Homeless Issues #102

Nomadic Shelter starting up.

Last season’s numbers for the Nomadic Shelter:

  • 193 different persons stayed for at least one shelter night last year after signing the “Guidelines.”. (A set of rules, obligations, understandings, that a guest agrees to.)
  • The Shelter hosted approximately 150 shelter nights including food.
  • The average attendance each night was 35.
  • Highest number of guests for one night was 84, plus we had a few nights in the 50-59 rang.

 
There is some talk, not yet verified, that the El Dorado Board of Supervisors might contribute money, reportedly around $15,000.00 to the Nomadic Shelter program on the west slope and the Warm Room program on the east slope. This money will help pay for the operation of sheltering the citizens of El Dorado county that have no place to sleep except on the streets and in the bushes. After all these years, I want to thank the BOS if they come through with the financial help.

The “Homeless Issues” newsletter has been very critical of the County Board of Supervisors as well as the Placerville City government for their disregard for their citizens who have the very least. If the $15,000.00 is granted, I will send out to our 500 subscribers, any statement that the BOS wishes to make on this subject. And I will thank them whole hardily.

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Light Of The Hills Lutheran Church in Cameron Park has really stepped up with a donation challenge to collect 200 pairs of Jeans during the month of November for distribution by JSS to our homeless population. Cotton sport socks are also included in their drive as well as Hoodies, the homeless persons “Mink Wrap.”

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Regarding the Nomadic Shelters:
We still need a Tuesday night host location. The Shelter Board will supply the volunteer help if needed to manage the Tuesday shelter night.
Each host church can use additional volunteer help. If you can help out, contact Schelly Cartee … NomadicShelter@Yahoo.Comor your church for one or two nights of providing the food or general helping at a shelter host church.

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JSS wants to thank the very benevolent donor who came to our financial rescue. JSS can now continue doing what it does. God bless you both.

                We can all do this together!

Donate clothing and/or money to JSS to be distributed to our homeless population. Contact me, Ron Sachs, at ….JobsShelterOrg@Gmail.com …… I’ll come pick what you have to offer up.

Homeless Issues #101

Winter is just around the corner. It is getting cold at night, we pray for rain, and we get it. While this usually comes  around the first of November, we have it now. I’m warm and dry and yes have food in my belly. Who cares? “Who cares,” is what some people in our county will say. “Who cares? “
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In the winter of 2010, Foothills United Methodist Church, JSS and Cold Springs CC opened their doors three nights of the week to the homeless population of El Dorado County. The next year we were open four nights. Two nights at each location. From then on other churches joined in, and, until last year, we were open every night from November until April 1. This year we have Tuesday nights with no place for our homeless population to rest their heads.
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On the West slope of El Dorado County there is no help from the county or the city. While on the East slope of El Dorado County in South Lake Tahoe, a benevolent Supervisor, a benevolent city council, police and citizen volunteers open their “Warming Room” each winter providing a bed, counseling, and referrals to homeless services for the homeless citizens. On the West slope …. Nothing like that. Again … “WHO CARES?”
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On opening night of the Nomadic Shelter, November 1st, there will be no “opening” as it occurs on a Tuesday night, and the shelter does not have a host for Tuesday nights. So the first night of the Nomadic Shelter will be on Wednesday night, November 2nd..
Host Churches and their nights hosting the Nomadic Shelter.
       Monday nights at Foothill UMC in Cameron Park
              3301 Green Valley Rd. Cameron Park/Rescue
Tuesday nights there is no host church.
Wednesday nights at
Cold Springs CC.
2600 Cold Springs Rd. Placerville
Thursday nights at Solid Rock Foundation.
6205 Enterprise Dr. Diamond Springs
Friday nights at Green Valley CC.
3500 Missouri Flat Rd. Placerville
Saturday Night at Federated Church.
1031 Thompson Way, Placerville
Sunday night at Cold Springs CC.
2600 Cold Springs Rd., Placerville

People ask me why aren’t there more churches wanting to help., As the Bible says,  “what you do to the least of these our brothers and sisters you do to Me.” And Isaiah said: “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-when you see the naked, to cloth them –“ ???

The response when I ask “Will your church take Tuesday nights?” is often “ Oh no, our church can’t do that.”
The Nomadic shelter does get volunteers from other churches that just don’t have the facilities to be a host church. Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Bay Side CC, and Rolling Hill CC come to mind. Their volunteers are a very big help to the host churches.
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We at Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS) have to confess that we are very near the RED LINE financially.
$5,000.00 per year for tents and sleeping bags.

