Homeless Issues #74

Nomadic Shelter

Homeless Issue #74

The gatherings are taking place to discuss the Nomadic Shelter for the 2014-2015 seasons. Who, What, Where and How, are the main topics. So far Foothills UMC will host Monday; Tuesday is open; Wednesday, Cold Springs CC; Thursday, Solid Rock Foundation; Friday, Green Valley CC; and 3rd and 5th Saturdays at Federated Church, with 1st, 2nd, and 4th open, and Sunday night  is open. Transportation is the largest question with a possibility, and only a possibility, of a donated “Trolley” bus from ED Transit. Who will register a bus? Who will assume all responsibilities of the bus? ETC. Since “The Nomadic Shelter” is not an organization as such, HTHI, a corporation and a 501 C 3 non-profit, will collect monies for the Nomadic Shelter and handle finances for them. If you wish to make a donation to the Nomadic Shelter, please send it to:

Nomadic Shelter
c/o  HTHI
P.O. Box89
Placerville, Ca. 95667

And on the Memo Line on the check, write “Nomadic Shelter”

All interested parties who could handle groups of about 40 to 50 persons during the rain/sleet evenings, and about 30ish persons during cool to cold nights, can get information from Paula Lee @ 916-225-9631. The Nomadic Shelter will provide mats, blankets, transportation, and advice. You would provide caring, understanding, and a little of your time one night a week for those who have the least.

The CRC Is Still Active

The Community Resource Center has taken on a new persona. They are hosting a “Wine Tasting Event” on September 13th at Blue Shield of California, 4203 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills. Go to www.edcrc.org for information and tickets.



Feeding And Inspiring The Homeless organization is continuing their efforts to organize groups, to go to the gathering places of the homeless population and provide lunches every day of the week. They do a great job and deserve our support.



Jobs Shelter of the Sierra also is out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, delivering clothing and all the necessities of living as a homeless person. Mondays are a special day for the homeless women in our community as Jan and Dick have  women’s clothing, hygiene items, as well as some beauty preparations. The teams are: Jan and Dick, Mondays; Tony and Kathy, Wednesday; and John and  Marty on Friday; Ron is running around all during the week with special requests, meetings, and keeping in touch with those who have the least in our community. JSS keeps busy.


ED Food Bank

The Food Bank of El Dorado County is the largest collaborative charity in El Dorado County as we work with more than 35 Partner Charities that distribute food throughout El Dorado County. These partner agencies range from live-in treatment facilities, after school programs, underprivileged youth programs, soup kitchens, women centers, local food pantries, senior programs, to numerous Emergency Food Assistance Program distribution locations.

The food bank provides services throughout all of El Dorado County, from El Dorado Hills to South Lake Tahoe.  The Food Bank provides food to thousands of at-risk people in El Dorado County each and every month through our multiple distribution sites, homebound program, mobile food pantry rural outreach, and free farmer’s market distributions.

The mission of the Food Bank is to provide comprehensive services in collaboration with other hunger-response agencies that will help transform the lives of people in need by: providing nutritious foods, advocating for and participating in various programs, including nutrition education, which will promote self-sufficiency, and educating the general public on local hunger, its causes and consequences.

In short, we aim to prevent hunger and provide hope to our most at risk population in El Dorado County.  For every $1 donated, the Food Bank is able to solicit, procure and warehouse $6 worth of food services.  In 2013, the Food Bank distributed more than 1.8 million pounds of food- that’s equivalent to more than $3.1 Mil worth of food!

Please visit the JSS web site …..www.jobsshelters.org.

Donations can be made by clicking here.

Homeless Issues #73

Board Of Supervisors Listen

Homeless Issues #73

BOS Listened
They listened, they were attentive, all alert. I’m talking about the Board of Supervisors meeting of July 28th. The Rotary Club of Cameron Park presented their findings on Homelessness in El Dorado County. The Cameron Park Rotary Club had interviewed many in our community who are involved with homelessness issues and had methodically thought what El Dorado County needed to do to approach the homeless issue.

I was told that by and large the Supervisors had a positive attitude. There were a few that were a bit negative and testy.  Apparently they are more used to people coming there either to complain, tell them how to do their job, or to ask for money. Having a group of people, Cameron Park Rotary, that came to report a positive resource contribution to the community and just being helpful and positive caught some of them off guard.  They apparently opened their eyes and set a positive standard and a level of appreciation.
Cameron Park Rotary has received some very positive comment regarding their Community Needs Report. I suggest we support the Cameron Park Rotary Club.
I was in the evacuation status on Monday from the Case fire and was tied up with survival issues. Our home was spared. Anyway I missed the meeting. But I was told that every Supervisor there paid attention. We want to thank the Cameron Park Rotary Club for their efforts, and pray that what they have thought out comes to pass.

“Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.”
Will Rogers

The El Dorado County Food Bank does a lot that we don’t hear about. JSS has worked in conjunction with the Food Bank at Pioneer Bible Church in the past, but other than that, I just know “they do a lot”. I asked them for information so that I could add them in this newsletter, but haven’t heard from them. JSS had worked with them years ago when FAITH received food from them for distribution at noontime in ED County. Then we lost touch.

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but happiness and growth occur while you are climbing it.” Andy Rooney

ASE mechanic training course; Health and Wellness classes; Truck Driving license training class A and B; Bible study; Breakfast and Lunch with drop off at the Upper Room in the evening; a producing farm; showers and sober living, all available at Christ Like Services. Check them out at,…www.christlikeservices.com. JSS is a strong supporter providing the clothing, tents, sleeping bags, and tarps for those who transition from a house to the tent encampment. No questions asked.
The Nomadic Shelter is gearing up for the winter season. Please volunteer your time and efforts, and convince your church to pitch in to help at your church or at another church that is hosting the homeless. “What you do for the least of these your brothers and sisters you do to me.” God.


Please visit the JSS web site …..www.jobsshelters.org.

Donations can be made by clicking here.

Homeless Issues #72

“When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”  Eleanor Roosevelt


8+ years ago when JSS first got started, Three times a week I went to the homeless encampments, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, distributing the necessities of life for homeless persons. The largest concentration was behind the K Mart shopping Center. Due to “whatever,” I could not go on a Friday, so I went on a Saturday morning. NO ONE was around! Where did they all go? Had homelessness been solved? …………. I found out that they all had gone, as they always did, on Saturday mornings, to Green Valley Community Church on Green Valley Rd. to their “Saturday Morning Café.” (now officially named “Common Ground”) Here they were fed well, offered clothing, fellowship, direction, and produce donated by local food stores. They were given encouragement, opportunity, and love. That one day gave them encouragement for the dreadful week ahead.. That “Café” had been going on long before JSS and the other faith non-profits got involved. They are still serving our homeless community. “God Bless Them All!”

Thanks Gals and Guys!


JSS is always asking for donations of toilet paper for distribution to the homeless population, full rolls, and why is that? That roll is very important. It is the cleanest possession that a homeless persons has to cover a cut or scrape, as a tissue when suffering from colds or allergies, as a hygienic necessity for women regularly, for men who have lost their control, and, of course for its intended purpose, as well as it being easily biodegradable so you don’t have to take it with you when you’re finished with it. That roll is kept dry above all possessions when it rains.


“Today you can go to a gas station and find the cash register open and the toilets locked. They must think toilet paper is worth more than money.” Joey Bishop

“May your life be long and useful like a roll of toilet paper.” Anonymous-Turkish Proverb


ED County Committee on Homelessness: 20+ persons giving opinions on issues and practices that maybe 3 of that committee have had daily experience working with, or having been, homeless. This committee is attempting to end homelessness when 2,000 years ago it was written that the homeless will always be with us. An obvious response would be for them to do what has already worked in ED County. What is killing the attempt is “Politics.”  The lack of awareness, and yes, ignorance of the county populist is what will kill these efforts. Can’t the County bend a little bit? Relax a little on the “Special Use” permits, the zoning restrictions? Tell me who on that committee or on the BOS haven’t gone over 65 MPH on Rt. 50.

Make Ron Sachs apologize, and he will, for the irreverence shown to the BOS for the lack of effort exhibited by the Board of Supervisors on behalf of their citizens, those they represent, and who have the very least. Ron will attend, with bowed head ,  and apologize on the day they provide for these citizens the same protection, shelter, and opportunities for a clean body that they enjoy themselves.


We at Jobs Shelter of the Sierra (JSS) want to thank all of our contributors. Each sock, each roll of  toilet paper, each pair of women’s and men’s under wear, each “T” shirt, each pair of trousers, each toothbrush and tube of toothpaste. Each little item from the back of our vans, from you, is greatly prized, and the recipients are extremely grateful. May your God bless each one of you!


