought about. I have to carry everything I own with me 24 hours a day. Who is going to steal what from me?

None of that is taught at your universities. Theories and Dissertation never cover these subjects……..
But those who deal with only Theories and Dissertations make the rules for persons that are in survival mode. I pray that the decision makers open their eyes to reality. How will what I come up with fit into the lives of the homeless persons that my solutions are to address?
     

  

Homeless Issues #160

Our individual shelter site leaders are struggling to keep the shelters open for the remainder of the month due to the Pandemic.  The principle problem is finding enough volunteer staff to maintain orderly and safe shelters.  Foothills UMC and Federated have shut down for the year.  David is doing his best to keep Cold Springs open and could use some more help.  Cold Springs will stay open if volunteers are available. Discovery Hills appears able to continue with the volunteers helping there.  JSS distributed several tents and sleeping bags at Green Valley CC Saturday night.  Hopefully they will remain open. JSS will deliver ponchos and socks as well as a promised bag and tent on Saturday night.

This from our JSS distributors who makes the trip to the Upper Room every week to give out freely, all the necessities other than food, the homeless person needs to survive. Toilet paper, socks, tooth paste and brushes, underware, batteries, women’s sanitary needs, odds and ends of lotions, all given freely with a smile.

“My faith and calling to the church ministry obligate me to serve both the well and infirm. I want to continue serving during the Covid-19 outbreak. “
                                                                                                    Will
 
Thanks for your concern Ron. I’ll continue with precautions, but want our homeless friends to know we want to do all we can in this crisis.
                                                                                                     Brian

                    ………………………………..

        
On March 11th Richard, John and Ron of JSS were out with The Upper room, and a drug treatment non-profit along with the Sheriff Dept. engaging with the homeless population on their turf.
                   ………………………………
                           

Ron’s book about Homelessness in our area is at a really reduced rate at Amazon. This book covers from 02/22/2007 to Elliot’s Memorial 04/11/17. Art and Ron at Perks Court …. Hangtown Haven … Support to harassment by Placerville Police … Ups and Downs of City and County support for homeless issues …. Meetings, meetings, meetings … If you want to know the history of the fight for rights and services for our homeless population, get the book while they last at Amazon.

Homeless in the Gold Country

              ……………………………………………        

  

Homeless Issues #159


“End Homelessness” That is an insane statement made by supposedly intelligent people. Be real! Homelessness will always be within our community. Live up to it! “Attempt to manage homelessness” would be more correct, but only if Government and the community combined forces to manage the situation.

I wish to report that the issue from the last Homeless Issues Newsletter regarding the
“Coordinated Entry System”
being in South Lake Tahoe when the majority of our homeless population is on the west slope in and around Placerville is being resolved to include the west slope and an extension of the hours of operation from 2 hours a day to much more useful and longer hours. Organization and funding of the program is now a “work in progress.”


El Dorado County Statistics that are revealing.
 

613 homeless persons in El dorado County!


30% Of our homeless experience substance abuse and 42% have mental health disabilities. So, 72% of our homeless population are in need of Special Services that the County Government has control over but does or does not wish to control. County agencies are not working together with the homeless. Case in point, law enforcement and mental health professionals.  Disruptive mentally challenged person is sent to jail and not to mental health facility. 47% of our homeless have lived in El Dorado County all their lives. Hours of operations of the County Special Services operations are 9-5 during the day. Homeless population activity most prominent from 6 PM until 7 AM the next day. If we can solve these issues, we would solve 72% of the “homeless problem.”

That leaves 28 % or about 205 persons in El Dorado County who are homeless due to age, SS income only, lack of knowledge or skills, medical issues as well as other issues. These have the ability to adjust to new help and rewarding services, but are left on the streets homeless.

El Dorado County “Faith” community cannot or will not come up with resolving the homeless issues of the citizens of El Dorado County.

We have community organizations that do a good job in helping to resolve the challenges of being homeless. Case in point”: Is the efforts of the “outreach” team from the Marshall Hospital staff, working with the HOT team as well as JSS and others.
 
This is the Marshall Hospital contingent gathered around the JSS homeless distribution center at a H.O.T. operation.


Is it possible for the County government, the Placerville City government, and the volunteers of the Nomadic Shelter/Community Haven, come together as One Working Organization to attempt to alleviate the homeless issues that plague El Dorado County?
 