30 rolls of toilet paper each week.     .45X30=$13.50 per week
30 pr of cotton socks each week.      .85X30=$25.50 per week
30 units of deodorants each week.    .64X30=$19.20 per week
$58.20 each and every week. X 4.3=$250.26 each and every month.
These are the necessities that must be purchased as they cannot be reused or recycled. JSS tried to recycle the socks. “Give us what you have on and we will give you a new pair.” What we received was un-washable or socks so filthy we would not put them in our washers.
These are the expenses that we find we cannot cover anymore due to great dwindling of the financial donations to JSS.

Churches and individuals continue to donate clothing which in itself is a God send. However there are the necessities that have to be purchased. Please help us out.

JSS is a 501 C 3 non-profit. You will receive a receipt for your donations.
Send checks to: JSS
P.O. Box 1839
Shingle Springs, Ca. 95682


Or you may donate through Pay Pal at the bottom of this issue. Or some creative person can create a fund raiser for JSS. 😉
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Homeless Issue #100

Yep, About 100 months ago we started “Homeless Issues.” We missed some times and added specials at other times.
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“Man is not the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” …… Mr. Marquez of Lakota and white Mountain Apache heritage.
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An Excerpt from the book “The Journey To Hangtown Haven” by Art Edwards.
Reflections Beside The Campfire
A glimpse into the heart and soul of Hangtown Haven

 

By Rebecca Nylander (Now Green)


I sit looking around the campfire that I share with my community who are my family. I am reminded of the many amazing stories of which I have been a part. I live in a family of nearly 40 brothers and sisters. Many other members of my family have come, shared moments of life and moved on. Some of us have lived together for most of a year. The warmth of the fire reminds me of the warmth of family members resulting from the struggles we have shared. Our family has experienced triumphs and defeats. But mostly I am reminded of the hope that a simple community can create and the support that is offered and the grace received. Love wells up and endures in a population that many outsiders wish would simply disappear. Let me share a little perspective about myself and some of the stories of my family members.

I came here after the tragic loss of my mother and my home. I was a lost soul deep in grief with nowhere to turn. What I found here at Hangtown Haven was a family, a faith and a home. Feeling safe with people who cared about me. I could finally get my feet under me. I developed a passion for what Hangtown Haven does and discovered that by caring for others, I could help heal myself. On top of the safety and security here, there is a purpose and a reward greater than I could imagine. I became a member of the Community Council that leads the Haven.

M is a gentle spirit who is plagued with such severe arthritis some days he can barely move. One Saturday we happened to receive an abundance of donations (an extremely rare occurrence due to two local weddings), which were brought to the cam by people in the community. M pulled me aside and mentioned a family living just u the street with two teenage boys. He said they were having a very hard time financially and had no food. M went to talk with this family and about and hour later the father arrived. We were able to fill his car and trunk with food. The man went away in tears and all he said was: “Imagine this help from a homeless camp.” I later found out that M had used his social security money to pay that family’s back rent so they didn’t lose their home.

R is a jolly soul who served our country in the Air Force in Viet Nam. He struggles with alcoholism but has done better in controlling his addiction at the Haven than he ever was able to do surviving on his own. In the past year he has had two open-heart surgeries. The most recent surgery occurred about three months ago and resulted in a stint being placed in his heart. When the doctors opened his chest, they found that R had 99% blockage of blood flow. As a family we watched and held our breath waiting for him to return to us; fortunately he did. R always has a witty comment or a somewhat off color joke to offer. But, when appropriate, he’s also the first one to say, “Cut the unnecessary hype you guys and be serious.”

C is a young man who came to us fresh out of jail. He had been a frequent guest there and was cocky and full of himself. We worried about him, but after he was with us for awhile he started to learn what the Haven was about. Consequently, he began to step outside of himself and to take great pride in having a neat, well-kept living area. During the summer he even signed up for college. He is an amazing example of determination who has also turned out to be quite a gentleman. He always walks one of the ladies to the store or the bus stop to make sure she gets there safely. He has become more humble and always has a smile for everyone.

E is an older gentleman who has experienced more tragedy in his life than anyone should have to endure. He lost his wife and child to a drunk driver some years ago. This was followed by four other tragic losses.

We often hear G screaming with the night terrors from which he still suffers. G once made a living as a taxi driver, however due to the effects of diabetes he is now unable to drive or see well enough to do his own shopping. He is basically unable to leave camp without escort.

JW is Bi-polar Schizoid-affective. She requires a constant source of outside stability. She also must be watched constantly as her mood can swing drastically from giddiness to sobbing to aggressive behavior. She has found a great deal of support at Hangtown Haven and always finds a person willing to listen to her or just hold her if she is upset. There seems to be no shortage of comedians when a silly distraction is needed. She’s our Pillsbury dough baby, as a gentle poke to her belly will result in giggling.

