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!

Homeless Issues #118

Nomadic Shelter is now underway for the winter months.

The Shelter has just completed our first week of operation. However, only 5 nights are covered.
Adjusting, tweaking, major and minor changes all take place during the first two weeks of operation. Confusion galore and What Now?? Prevail.
A very big smile needs to be persistent.

Thank you, each and everyone who volunteers at their church and those who travel between churches volunteering. You are truly a blessing.

JSS needs to clothe these persons who we host at our churches. Wet weather will now prevail, and the 100’s of ponchos, dry socks, toilet paper and other necessities have to be gathered or purchased. And needed: Warm clothing such as “Hoodies,” Jackets, Sweat Shirts, in Larg, X-Larg, XX-Larg. The homeless “layer” their clothing. Jeans or “work pants” only, in sizes 32”, 34”, 36”. Most of the homeless population do not wear shirts with collars.

JSS picks up donations on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays in the Cameron Park/El Dorado Hills area and at Foothills UMC at Cameron Park/Rescue. (Do not drop off clothing at Foothill UMC on Mondays.) Placerville area can be picked up almost any time. Contact  Ron@JobsShelters.Org for a pick-up.

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, 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!

A big THANK YOU to the TahoeWarmRoom for helping me get this out to you. This issue would not be going out without their help.

Homeless Issue #117

“Cold Springs Community Church opened their doors to the homeless on Wednesday night, and will open them every Wednesday night in the foreseeable future. Everything went well; everything fell into place; volunteers where there from 6 different organizations, and complete organization prevailed. Praise the Lord!!!!!!”
Foothills United Methodist Church opened the following Saturday and Monday nights.


This is our 7th season of the Nomadic Shelter.

We need your help in providing shelter for the citizens of El Dorado County and our Biblical brothers and sisters. Most importantly we need two host locations to hold the shelter all 7 nights of the week. Other do what they can do to help. You can volunteer at  host churches. Casey and Light of the Hills Lutheran Church in Cameron Park was a great help in collecting pillow cases to store the blankets used by the guests at the Nomadic Shelter. Pioneer Bible Church out in Somerset, collected blankets, thanks to their “Angels.”


Who will be hosting this season:

Sunday night: Cold Springs Community Church
David Sarmago 530-701-2445
Monday night: Foothills United Methodist Church
Dan Clark 530-677-6748
 Tuesday night: No Church is hosting that night
 Wednesday night: No Church is hosting that night
Thursday night: Solid Rock Foundation Center
Stacy Eggert 530-363-0958
Becky King 530-919-4737
Friday Night: Green valley Community Church
Janis Carney 530-409-6748
Bruce Lacher 530-622-3231
Saturday Night: Federated Church
Schelly Cartee 530-306-8073
Don Vanderkar:
President  Community Haven/Nomadic Shelter. (530)622-1092
Supportive Faith Communities
St. Patrick’s Catholic Parish
Paul Kodelja 530-363-6524
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Pat Maher 530-306-6515
Freedom Church
Beth Sokol 530-306-2370
Bayside Church
Dana LaForce 530-624-2154

We need your help for only 2-4-or 6 hours a night one or two nights a week.
There is no empty building in El Dorado County that can be used for just two nights a week???

No owner will rent to us?????
To shelter our citizens who have the very least.
Not just one????

Homeless Issue #116

Homeless Issue #116                        10/10/17

Lives Passed

After all the times I looked away
as my dog led me through the homeless woods
and a woman stooped at a camp-stove
looked up and waved at me,
and smiled –

after all the times I looked away
and felt lucky but guilty because I had a home,
and sad but powerless when the powers-
that-be said they couldn’t camp there
and drove them away –

In this reincarnation, I come in thrift-store hand-
me-downs, still escorted by my dog
who goes up to each person she’s known
in passing, tail wagging, and
she licks each hand

as if she knows them all by name
and scent, the people who lived in natural places
without title or key but simply
lived, and waved at strangers and their
dogs, and smiled.