You may respond to Ron at: JobsShelterOrg@gmail.com

Homeless Issues #71

Homeless Issues #71


Yep, we can smile for those in our community who have the very least. How about Health and Welfare classes? How about Auto Shop Study leading to an Auto Mechanic certification? How about Web Design classes? How about Bible Study/Devotion? How about a small farm/large garden project two days a week? How about House repair project? Yep, and AA and NA counseling and meetings. All available to our citizens who have the very least.

Christ Like Services @ 7500 Green Valley Rd.. Placerville, has it all! contact them at (530)622-2014. This county owes Bob Durell the highest praise and support.

All they ask of anyone is to extend an effort to improve their present condition. And they ask for nothing in return. This is not enabling; it is equipping persons for a future. Yes, and for the community the ability to pay taxes. All this without city/county care, help, or support.


On the front page of May/30th Mt. Democrat is an article about a local resident who is losing his 6900 square foot home north of town along Highway 49. It is a multimillion-dollar property that the owner apparently cannot make payments on as “part of his family ranch,” so it is in default. According to the article, he owes over $1 million on it.

Now, I normally would feel very bad for a man who is in $1 million default on his property and may soon become homeless, but the man in question is Ron Briggs. Who is Ron Briggs you ask? Mr. Briggs was the chairman of the County Board of Supervisors last year who led the effort to deny the use of the Perks Court property for HTHI on which to build a homeless shelter. He could not see why we needed a homeless shelter in the county and said that the county does not want to “get into the homeless business.” The irony of this situation is beyond description. One has to wonder how he feels about building a homeless shelter in the county now. One could emphasize that this is exactly the situation so many of our homeless have found themselves in with the economy the way it is. He also seemed to have ignored the fact that it was clearly stated that HTHI were offering to design, build and operate the homeless facility on Perks Court without costing the county a penny. Maybe the whole issue is becoming clearer to him now.

From the data provided from the registered homeless files involving intake information, 01/01/13 to 05/13/14, 17 months, almost a year and a half, is found that out of approximately 799 persons registered, only 117 persons where from out of El Dorado county. That is only 14%. Of those 117 persons, where they “just passing through,” adventurers, world travelers, or just “stuck” here a few days? This should put to rest the argument that if we provide for our homeless population, here in El Dorado county, homeless persons will migrate here to take advantage of what is provided.

With the Community Resource Center on Broadway gone due to the lack of funding for rent, water, utilities, operating supplies, etc.; so is done collecting of information and statistics on our homeless population, a place for those who have the least to take a shower, to use as an address on a job application, to use a locker to secure what possessions they might have, to get information on what is available, if anything, and encouragement.


Will the new BOS and the Committee on Homeless be any difference than the same old rut that has run in the past? Keep in mind that the difference between a rut and a grave is only the depth. This committee is mandated to find a solution to homelessness, for all homeless persons, including single homeless persons, in a series of meetings, not exceeding 20 hours total. The first meeting consumed 4 hours of that 20. And that meeting consisted of, “my name is, your name is?” and “who do you represent?” Now spread out the remaining 16 hours, at 4 hours per month, in 4 more months. This brings us into September when the citizens and faith-based organizations start into action preparing for the Nomadic Shelter that the county does not participate in. Is this how you want your county government to treat those that you might have to join in the future?


                                                 SOCKS, YES SOCKS.

JSS is out of socks to be given to our homeless population. They do not have to be new, just clean. Men’s sizes, cotton. I will come pick them up. Churches, now is the time to have that “Sock It To Me” drive.

                                   Just clean, cotton, men’s socks.

Donations can be made by clicking here.

Homeless Issues #70

Homeless Issues #70

On a recent Monday I met with Frank and the Cold Springs CC group that deliver food at noontime, and a JSS group from Foothills UMC distributing clothing, socks, hygiene supplies, and other necessities of homeless living. I saw a friend that made me step back, then, shake hands, then hug him.

When I last saw and talked to him at any length, at Hangtown Haven, he was in clean clothing, his beard was groomed, he was shaven, and had a smile on his face in spite of suffering from Diabetes, with very sore feet, always wrapped in bandage, that haunted him with every step he took.

He was always reserved, wanting to help whenever he could, and always a smile on his face. This Monday, I wanted to hate those who shut down Hangtown Haven. I wanted to throw those who showed their hate for homeless persons at the Placerville Town Hall meeting, into his shoes.

I still feel challenged by that hate of those people. My friend was dirty, not showered since the Winter Shelter closed down, his ungroomed face was a mess, and he held his face down. He does not “drink,” did not inherit any prestige, wealth, entitlement, he is just like many of us who struggle through life. When he looked up at me, he said “how are you doing Ron?” Though I’ve seen a lot, still, I had to hold back tears.