T is one of our strongest individuals both physically and mentally. He was released from prison after serving fourteen years for a commercial burglary during the “three strikes” days that applied to all crimes. He came away from that experience as one of the most grateful and thankful men I have ever known.  He volunteers his time and is always willing to lend a hand. If there is work to be done that is where you will find him. T also reminds me that the fastest way for me to have a good day is to start it by putting a smile on my face. About a month ago T suffered a stroke while working for a man that pays fifty dollars a day for 10 hours of hard labor, a bit below minimum wage. T will take work when he can find it.

S is a nineteen-year -old woman with a severe learning disability who grew up with a mother who suffered from addiction issues and had a severe learning disability. In spite of this she earned her certificate of completion from El Dorado High School. She has chosen to continue her education by enrolling in adult education classes. She loves working with the elderly and has been seeking employment in that field.

JA came to Hangtown Haven after spending three years in prison for an alcohol related offense. If you had asked him four years ago, he would have told you that he planned to die an alcoholic. Now he is a member of the leadership council of HTH. He is deeply involved in service at Green Valley Community Church and has never missed a service. He is a strong advocate for a clean and sober lifestyle and offers compassion when needed and tough love when necessary. He was baptized on August 25th with the other members of the Community Council at Hangtown Haven.

H was a hopeless drunk who suffered from a mental health issue stemming from physical abuse suffered as a child. As I write this, he now has been sober for over 100 days and spends a lot of time helping a friend on his farm. His mental health issues have stabilized and he is now calm and always quick to tease and poke fun, reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously. He is also quick to offer a reminder that this is our home and we must treat it as such.

L came stumbling into the Haven after being viciously raped and beaten in a nearby illegal camp. She was nearly out of her mind, bewildered, fragile and lost. I will never forget the look on her face when she asked us: “Do you want me?” That is a question no human being should ever have to ask. She is newly, but firmly, committed to her sobriety. In spite of her incredible inhumane experience, she reaches out to every lost soul she can find always with an offering of love and hope. She usually approaches life at top speed and always has a vibrant smile. L cannot go back out into the hills vulnerable and alone. L was baptized on August 25th with others from Hangtown Haven.

K has been and will always be remembered as a part of the heart and soul of HTH. He and his dear friend both came to each other and to the Haven by grace and determination. K who came to Placerville in search of his sister ended up finding a much larger family. He has offered wisdom, support and leadership to HTH since its inception. K is a staunch protector of our family. He is also the first to remind us that we have rules and standards and that they must be adhered to. He was baptized on August 25th with the rest of the Community Council for the Hangtown Haven. He is now the leader of our council and loves working with Art.

LR is currently in recovery. He came from a tough background. He has had very little support in his young life and left his family to find his own way. Like many of our residents, he came to us with very little connection to the world around him. He found our family, and became connected to human beings again and to the outside world. He is a gentle giant and I often marvel at the sight of his large framed man embracing a smaller frame of someone in need of comfort and love. He has worked in the field of care giving and was devastated when a client and good friend passed away.

F possesses a brilliant mind and is a member of the Community Council. He regularly attends Green Valley   Church   and   typically   walks   out   of   church every Sunday with a word or phrase of deep meaning for the week. He is the conscience for the Community Council and keeps us focused on our mission and role. He pours his heart and soul into Hangtown Haven and seeks ways to inform the outside world of who we are and what we represent. As our website designer, he asks all interested parties to visit www.hangtownhaven.org.

CD is a young man who suffers from severe learning disabilities and mental health issues. His father committed suicide when he was young and his mother turned to drugs and alcohol. He is another kind soul who, when he came to live with us, illustrated what hopelessness can look like. He is now functioning well in the aura of acceptance he has found at the Haven. He has even begun to thrive. He is now in school seeking to obtain his GED.

B is an alcoholic who is in recovery. He was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. When he first arrived, the camp was a bit unsure about this young man. He has turned out to be a great cook, a great friend and great communicator. He relies on our support and friendship to alleviate his fears. He has truly made himself a part of our family. He was baptized on August 25th with others from our camp.

DM is a great kid. Due to an unfortunate accident when he was 17, he has no short­ term memory. We often tease him that having him in camp is like the movie 50 First Dates. He is sweet and friendly. If you ask him when he was born, and he remembers that he has an ID he will pull it out and check. He doesn’t leave camp without a buddy at his side because he gets lost easily. He is always willing to accompany one of the women on a day of errands so that she isn’t alone.

JD is a paranoid schizophrenic who also suffers from severe sciatic pain. There are days that she is totally unable to walk. She relies on us, her family, to check on her and give her food. She also needs to be watched to make sure she doesn’t become confused. When she is confused, there must be people around to keep her safe.