Homeless Issue #157

Letting you know
     
            

 

The Nomadic Shelter numbers for the Nov. Dec. and Jan. are as follows: 194 persons are registered with the Nomadic Shelter and have signed a statement of behavioral standards that are expected during their stay at a Hosting church.

For the months of November, 2019
and December, and January, 2020.

Average number of persons per night is 23, With a high 38 and a low of 9 at the beginning. And including 8 persons who have flagrantly broken their signed pledge of behavioral conduct and have been banned from all shelter locations.
         

 

We want to give praise and thanksgiving to the host churches, Foothills UMC, Federated Church, Green Valley Community Church, Cold Springs Community Church, Discovery Hills Community Church, as well as those major contributing churches such as Holy Trinity Catholic Church and St. Patrick Catholic Church and others who also provide volunteers who participate at the host churches.

       I really apricate your help!              

        

  

Homeless Issue #156

  Den 6 from Cub Scout Pack 117, Shingle Springs/Latrobe, Ca. was in search of a Service Project that would help an individual or individuals in need.  What better event than to hold a SOCK RALLY to collect socks for the Homeless. 

               

In 2017, they had enthusiastically collected socks and wanted to do it again. 

This project was a significant learning experience and embodied an important part of The Scout Law……”to help other people at all times.”  

 Coordinating with Job’s Shelters of the Sierra, the scouts put out the word and soon the entire Cub Scout Pack was collecting socks!  After listening to Mr. Sachs and then collecting socks enabled each Cub Scout to realize how lucky the are to be in a position to help others less fortunate than themselves.  

                

Church groups such as the “Teens” at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. This was very enlightening for me due to the depth of the questions and the thoughtful comments by this group of thoughtful young adults. I was impressed. I gave the challeng of being a homeless person for just a few days. Sleeping on the ground, no toilet paper, carrying everything they feel important to them with them for three days, only using water from outside facets, etc. Comment: Can’t do it, have to go to school 😉

         

Hands for Hope youth from El Dorado Hills that went with me to the “Homeless Camps” at Christmas time in 2008 to experience homelessness first hand.

                   

You Wanna Help?

  

Homeless Issue #155

We seldom have an opportunity to take time to hear from a homeless person and get a feeling of what being homeless is like. Here is your opportunity. I asked one of my homeless friends who stays at the Nomadic Shelter on the evenings that it is open to write his experience down. This is what he wrote out for me.
 

“I’m 48 years old. Was raised by my Grandparents who are passed. I’m from the Bay area. I started working at a street rod shop as a welder & fabricator building custom cars at age 17. I did that off & on at 3 shops for about12 years. I was also a Union iron worker where I had a serious back injury that still restricts what I can do. At age 29 I owned a big home in a nice neighborhood in the Bay Area. I don’t drink. smoke, or do any kind of drugs. I made a big mistake that I thoroughly regret and ended up losing everything & went to prison for seventeen years. I had never been in any real trouble before & ending up in a violent level 4 prison. That was a horrible culture shock I have ever seen & experienced things that have seriously traumatized me. I have always had mental health issues. But over the years the stress & major depression has caused heart failure. I have had a pace maker for almost eleven years now. Getting out of prison I was told by CDCR that because I have no family & no where to go that CDCR was going to place me at a prison & take me to transitional housing. But upon my release no one picked me up. So I had to figure out how to get to the parole officer in Auburn which I did. I met my parole officer & he said there is no transitional housing. He dropped me off at the Walmart parking lot in Placerville & told me to go find a place in the woods to live. That was fourteen months ago. I am unable to work due to my physical & mental health problem. I hear voices, I have hallucinations. I have also been struggling with some type of dementia for five years. I get lost sometimes. I have tried to go into homes thinking that I still live there. I have attempted suicide, I tried to jump off the Forest Hill Bridge where the Police picked me up & took me to the hospital. I have been in several hospitals and many mental institutions. I don’t even know how I got to the bridge. In my mind I thought for some reason I was in Oregon. I can see demons follow me. I am struggling to just make it through the day. The last 20 years have been so hard I know that I can make it much longer. Parole has done nothing to help me & say that there is no help coming from them & they have obstructed others from helping me. Throwing parolees out on the street to be homeless in an unfamiliar area where I don’t know anybody is a plan for failure. Nobody should have to ho through this, especially people who have real medical & mental problems. I have worked so hard to change for the better. I have a lot of incite on how my life went off course. Under different circumstances I could have become a productive member of society instead of a transient who is hoping for my pace maker battery to finally give out so my sorrow & hurt will finally end. It should have given out two months ago but it’s still going, for now. If I was an alcoholic of drug addict there would be some program I could go to but for people like me there is nothing. I have met many homeless parolees in Placerville, several with mental problems & parole does nothing for them either CDCR does a great job of taking care of themselves, but those of us, who are their wards have nothing coming. My hospitalizations have cost the county around $100,000.00. Safe, stable, housing could have prevented most of this & would have been much cheaper.”
              ………………………………………………….