He is just one of many in El Dorado County. Yes, yes, I want the City Council and each member of the Board of Supervisors, to be in his shoes. Should I pray for that to happen? For them to open their eyes? That they will remember their moral obligation while forgetting any sense of entitlement?

“Men are not punished for their sins, but by them.”
Elbert Hubbard


A Note from the Community Resource Center

After 4 years of trying to keep a roof over our head, we’ve decided to redirect our limited resources to housing families.

We’re trying a new approach to providing services to people in need by closing our physical site; and in this way, we can attempt to house more people.

We’re going completely mobile!  Join us in this effort as we passionately advocate for the homeless, needy and under-represented members of our community. Please join us at our upcoming Spring Event.

Saturday, May 24th; 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm; The Vets Hall, 130 Placerville Dr. PL.

FOR INFORMATION OR TICKETS, CALL 408-460-2061 or go online at www.edcrc.org


Mercy Way Rescue Mission on upper Broadway, is providing gatherings for Alcoholics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery, Bible study, Fellowship, Music, and other services to the homeless community on a scheduled bases. Contact them at 530-748-3510 for information.

Jerry Kaufman reminded us that he and Jerry Lynch, working through Pastor Mike Parr at Mercy Way Rescue Church, have formed “The Mercy Way Rescue Community Volunteers.” Our hope is to solve some of the complaints that our city and community have against our homeless friends. One major problem is litter in areas of our community like Upper Broadway and the homeless campsites in the hills. We are working with other churches, business’s, and other organizations to seek donations of needed items, donated money to buy needed items, and volunteers to join us.

We plan to work on different projects and work sites on every first Saturday of each month and every second Monday of each month, weather permitting. Our first project will be this Monday morning, May 12th. We will be meeting for a brief meeting at 7:30 AM in front of Mercy Way Rescue Church and get started by 8 AM to pick up all roadside litter and debris on Upper Broadway starting at Schnell School Road and working back towards and ending at The Upper Room Dining Hall.

We welcome any and all volunteers that wish to help and participate this Monday, May 12th and with all future projects. We also welcome any donated needed items or cash/check donations to purchase needed items. The following is a wish list of needed items for our future projects:


The county has appointed a select committee of twenty people knowledgeable in homelessness, this after 5 months of nothingness, to identify the problem and offer  a proposal on how to deal with the homeless issues here in our county. It is an impressive group of men and women, but we shall see if they can overcome the two blocks that have prevented success in the past, politics and finances.


JSS (Job’s Shelter of the Sierra) needs colored “T” shirts, boxer shorts (not necessarily new), socks (not necessarily new), pants (short and long), batteries (necessarily new), toilet paper (necessarily new), and denotations of money to purchase some necessities and pay our rent.  You can drop them off at Foothills UMC at 3301 Green Valley Rd. Cameron Park/Rescue. Just off Cameron Park Dr. Our Storage Unit rent has gone up 20% and we have to meet that increase. It is located in Diamond Springs, close to our operations. I will come by any church or organization and pick up what you have accumulated for distribution by JSS.

Please visit the JSS web site …..www.jobsshelters.org.

Donations can be made by clicking here.

Homeless Issues #69

Homeless Issues #69 Nomadic Shelter Rundown

Host Churches, Where the homeless stayed overnight:  Cold Springs Community Church (2 nights per week), Green Valley Community Church (2 nights per week), Foothills United Methodist Church (one night per week),  Solid Rock Faith Center (one night per week), Federated Church (one or two nights per month), New Hope Fellowship Church (one night per month), Christlike Services (two nights per month).

Participating Churches who provide volunteers at host churchs; Cold Springs Community Church:  Cameron Park Christian Center (one night per week), Rolling Hills Community Church (one night per week)

Major Transportation Support:  Mercy Way Rescue Church, Hangtown Haven, Inc., Christlike Services


Supporting groups who have provided or will provide financial support: St. Stephan’s Lutheran Church, First Lutheran Church, El Dorado Community Foundation, City of Placerville.


Bless all of you. And keep the faith to repeat your love for those who have the least in our community

A special thanks for the time, sweat, tears, frustrations that Pastor Frank Gates endured.


She said. ” The effort to go to the store and select the ingredients for a cake, take it home, measure the ingredients, wait for it to cook, all before I can take a bite. Why? When someone else will just give me a piece of cake?” ……

“(Why make the effort?) Someone will come up with the food and a place to sleep?”