DA struggles with depression and addiction.  He has found a family who does not judge and has been with him to help stabilize his me3ntal health and aid in keeping him clean and sober. He is helpful around camp and is often quick to offer a grin or a poke in the side.
C judge  and has been with him to help stabilize his mental health and aid   in keeping him                                                                                                                                                   a clean and sober. He is helpful around    camp and is often quick to offer a grin orf
SR is also Bi-Polar Schizoid-affective.  She came to us essentially as a zombie. She had   been   over-medicated   and   actually   overdosed   on her   medication   due  to an erroneously worded prescription. We ended up calling an ambulance for her, and she hospitalized for two weeks. She is back now and very fearful about her future. She baptized in August 25th with others from Hangtown Haven.

D is diagnosed as Bi-Polar. She is separated from her family right now while she works on her mental health. She is always quick to play a game of dice with anyone who needs company or a distraction . She has an infectious smile and is always a voice or those who are in need.

CH is a mother struggling to start over. She is clean and sober but has been the victim of domestic violence. She helps prepares meal regularly and does shopping for ose who can’t go themselves. She has immersed herself in volunteering at Green alley Church and has participated in several of the Life skills classes offered there.

JC is approaching 180 days clean and sober. If you had asked anyone in Placerville 190 days ago to list the town drunks this gentleman’s name would have been high on the list. Now he is a volunteer at the Community Resource Center. He is our camp clown, always laughing and making those around him laugh. He is kind as well as funny.

SM suffers from major depression. She came to us after being in a transition-house for about six months. If you ask her now, however, she will tell you that she is happier than she ever has been. She will also tell you that we live in a place of miracles, a place where there is a home without walls, a family without strife and hope without bounds. She smiles more than she frowns, laughs more than she cries and gives more than she takes.

P was a local business owner for 19 years. She struggles with PTSD and severe allergies that make being inside difficult and uncomfortable. She has a quiet dignity that makes those around want to sit up a little straighter.

I look around and I think of those who have come and gone. I think of the miracle that is Hangtown Haven and the miracles that have occurred here. I pray that miracles can continue to abound in Hangtown Haven, but now we must discuss the reality.

Why have we been told that by November 15 we must shut down the camp and leave this spot we call our Haven? I wonder what the people in power expect to happen. It should be obvious that if our home is taken away, the problem of homelessness is increased, not abated. The decision-makers are taking a solution and turning it back into a problem. The courageous men and women who have fought to come this far deserve better than to be cast aside and forgotten. They have fought incredibly hard and appreciate every ounce of support they have received along the way. We pray that everyone who has supported us or wants to stand with us will join together and help find an answer. Four weeks is a short time for a miracle to occur that will keep our home alive and our family together.

There is no logical reason that we can identify that would justify closing Hangtown Haven. Is the reason that we have become successful, that we have taken derelicts off the street and brought many back from addiction? But that doesn’t make sense. If we had failed or made the homeless situation worse, closing our camp could be justified. There is a lot in life that I still don’t understand.

If I, Ron Sachs may put in my 2 cents worth.
I have surmised that the opposition to Hangtown Haven existence is from a group of persons who need to feel that they are better than others, and a community of investors who felt that their wallets were in jeopardy. All this at the expense of the “least of these our brothers and sisters.”
Bless us all.

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VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!
All Nomadic Shelter volunteers and prayfully new volunteers, be aware and attend the Nomadic Shelter Work shop and introduction class being held Sept. 29th at 6:00 PM, at Federated Church. Contact Schelly Cartee …NomadicShelter@Yahoo.com..

Homeless Issue #99

The first meeting making plans for the next winter Nomadic Shelter has taken place. We have a lot to do and need volunteers to assist us in caring for and implementing a successful winter shelter program. There is a church near you that can use your help.

  • Sunday night at Cold Springs CC
  • Monday night at Foothills UMC
  • Tuesday night is open. We need a building!
  • Wednesday night at Cold Springs CC if we can’t find another location.
  • Thursday night at Solid Rock Foundation..
  • Friday night at Green Valley CC.
  • Saturday night at Federated Church.

Contact one!
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Our last “Issue #98,” Over 700 persons opened that issue. We sent out only 500. All the rest were from many persons who forwarded that issue to those who had shown some interest in issues covering the homeless population in El Dorado county. That was amazing! The book, “The Journey To Hangtown Haven,” has gone into multi printings to keep up with the demand. This book is about El Dorado County and how it handles its homeless population. Get a copy through Amazon or Barns and Noble. It does not pull any punches. Actions, or lack thereof, by County as well as the city of Placerville, are recorded.
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JSS, Job’s Shelters of the Sierra, is in very much in need of financial support. None of the JSS volunteers receive any compensation for the work they do. It is all from the heart. They need to keep their vans stocked and on the road. They also need to purchase supplies and maintain a storage unit. All of this has drained their bank account. Please, the need is great. They have three vans on the road going to the places where the homeless congregate to distribute clothing, hygiene supplies, information, as well as sleeping bags and tents when needed. Rolling Hills CC, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Foothills UMC, and “re Visions” design center in Cameron Park are the main suppliers of clothing that is given to the homeless population of El Dorado County. Other churches like Light of the Hills Lutheran church and others are periodic contributors. WINTER is when the needs are greatest!
Others have come forward in times of need.
Now JSS needs funds to operate.
JSS is a 501 C 3 non-profit. You will receive a receipt for your donations.