Sobering?

Enough said!

                       

        

  

 Homeless Issue #154 /    Christmas Time

Ron went to Holy Trinity to give a little talk about Homelessness to a group of 8th graders. This is the message I received after our talk.
 
“Thank you for your time today.  Both your words and images from the video gave a vivid picture of what homelessness is in El Dorado County–and what you are doing to help through Job’s Shelters of the Sierra.  Thank you for ALL you do.
 
Lastly, here are details for your newsletter:
(And Ron suggests a challenge to other faith groups.)
 
The
8th Grade Tuesday FFF (Family Faith Formation) class at Holy Trinity Parish in El Dorado Hills wanted to serve their local community.  The class chose Job’s Shelters of the Sierra as their way to serve.  Students planned the service project, promoted the collection drive, raised funds, made blankets, collected more blankets and other items to help the homeless stay warm in Winter.  In total students donated:
 

9 sleeping bags -104 blankets -229 pairs of socks -21 coats -7 pairs of shoes -lots of small hygiene products
 
“Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” said Mother Teresa.  We may have some saints in the making.  =)

All the best,
Aag
 
                         ………………………………………………….
 
On top of that, 3 days later, the church, Holy Trinity, unloaded a van full of donated, specific clothing items, gloves, ponchos, sleeping bags, gift cards that we use to purchase razors etc., and lots of socks. We share the Safeway cards with the Sheriff H.O.T. to go directly to the homeless in the camps, the others we use to purchase supplies ……..Merry Christmas……Again!
               ……………………………………………….

I heard again and again “Ron, here is a little something.” Those “little somethings” keep JSS going. Hear is a little something that also keeps us going.
                  
 
                  ………………………………………………

During the last H.O.T. gathering we gave out 25 blankets. We still have many more to be given out. As they are very inconsistent with what the Nomadic Shelter uses, we have 75 more blankets to be given out. We plan to give these blankets to the Sheriff H.O.T. to directly give out.
                …………………………………………………

I pray that all of you think of and pray for the wellbeing of those who are mentally and emotionally challenged who are on the streets. Year round, but especially during this season.
 
 
                                 
      

  

Homeless Issue #153

What can a homeless person do with their spare time to help them “escape” their homelessness?

Make a plan. Think of one’s resources. Think of one’s skills. Who can/will help them in their time of need? Then continually “sell” the marketable skills one has. During the winter months, stay at the Nomadic Shelter, eat at The Upper Room, and stay active and productive at any job, paying or nonpaying. Just stay active. This worked for me. (I did not have a Nomadic Shelter or Upper Room)

Many homeless persons have mental challenges that can only be treated by professionally trained persons. This is a City/County/State “human” issue that has to be addressed but is ignored by the City/County/State. This group will always be with us. It is “Human Nature,” The only thing we can do for them is purchase a sandwich, a cup of soup, a piece of fruit, or a meal. It is wise not to give them money as they have shown that they are not good money managers. And then, pray that the Cities/Counties/States/ will care for their citizens who have the very least at some point in time….

What can I do to help the homeless?

          Get involved at your church and school as well as let the City/County governments know your concerns, continue to collect socks, rolls of toilet paper, new women’s and men’s underwear (Medium and Large), and most of all remember they could be us. In the winter, jackets, warm hoodies are wanted.

Treat the homeless and all people as we would want to be treated. Give reliable homeless persons jobs to do. Give them some responsibilities when/where you can.
                  …………………………………………..
 
Homeless Challenge: This represents the first few nights to Homelessness. As one finds their way in this homeless situation, they may discover some variations to this regiment.

Take the challenge.