The enabled and the enabler both get satisfaction out of what they do. One feels safe in that someone else will provide for them, and the other feels good that they get recognition.

“I’ll just call —- or —– if you don’t  ……”    and     ”Give me my free tent!!”

How can we teach, by example, accountability? Where does that entitlement attitude come from?   ………     Do we bunch in the mentally challenged homeless with our concerns??


Hangtown Haven showed that, responsible, accountable, homeless persons can be an asset. Yes, they had some bad days, a few, misdirected policies, but overall it helped lift persons who were in need and wanted to make an effort towards getting themselves out of homelessness and begin a new start, that start and incentive to move “up.”.


Pattie’s Thoughts

Facts need to be brought out: Regarding a statement from Placerville city

  1. The daytime shelter is closing down because the city has pulled its Special Use Permit, eliminating the only place left in town where the homeless can spend the days off the streets. Now you will see more homeless wondering the streets and begging for food. The statement by the city thanking Christ Like Services for “Providing shelter from the weather” is disingenuous because it is the city that is preventing them from continuing to operate.
  2. Last year when the rotating shelters closed, many of the homeless went to Hangtown Haven on Upper Broadway to stay in a legal camp. Now that the camp has been closed by the city, the homeless have no place to spend the night except in parking lots, store entrances and parks. But, not to worry, our police force will roust them out.
  3. Our police department will “clean up those impacted by illegal camping.” What they don’t say is that there is no “legal” camping in the city limits, so it is obvious that the city intends to use the police to run all of the poor people and homeless out of town or throw them in jail. The article does not mention that.
  4. Encouraging people to “volunteer and contribute to churches that have programs to assist the homeless,” is disingenuous at best. The article itself says that all church rotating shelters end in March 31, so what services are churches now providing? The only services now available are the Saturday morning food and clothing distribution at Green Valley Community Church and food provided by the Upper Room and the FAITH lunch program. Sleeping bags and tents are given out by Job’s Shelters, along with clothing, but there is no place in the city or county for anyone without a home to sleep.


There are a few important points that the city did not bring out in their report;

  1. Test conducted around the country confirm what we all know, but apparently the city does not, that no program will be effective with homeless people until they have a safe, secure, warm and dry place to sleep. A shelter comes first.
  2. The city ordinance that prohibits “panhandling” is blatantly unconstitutional and impinges on everyone’s freedom of speech. How can a city morally or legally keep a person from asking for money when it closes down all the shelters in town?
  3. What the article did not say is that of the forty or so homeless residents that were living in the now closed rotating shelters, four families with small children were in that group. One woman with a four-month-old baby to care for is now on the streets. Can you imagine trying to raise a four months old baby while living on the street?
  4. Yes there are many homeless who need help from a mental institution. We all know that. And the county is doing its best to help. But let’s all remember why so many people are wandering the streets who should be institutionalized. During the Reagan governorship, he suddenly closed the mental hospitals in the state without warning and every county was then required to fend for itself. We are still paying the price for that.


Until our community can get together and provide minimum services to our homeless neighbors, they will continue to camp out and panhandle illegally crowding our jails and taking up the time of our law enforcement officers who should be spending their efforts enforcing our laws against real crimes.


This newsletter has praised the Mayor and City Council members of Placerville city very highly over the past year. But when the bowels of the city exploded, and the flush ensued, the Mayor and the city tried to keep their heads above the swelling water. Way….. tooo bad!


Ignorance of all things is an evil neither terrible nor excessive, nor yet the greatest of all; but great cleverness and much learning, if they be accompanied by a bad training, are a much greater misfortune.          Plato


This year’s nomadic shelter was filled with new adventures in caring. We encountered many new faces and some we have seen for years. The number of young people that used our services this year had gone up, along with the increase in drug use. Alongside the drug use came the loss of life which we all felt and grieved. More than ever though, I think it put a resolve in our spirits to not give up and to work as a team to help facilitate lasting help and positive change within our homeless community. With God leading the way all things are possible.

Paula Lee

Solid Rock Faith Center


Please send this to others whom care about those in our community who have the very least. See below!

Please visit the JSS web site …..www.jobsshelters.org.Donations can be made by clicking here.

Homeless Issues #68

Homeless Issues #68Ones perception becomes ones “facts.”  Ron Sachs

We saw this during the “Town Hall” meetings. People complained about defecation and urination on their property attributed to homeless persons. While Hangtown Haven was the subject, and HTH had toilet facilities, their perception was that ALL homeless persons where responsible. Same perception regarding alcohol and drug abuse, not allowed in or around HTH, but again, their perception was that ALL homeless persons where responsible.