Changing Places

I hear Django in my head –
his hot-jazz singing strings, surname
of the fox – as we approach
what used to be the homeless camp,
a troupe like traveling actors
with shopping carts in place of caravan,
rehearsing ageless truths.
Shakespeare as their last venue.
The words forgotten, taken to heart.
Reinhardt playing in my head.
At the edge of oakwoods, the homeless
would smile at me and my dog
as we passed through,
before the city bulldozed them away.
Have you listened
to two-finger gypsy guitar
when it sounds like
Miranda about to meet her new
world? Wanderers
and hobos, wayfarers, romani,
where is our home?
I’ve lived in one place too long.
God bless you and Job’s Shelters
for all you do for the homeless.

Taylor Graham
El Dorado County Poet Laureate, 2016-18

Homeless Support Dinner


The dinner is on Oct 28.         5:00- 9:00 PM

Menu is Baked Penne Pasta, Garlic Bread, Salad & Dessert, coffee & tea. Soda, beer & wine available for purchase.

Tickets are $20 and includes,
in addition to the dinner,
a performance by a very talented & funny christian comedian.

There will be items for raffle with tickets at
$2 ea or 3 for $5.

Raffle tickets for the quilt, made by our homeless poulation, are the same price.

St. Patrick Catholic Church
3109 Sacramento St.

Homeless Issue #115

(“United Outreach” with the Adventist church in Comino, had a program for sheltering the homeless in the winter of 2006 before JSS was evolved and the Nomadic Shelter began.)



It all started with a meeting
called by JSS.:


Nomadic Shelter Program.

Homeless Issues #5                07/11/2009

We had a very good meeting as far as a “First Meeting” goes on Thursday the 9th. 180 invitations were sent out. We had 28 people attending. These included the major contributors to healing the homeless problems in our communities. Much lacking was the El Dorado County representatives, none that I could see or who made themselves known. Is this the view the County Government shows towards Homeless issues?
Solid Rock Faith; Light of the Hills; Green Valley Community; Foothills UMC; Only Kindness; First Lutheran;  Affordable Housing Coalition; Hands for Hope; as well as “unassociated persons”

all joined in the meeting receiving and giving information that we all could use to make things a little better for our homeless citizens, sisters, and brothers. 

Homeless Issue #9         10/17/09

“We cannot fault United Outreach. They had one plan. We however are inclusive of all citizens.
However we cannot dilute our efforts in providing 40 meals a day to four locations, providing tents, sleeping bags, blankets, warm clothes, and the many things we do daily for the homeless population in ED County. To be asked by United Outreach to build, renovate, supply, Perks Court, at the expense of our providing what we can to the homeless population during the winter months, while not allowing the homeless population to take advantage of any services at Perks Court, rubs us all wrong. Considering that we have asked twice to be allowed to use the mats that UO has in storage for a homeless shelter in local churches. And then for UO to allow us to hook up the shower/laundry unit on local churches property. Both requests were ignored by UO.
We are on our own, again.”

Homeless Issue #13      01/23/10

“Cold Springs Community Church opened their doors to the homeless on Wednesday night, and will open them every Wednesday night in the foreseeable future. Everything went well; everything fell into place; volunteers where there from 6 different organizations, and complete organization prevailed. Praise the Lord!!!!!!”
Foothills UMC followed with Saturday night and Monday night.
The next winter other faith groups came around.

Homeless Issue #27    11/26/10

First full week of providing shelter.

Cold Springs CC; Foothills UMC; Green Valley CC and Kokopelli Ranch were the host locations. Host Coordinators Frank/ Mike/ Janis/ Michael /Rene & Ron.”
“The host churches/organizations involved are numerous. ALL are working together to bring this Blessed occurrence to our friends/citizens/brothers & sisters who have the least.

This is all recorded in the book:

Homeless in the Gold Country
By Ron Sachs
Available from Amazon

Special Concert

Special Concert

 The international

“Pato Banton and the New Generation”  Reggae band

And the “The Random Strangers” band

Will be in concert.

Food, two bands, speakers

regarding Homelessness, Disabilities, Veteran affairs’

Book signing by 2 authors regarding Homelessness in El Dorado County, and other tables of information.
Sept. 22nd  4:00PM until 9:00PM

Tickets are $30.00 each

Benefiting 501 (C3) Non-Profit charities.

At the Shingle Springs Community Center on Old Shinglesprings Road (RT. 50 to Ponderosa and then head south about ½ mile on your right.)