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.)

Homeless Issues #114

Homeless Special #114       08/23/17

JSS, in partnership with Hangtown Haven/Community Haven and another Non-Profit, working and advocating for the homeless, maintains a house for up to 5 women in need of sheltering. Due to a dispute/disagreement with one resident in the house we rent, all other residents have moved out. That leaves us with just one difficult person in the house paying only one-fourth of the monthly rent. Until we can legally remove her, our partnership needs to pay the full rent of the house.  We need financial help fast to pay the rent and maintain the house for future use by 4-5 women who are in need of shelter.
We need $4,000.00,
fast or any part thereof fast if we want to retain the house.

Please help us with a financial donation to that house. The way to do it.

Make checks out to:

JSS, P.O. Box 1839, Shingle Spring, CA. 95682-9998

HTH, P.O. Box 89, Placerville, CA. 95667

On the “Memo” line, Write “Justine House”

With the advice of our attorney, we have to come up with the $4,000.00 very soon.

God bless you with many thanks from the homeless women who will occupy the house and leave the streets.

Homeless Issue #113

Continuum of Care (CoC)

Continuum of Care (CoC) within the County is designed to promote, community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness.  CoC’s provide Federal funding through HUD for efforts by nonprofit providers to re-house homeless individuals and families; promote access to and effect utilization of mainstream resources; and optimize self sufficiency among individuals and families receiving services. 
This link below will take you to the Continuum of Care General Page on HUD’s website. You are also welcome to Google “CoC requirements” or search the web, to learn more. 

Over the last 35 years, federal, state, and community responses to homelessness have changed significantly due to improved studies, better data, and a more accurate understanding of practices that demonstrate high successes. These programs are central to HUD Continuum of Care (CoC). Research suggests that CoCs are not only the most effective in ending homelessness for individuals, they are also the most cost effective. 

El Dorado Opportunity Knocks CoC (EDOK) is working to improve our system response by establishing a Coordinated Entry System. Coordinated Entry ensures easier access to available programs, a standardized assessment to consistently serve individuals, better matching to the most appropriate intervention, and stronger local data to establish a shared vision and understanding for on-going planning. By EDOK ensuring that it fulfills all HUD CoC requirements, launching an effective Coordinated Entry System, and  having improved local data and processes, the CoC can establish a more strategic planning approach and response to the region’s homelessness.  

Daniel Del Monte
Deputy Director of the Community Services Division in the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).



  • Ron’s comments

Does the above include our single, homeless, non-addicted population???? There are questions on who does the CoC benefit. Many of our homeless providers do not receive federal funding, or County financial help for that matter. For the very first time, El Dorado County government contributed $10,500.00 to the Nomadic Shelter to shelter the county citizens who are homeless in the winter. That is a start.



What can be done on the West slope of
El Dorado County?

To Wit:

“Tahoe Youth and Family Services.” Provides “Drop In/Resource Centers.” Yes, places for the homeless were they can do/have the bare essentials of human life. A place to go to the bathroom; A place to get a shower; do laundry; obtain hygiene products. “Only Kindness,” a non-profit in Placerville, is open two days a week 11:00 AM to 3:00PM, and for “information Only.” And, thankfully Christ Like Services is open 5 days a week. Placerville, Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills on the west slope have nothing of the sort for the single, homeless individuals who roam our streets. El Dorado County has about 120 homeless persons, from the 600 in the county who are presently not alcoholics, drug addicts, or mentally challenged and are liveing “on the street”  trying to exist humanely.

“Tahoe Youth and Family Services.” They have 52 organizations, banks, state, private, and foundations as well as city government, contributing to their efforts. God bless those who care. Who/What are the 52, or even 25 on the west slope contributing?


Seven nights of cold wet weather lay ahead for the winter months. Four churches have committed to housing one night a week to our homeless population. Does your church or organization, or anyone, including city or county empty buildings, have an empty room we could use for just one night a week for the Nomadic Shelter? Just one night a week!


Casualties of the “Wonderful” Newspaper articles on homelessness.
Our homeless who were set up in the “Manzanita” bush and out of site places, were exposed to property owners by the articles, who then went out and issued the ultimatum, “Leave by next Thursday or get arrested.”