               Send checks to: JSS
P.O. Box 1839
Shingle Springs, Ca. 95682


Or you may donate through Pay Pal at the bottom of this issue. Or some creative person can create a fund raiser for JSS. 😉
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A Census will be taken of all the homeless persons to be found in El Dorado County. This will take place around January 27th. We will need volunteers to attend introduction classes in order to meet the government standards and requirements, and become familiar with the forms to be filled out. Volunteers are also needed on the Census date to canvass the area and interview the individuals to be counted. Please contact Ron at … Ron @ jobsshelters.org … if you can help on this one day of the year please contact Ron..
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Homeless Special Edition #98

There are more of these “Homeless” then what you see.
The following was written by one of our homeless persons who cleaned himself up, enrolled in College and taking English. His first assignment was to write an essay, “Something in my past that changed my life.”

                                                                                                                                          Gauthier 1

Jeremy Gauthier
Debora A. Larry Kearney
ENGWR300
June 16, 2016

“God Commits Suicide”

We are created to love and be loved. It is the most precious thing we can offer of ourselves and the greatest gift we can receive from someone else. It’s the most important thing we want our kids, family and significant other to be certain of. We loved them the best we knew how. This love is mysterious though as one might not recognize it as love when it is offered. As a kid, we loved our toys and “blankie” as we destroyed them and dragged them through the mud. We just move on as we grow older to bigger toys and more complex relationships. We constantly accumulate things, money and people as worthy objects of our affections. We experiment with this love thing and notice there is a give and take. You must love to be loved. I have experienced the worst expressions of love by the people closest to me and given the same in return but in my darkest moment I have found the greatest love of them all. I found a love that would change who I am and how I loved from that point on.
I have experienced a love for money that caused me to see people as either an obstacle that’s in my way or an object to be used to obtain more money. I sold large amounts of whatever drugs were in the highest demand to make the most money possible. I risked my life and the lives of others as I chased the illusion of, a little more will be enough. I was grasping for the wind as I made lots of money but was never satisfied. It is often misquoted that money is the root of all evil when actually it is the love of money that is the root of all evil.
I thought family would always be a soft place of unconditional love to fall back on. I always had this love for my family that brought me security knowing that this love wasn’t based on my performance. I assumed I could be at my worst and they would love me like I was at my best. My dad left when I was young for the freedom to pursue his greatest love, alcohol. My mother was always dropping me off with family, friends or any other place that would rid her of the inconvenience I was. Whenever I think of my mom, I think of the bumper on the car she was driving off in as she sped off with the freedom to pursue her greatest loves, truckers, guys named Mike, bowling alleys, pills and beer. If you ask my mom or dad, they would tell you they loved me. My brother was my hero in a lot of ways. He was older than me and I always looked up to him. Everything he did, I shortly followed. He would eventually trade me in for his addiction in the most heartless act of betrayal I had ever known.
In 2014, I ended up homeless and addicted to drugs. There wasn’t anyone out looking for me or losing sleep over my absence. Nobody was waiting by a phone in case I called. In fact, my mother and brother dropped me off in the woods of Placerville hoping I would not come out alive to tell the story of a family that loved drugs more than each other. I was scared, angry, hurt and alone. Due to the drugs and the damage they had done to my brain, I was irrational and incapable of handling such extreme emotions. I wanted to die. I learned that love mishandled can unravel someone from the inside out, leaving them broken and undone, unwilling to live.
I spent a short time in a mental health ward eating and resting. They dropped me off at a Church where homeless people slept. The next night another church would bus us in, feed us, play a movie and even let us shower. I noticed these churches had people who would volunteer their time and lives serving the most undeserving and unlovely people. How odd, I thought, that someone would waste their life and sacrifice their dignity on me. They would hug me and listen to me when I was dirty and not worth hearing.  I started noticing they even cared about me and it wasn’t for show or a paycheck. It was genuine and like nothing I had ever seen or experienced before.  At my worst and darkest time, I’ve seen love in its brightest setting. I experienced the uplifting and healing effects this love can have on a broken heart and a soul with no hope or will to live. I had to stay close to those who owned this love as it continually strengthened and brought life to me.  I asked them, how they could care about me? Why love me? They explained that their lives are a response to this love of God that was most brightly displayed when people were at their worst. This love of God is Jesus and it is said that He was prepared to die for the most rotten people before the world was ever created.
I learned that love is worth spending your life looking for but only this love makes life worth living. This love expresses itself through sacrifice and service. It conquers evil with good and is strongest when gentle. It brings life to the dead, heals broken hearts, gives hope to those without and is free to share with all. It cost nothing and is worth more then everything. It is awkward in its appearance and doesn’t make much sense when expressed most effectively. The rest of my life will be the response to this love that was waiting for me in the woods of Placerville.
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A New Book
          For several years, people involved in the homeless community in Placerville have been after Art Edwards to write a non-fiction book describing the events and people that led up to the development and operation of Hangtown Haven homeless shelter on Upper Broadway. The book is now complete and is in printing to be available to the public. It is available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon Books through the Internet.
The title of the book is,
“The Journey To Hangtown Haven” and begins with the original shelter at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Camino in 2006 with United Outreach. It details the events with the county that led to the use of Perks Court as a homeless shelter that Art designed and continues through his collaboration with the city of Placerville that resulted in the fifteen month homeless shelter on Upper Broadway.
Scattered throughout the book
are biographies and almost one hundred pictures of volunteers who made the Haven possible and of the homeless residents who made the Haven a roaring success. Events are listed as they happened with no punches pulled as Art knows them although he does not draw conclusions but leaves that to the reader. Most events are part of the written record of both the county Board of Supervisors and the Placerville City Council.
The book is also intended as a guide to help other cities and counties in the state and country build their own homeless shelters. It outlines the legal, financial, design and political hurdles that must be overcome to build a successful shelter within state and local codes and restrictions. It covers the mistakes, and, most importantly, the contributions made by
dedicated community volunteers all done without taxpayer money as described in The Journey To Hangtown Haven. ………………………………………….