Starting this afternoon:
Eat one meal. Then go outside.
Do not use any toilet paper at any time.
Get any water you use from an outside water faucet.
No TV, Computer, Tablet, Phone, Radio, flashlight,

At sundown go to sleep outside or on a garage floor, with a blanket or sleeping bag. If you are on the garage floor, you are VERY fortunate.

When you get up the next morning, pick up all your belongings including everything you plan on using for the day and keep all of that with you all day. Do not leave any of it alone as it may be taken by another homeless person. (This is the reason that you do not want to donate large shampoos, toothpaste, or large anything to homeless providers/distributors.) They have to be carried all day.

Spend that day outside.
Eat one meal that day.
 

     Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.
                          Now you will get the idea.

                    
           ………………………………………………………….

And yes, our County Government has made great strides in planning, preparing, and visioning the day when the homeless who are on our streets, have a place to lay their heads and a safe place to put their burdens down, and cry, smile, and feel worthwhile.

Unfortunately, we have persons who do not want to give anything to anyone or even care what happens to those who do not have their advantages. They vote for county offices and resources.  Homeless persons don’t vote.
         ………………………………………………………….

I am blessed to see some of my ex-homeless friends this time of year. Working, dry, warm and with a smile on their faces. One friend I see about once every few weeks, and have known for a number of years who is “off the streets,” has a job and an apartment. When he sees me, he makes an effort to come to me. He opens his wallet and hands me a $20.00 bill for JSS. He is “Giving Back” with a smile and a “Thanks.” …………. That is what you can call a

         Merry Christmas!
From the JSS Group and their donors and supporters.       

  

Homeless Issues   #152  

After doing this for 11 years, JSS is still doing this. Bullied, Burdened, Abused, Harassed, Loved, Looked up to, Assisted, Hugged, Admired, Remembered, Forgotten, and about everything else, JSS goes where the homeless congregate to give freely the necessities of living “on the streets.” Here we are again partnered with the El Dorado Sherriff H.O.T. and the other County service Depts.
   
                ……………………………………………………

The Nomadic Shelter has started up again for this 2019-2020 winter season again. This year the shelter covers just 5 nights a week. We have only 5 host churches in all of El Dorado County who are willing to allow homeless persons into their building to be protected, warm, and dry. ONLY 5 !

We GREATLY ADMIRE THOSE VOLLUNTEERS WHO GIVE OF THEIR TIME ENERGY AND MOSTLY, LOVE, to their fellow humans who “have the very least,” are mentally challenged, or are addicted.

JSS is giving a tent and a sleeping bag to each of those who sign-in with the Nomadic Shelter who do not have a tent/bag so they can have some warmth and protection on the nights that the shelter is not open. This is a very costly burden on JSS. But someone must step up and do it. JSS spends about $45.00 on each tent/bag distribution, and with 170 signed into the Nomadic Shelter last year, that is $7,650.00 JSS has to plan for. (And we ain’t got it) Or do we need to spend our resources on women’s under ware (3 sizes), men’s under ware (2 sizes), women’s sanitary pads (3 kinds/sizes), rolls of toilet paper, socks, razors, tooth brushes, tooth paste, and assorted lotions and bulbms? Thank God for the clothing we give out that we receive from donations from organizations like the LDS, thrift shops, and other faith organizations and one Family Grant that has been faithful to JSS. All to keep JSS functioning. 
         ……………………………………………………….
  

Deserted Juvenile Hall being turned over for use as a homeless shelter and or anything involving the homeless is not at all going to happen. There is an active courtroom in that building.  No way the homeless are to be around the courtroom. That dream is dead!

“14 Forward,” is housing the homeless in Tuff sheds on County property. I asked each County Supervisor “How likely would the County give property for such a community.” How likely would the County change the codes to allow a person to live/sleep in a Tuff Shed.” etc. 3 supervisors acknowledged that they received the request, and two did not.  Never got a reply as to how likely the Supervisors would approve any such homeless community. That dream is dead!

And can you believe that the “California State Association of Counties” is giving El Dorado County an award for their contributions/care of our homeless population. 
      

While at the H.O.T outing, the Placerville City Police Commander came over to me and we had a very friendly conversation. He wants to be helpful, he asked advice, and I was very comfortable with him. A huge change from past Placerville Police policy. Thank you, Commander Wren.
          

Our Homeless Vets

We salute

All Veterans

We pay special attention to those Vets
who find themselves on the streets, cold, hungry, suffering from mental challenges and addictions. God bless you all.
And God Bless America.