The Sheriff Dept. has been very understanding and helpful to those who have the very least. They are now forced to execute the law and arrest persons who have no money, can’t post bail, and end up in our county facility. Those persons would then be receiving, housing, food, and prayerfully medical and sobering attention. I ask, why not put those persons, who want to go, into a county facility that is more inviting, rewarding, educational, and staffed by volunteers who have the heart to help, encourage, and advocate for a better life than one on the street or in the bushes. Paid “overseers” just don’t have the heart in most cases to take time to understand, then help persons with their problems..

Yes, Ron is dreaming.

Happy Birthday Ron. I’m 83 years old today.
BTW we need X-Large & XX-Large “T” Shirts. We  are out. And have been out. So everyone is in need of a change. We do have plenty of deodorant 😉

Homeless Issue Special

     In response to recent newspaper reports.

Background Info.
We have about 600 persons homeless in ED County. It is stated in the newspaper that most of the homeless are addicts or alcoholics. The mentally challenged where not mentioned in the newspaper, but are counted within this group. At 50% that leaves 300 not addicted or mentally- challenged. If we go to 80% addicted/challenged, that still leaves about 480 addicted or mentally challenged. Or, 120 not addicted or challenged. Are those 120 getting help? Are those 480 getting help? We at the Nomadic Shelter/Community Haven, Only Kindness, Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS), Christ Like Services, Churches, and other organizations are attempting to shoulder the burden of these people.

Those 600 persons were interviewed by persons working with El Dorado County in their efforts to find the answers to the many questions regarding HOMELESS in El Dorado County. They found that most really are “in-county” persons.  “Our ball park would be 90% are EDC residents.
Some more stats:
60% men, 40% women, 10% of those adults have children with them.
If I might add: What percentage of alcoholic/drug addicted persons in ED County are in housing of their own, parents home, or friends homes?
The newspaper

In an otherwise good article about homelessness in our community, the paper made some glaring errors in their description of Hangtown Haven, the homeless community on upper Broadway. As my friend stated:
The paper said that residents of the Haven “defecated” on private property. But before that you say that we had Porto-Potties at the camp. So, why would anyone “defecate” on private property when they had a clean Porto-Potty at their camp? “Hey guys, I have to go to the bathroom so I am going to find someone’s private property.” Be real.
Residents were trashing private yards you say. But Hangtown Haven had a large trash container on site and everyone who visited the camp commented on how clean and well kept it was. Are you saying that residents traveled to neighboring communities when they had a trash container, emptied every week, on site? “Hey guys, my waste basket is full, let’s find a private yard to dump it.” Ridiculous!
The papers remarks about the police are completely false. The police chief at the time, Chief Nielson, told us, and, I believe, the city, that the day that Hangtown Haven opened up the crime rate in the Upper Broadway area dropped significantly. I am not criticizing the replacement chief, but what he doesn’t say is that the prisons in our state opened up their doors at about the same time that the Haven opened and thousands of criminals returned to El Dorado County. The increase in crime rate he saw had nothing to do with opening of Hangtown Haven.
So in all of the previous cases did homeless people go around committing these offenses with signs hung around their necks, ”I live at Hangtown Haven?”  
I am glad that the newspaper brought up this issue and covered it quite well. Now let the “Faith Community” step up with “Do unto others ….”; “We are our brothers keepers”; “What you do to the least, you do to ME”; There is a whole book on this subject of caring and doing for those who have the very least. Some in the faith community even read it. Where are the others? The Nomadic Shelter needs more help for the upcoming winter season from the faith community.
The newspaper also mentioned a collaboration between, Placerville police and City of Placerville, ED County Sheriff  Dept. and Supervisor Brian Veerkamp forming “Opportunity Knocks.” When I (Ron Sachs) went out on Wednesday to distribute the “necessities” to the homeless group “camped” out, the people were gone and so were some of their tents. They had been moved by the Sheriff Dept. I was told.  Under what conditions? Where to? The homeless service providers mentioned in the newspaper article did not know when I inquired. Is the County “Opportunity Knocks” providing the tents and sleeping bags from now on that JSS has provided? The batteries that the homeless person need? Socks to protect the feet? Tooth brushes and paste? Toilet paper? Sanitary napkins? A clean shirt? Replace those worn and dirty jeans? Sanitary wipes? and sometimes, shoes? In my humble opinion, “GREAT! The County is now taking the care of their citizens who have the very least. OR, as I was just informed, just “kicking them out of where they now are?”
Keep in touch as this unfolds.

BTW: The Placerville News Co., after saying twice, yes, to carrying the book,  “Homeless in the Gold Country,” now says they will not carry that book.
Ron Sachs