Homeless Issue #97

“I want a world that when a chicken crosses the road no one questions its motives, and we all feel safe, secure, understood and loved..”
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Hey all,
I’ve been spending some time in prayer and meditation as of late and one thought keeps reoccurring.  The city that I love, the town I’ve called home, Placerville, is actively waging war on the poor, disadvantaged and homeless in the community.  I know, I know, that sounds dramatic, and over the top hyperbolic.  But it is true.  In just a few months the actions of the Placerville Police Department have managed to diminish, or completely curtail, the efforts of advocates that have ministered to, cared for, fed and clothed the destitute, and needy in El Dorado County for years.
The City of Placerville has, indeed, cleaned up the streets; but at what cost?  At the cost of human dignity?  Justice?  Compassion?  Sadly, it seems that the city I love has chosen the façade of a poverty free aesthetic over people.  A strategically placed police sub-station, constant confrontation and harassment, frequent detainment and, ubiquitous “No Loitering” signs are ostensibly the city’s only solution to poverty and homelessness.
Historically, when injustice (or plain ole lack of compassion if you prefer) rears its ugly head, the church has responded.  My question is, for us, in this point in history, in our little place in the world, is there an appropriate way the church should respond.
I know summer schedules are chaotic but, is there a way in the coming weeks that we representative of the local churches can meet to discuss if or how the church can respond?
Pastor Frank J. Gates
Cold Springs Community Church
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General coverage of that meeting:
As the result of the extended time of little to no concrete actions by the City and County to meet  the needs of homeless people,
citizens born here, this group gathered to brainstorm ideas, discuss the variables affecting the chronic homeless folks in Placerville (and to an extent the wider Western Slope), and form action items.

Variables: 

Homeless Issue #96

What has County, City, and Community of non-profits groups been doing  for our homeless population?
 
It’s no secret that community partners in El Dorado County have struggled with developing a real plan to address the challenges associated with homelessness.  This has resulted in a “crisis management” approach rather than long-term, sustainable solutions…until now.  A few years ago, El Dorado County funded the facilitation of a three-phase process called the Theory of Change to grow a solution from the ground up, and we’ve been hard at work ever since!
 
For the first time ever, people from a broad spectrum were called to the table…non-profits, the faith community, education, law enforcement, elected representatives, Health and Human Services and the CAO’s office… to think critically about what was required to bring about social change, to establish long-term goals and develop the actions and strategies necessary to implement them.  This was a grassroots, organic process that has taken time to evolve.  The result has been the development of OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS whose goals is to “resolve homelessness effectively for El Dorado County Residents and to 1) Transition those who can into self-sufficiency and 2) Manage chronic homeless effectively for their benefit and the community benefit in El Dorado County.

A strategic board will provide oversight and there will be a “single-point of entry” to homeless programs and services.  This is critically important for several reasons.  First, it will ensure that efforts aren’t being duplicated and will foster a collaborative rather than a competitive environment for non-profits and service providers.  Next, by officially forming a charter that has an entry-point system, we will be able to collect the data on who we are serving, making us much more competitive (and successful) in securing Federal and State funds for homeless prevention and assistance.  Best of all, this means our service providers will have a more robust means of financial support, something that has been critically lacking.

So where are we now?  Our strategic board is in place and we are engaged in the selection of an entity who will function as our single point of entry. We have completed an initial RFI (Request for Information) process, concluding in identification of some critical next steps including refining our requirements for an entry point agency, as well as necessary layers of development within the agency. We have included a chart in order for others to visualize our process.
Wendy Thomas for Opportunity Knocks
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Can we get our Organizations out to ALL the people?
I have heard that “We cover the whole County with our services.”
No not true.  You cover only those who know that you are where you are, who have access to transportation to get to where you are, and can read and apprehend the forms you present. These are the people we should get to. I invited all organization to go to the “South County” where many of our “at risk,” homeless, and lowest income persons live.  I was told by one organization that they could only go to places that they are “funded” (paid) to go to.  HMIS information is critical to receiving government funding and gain information on our homeless population.  This is not being done in the “South County.” As far as I know, only “funded” organizations have that ability. JSS is not a “funded” organization. JSS is an all volunteer, non paid, organization.

Veterans of America
and County Health and Human Services
came forward.

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Job’s Shelters of the Sierra,
in partnership with

Pioneer Bible Church
 in the “South County”
is bringing representatives of
 Volunteers of American and the
El Dorado County Health & Human Services
to inform South County
 Veterans and all citizens
 of the services available to them.

This effort is being made to be sure the needs of
Veterans and others in rural areas are not overlooked.

FRIDAY JUNE 24; 10:00-12:00 NOON
6851 MT. AUKUM RD. SOMERSET

Useful Links:
www.JobsShelter.org
voa-ncnn.org/veterans-services
www.edcgov.us/hhsa
www.PioneerBibleChurch.org


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Homeless Flash

Homeless Flash!

Job’s Shelters of the Sierra,
in partnership with

Pioneer Bible Church

 in the “South County”
is bringing representatives of
 Volunteers of American and the
El Dorado County Health & Human Services

to inform South County
 Veterans and all citizens
 of the services available to them.

This effort is being made to be sure the needs of
Veterans and others in rural areas are not overlooked.

FRIDAY JUNE 24; 10:00-12:00 NOON
6851 MT. AUKUM RD. SOMERSET

Useful Links:
www.JobsShelter.org
voa-ncnn.org/veterans-services
www.edcgov.us/hhsa
www.PioneerBibleChurch.org

…………………………………………………………………
 
Donate clothing and/or money to JSS to be distributed to our homeless population. Contact me, Ron Sachs, at
….JobsShelterOrg@Gmail.com …… I’ll come pick what you have to offer up.
For God’s sake, for our sake, take care of the citizens of El Dorado county who have the very least. Our homeless!!!!!

Homeless Issues #95

What Ever Happened to the “HangTown Haven” Org.??

Community Haven continues to be very active after the closure of Hangtown  Haven.  The 501 C 3 organization works to find ways to aid people without houses in our community.  The Haven maintains a home for women who need shelter, provides the utilities and food and asks whose who have some resources to contribute to the rent.  The Haven supports the Nomadic Shelter program by serving as its fiduciary agent and helping with the shelters volunteer support and expenses.  Haven people also serve on the. County’s “Opportunity Knocks” team addressing issues of homelessness in the County.
Community Haven people remain active on the CoC (Continuum of Care) the County, State, and Federal organizations on homeless issues and partner with others like JSS on homeless issues.

Thank you for hanging in there!
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JSS is in dire need of clothing items for distribution to our homeless population.
Colored “T” shirts sizes Large and X-Large. (No white ones please).
Jeans or dark colored work pants sizes 32”-33”- and 34” waist size..
Men’s white cotton socks, 6-12 size packages. We have plenty for women now.
These items are in great demand as the warm weather descends upon us.
You may drop these items off at Foothills UMC @ 3301 Green Valley Rd. Rescue/Cameron Park. OR I’ll come pick them up if you conduct a “Clothing Drive for those who have the very least.”
WE are out of jeans and “T” shirts. This is critical for JSS..
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How about This!

“re Visions,” Vintage store and a home décor emporium establishment did the following: …….  “I had a sale last week at the store that if someone brought in a pair of jeans, they would receive 20% off of their entire purchase.  Well, we got jeans.  LOTS of jeans. “  ….. “ Happy to do it!  I’m proud of our community for stepping up like this”………………………… Hugs, Katie Chaney.”

You gotta go there. It is in the Cameron Park shopping center next to the Wells Fargo Bank, where Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken faces Cameron Park Dr., (my favored eating establishment.) or 3450 Palmer Dr., Cameron Park Dr.
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“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” …………..Sigmund Freud
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JSS is just a little group among the giant non-profits. We cannot be a part of the “big picture” of large non-profits like those involved with “A day of giving.” We do not have any paid employees. If you have $$$ left over to give,,,,,,,, please send them our way.
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Homeless Issues #94

Upper Room Dining Hall History

The Upper Room Dining Hall was started at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in 1993 when the Youth group received permission, to host a soup/bread Friday supper in the basement of the Youth hall for the homeless during Lent.
This soon expanded under Elly Kozlowski’s and Deanna Schrader’s direction., In 1998 the County applied for and received a $375,000 grant to purchase land and build a seven-day-a-week soup kitchen. St. Patrick’s and a private donor provided $56,200 to partner with the County.  The county provided an additional $110,000 from the general fund to make the project complete.
By 2002, construction of the Upper Room Dining Hall at 1868 Broadway, Placerville, was well underway.  Elly and Deanna recruited volunteers from St. Patrick’s and other local churches. Before the Upper Room opened, Elly arranged a partnership with Mike Sproull, founder of the El Dorado County Food Bank that had started operation in 2000. The Food Bank has continuously provided about 85 % of all of the food prepared and served at the Upper Room.
By opening day, June 4, 2002, there was volunteer coverage for Monday through Friday of each week. Sundays were not fully covered, but Foothills United Methodist Church and Federated Church took up the Sundays. Many different churches now participate in this most wonderful service to our homeless and at risk citizens.
The Upper Room Dining Hall is a true community effort that provides dinner and companionship every day to those in need.  We thank all of the volunteers and donors of money and food, upwards of half a million dinners and take out lunches have been prepared and served since 2002— an average of 113 meals every day for a
total of 537, 073 and counting as of the end of April 2015.
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                                NAMI
of El Dorado  County
                         National Alliance on Mental Illness
The mission of NAMI El Dorado County is to provide emotional support, education, and resources for families and individuals living with mental illness.  Through community collaboration and education, NAMI advocate for a life of purpose, quality, and dignity – one without discrimination – for all people affected by mental illness.  NAMI El Dorado County is an affiliate of NAMI, a national organization, and NAMI California, a state organization.  NAMI El Dorado’s non- profit status was begun in the 1990’s.  We utilize NAMI Standards in providing evidence based education programs without cost to the community and provide ongoing support groups for families.  We are active on both slopes of El Dorado County, reaching out to the community through on-line newsletters, speaking to social and business groups, participation in collaborative partnerships with law enforcement and the Health and Human Services Agency, and working with other organizations and non-profits for greater access and improved treatments for those suffering with mental illness.  We are an all-volunteer organization with a Board of Directors.  We welcome the public to our board meetings and support groups.  For more information about NAMI El Dorado or to receive our monthly newsletter, contact Jan Melnicoe at
jan@namieldorado.org .
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“Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.” Herman Melville
                  …………………………………………….

April 1, 2016, We wrapped up the Nomadic Shelter again for another year. We had a total of 188 persons registered and staying during this season. We want to thank all of those who volunteered in some way to make this possible for the homeless population.
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The REWARD
I was at the gas station filling up when a pick-up truck stopped behind me to also fill up. A young man got out of the back seat of the pick-up and came to me, shook my hand and said “thank you, I have a job and a place to live now, I’m off the streets and just wanted to thank you for all you do.” WOW!! I did not recognize him or was not able to place him, but that was a very big lift to a day of giving out 44 some tents and bags and receiving maybe 7 or 8 “thank you.”
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Your contributions to JSS provided 44 tents and bags that were given out on April 1 at the Solid Rock Foundation shelter as well as Christ Like Services. Financial contributions in 2015 were sparse, making our distribution below what we anticipate for the rest of 2016. The combination of one tent and one sleeping bag that we give to our homeless population costs JSS about $50.00 for each set. Those we give to sign a statement agreeing to receive only one tent and one sleeping bag within one 12 month period, and that the tent is put in a legal location. JSS now has 98 tent and bags somewhere, someplace, in or around El Dorado County. We figure that we are about 20 tents short and 10 bags for 2016.
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“The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm. It’s dangerous because of those who watch and do nothing” …………….. Albert Einstein
Apply that to our homeless and dejected citizens.

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Donate clothing and/or money to JSS to be distributed to our homeless population. Contact me, Ron Sachs, at
….Ron@JobsShelters.Org ……

I’ll come pick what you have to offer up.