The Nomadic Shelter accommodates around 45 persons each night, but does not allow 5-6 trouble makers stay at the Nomadic Shelter because they scare off volunteers, starts fights, and are detrimental and unsafe to the others at the Shelter. Those 5-6 persons are the ones that some people see as representative of a homeless person. “Ones perception becomes ones facts.”

HangTown Haven, Inc. is now under contract with El Dorado Health Connections to lease and maintain a rental home in El Dorado County in which five clients can live together under the supervision of an HTHI volunteer. The clients will be referred to the home by Marshall Hospital and will be patients who have difficulty in managing their health care on their own or in accessing the services they need. One of the purposes of the project is to reduce the use of the hospital’s emergency room and services by working with the clients to learn healthy living and life styles. HTHI will maintain the home and help to train the clients in living on their own by preparing their meals and maintaining a healthy living environment. The operation of the home is made possible by the cooperative effort of Partners in Care, with financial support of Marshall Hospital and with start-up costs and many working hours provided by Hangtown Haven volunteers.

From the BOS:
You are probably already aware that staff from County Health & Human Services will be meeting with folks at Christ Like Services on March 20 beginning at 10 AM to get people enrolled in Medi-Cal and able to receive primary care services at the Community Health Center.

Additionally, we have been working over the last several weeks to develop a transitional housing strategy and hope to bring it to the Board of Supervisors in the coming months.Sincerely,

Mike Applegarth
Principal Analyst
Chief Administrative Office
El Dorado County


The Nomadic Shelter & Christ Like Services will shut down on      April 1.  What is going to happen after that?

Christ Like Services, off of Placerville Dr. has planned to offer daily classes to those homeless persons who want to make a change in their lives and have a place to study a productive skill that will help get them out of homelessness. They will be offering classes in truck driving, bus driving, auto mechanics, etc at no charge to homeless persons applying.

This is GREAT. If you have a skill that you can teach to others, that will produce income for  homeless persons, please contact Bob Duruelle, at …robertduruelle@yahoo.com …

This is what we need more of. This program is well worth supporting.

The Upper Room, the ministry that provides food for anyone who arrives between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM, seven days a week, will be closed for the first two weeks of April to replace the floor.
Where will our homeless population go??????? Who really cares?????? What can I do?????
Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS) and others will find them and serve.



Please visit the JSS web site …..www.jobsshelters.org.Donations can be made by clicking here.

Homeless Issues #67

Homeless Issues #67

“The middle of the road is where the white line is – and that is the worst place to drive.” Robert Frost

“These are the people who make Job’s Shelters of the Sierra work. They are out on the road visiting the encampments and gathering places where our homeless population congregates. They are providing the necessities for homeless existence. Socks help keep their feet healthy so they can move around. The hygienic supplies help to keep them out of the emergency rooms. Also distributed are warm clothing, toilet paper for women’s hygiene needs, runny noses, and its traditional use; sleeping bags when needed, and tents when practical.”

Art Edwards said, since the homeless encampment at Hangtown Haven has been closed down by the city, the homeless residents have scattered around Placerville and El Dorado County. Most are going to the revolving centers at different churches each night, spending the days at Christ Like Services. Some are camped illegally in the surrounding forests and parking lots. The churches are doing a masterful job of housing the homeless on these freezing nights. We have seen as many as fifty sleeping on the floors of these generous churches as they try to provide a warm and safe shelter for those less fortunate than we.
These rotating shelters and Christ Like Services have stepped up to keep fifty people from freezing to death each night, but they are unable to provide the one service that we had at
Hangtown Haven, the interactive support that many of the homeless need to get off of, and stay off of, drugs and alcohol. The homeless now have no place to keep their belongings and own only what they can carry on their backs. The support they had at the Haven is now gone and they survive alone and have lost the daily interaction that came to depend on. Consequently, some have reverted back to unhealthy behavior that has served then badly in the past. But the question remains, what will they do when the rotating shelters close at the end of March? There is no answer to that important question at this moment.
As you remember, the City Council closed down its legal homeless encampment called HangTown Haven this fall, in part because they claimed that, “The homeless encampment was attracting out-of-county homeless to the area even though
HangTown Haven did not admit non-Placerville residents.” Those of us working with the homeless knew that this was a fallacious argument, but no one could prove it. Everyone agreed that the only “proof” of this would be the crime rate; however, all we had to rely on was George Neilson, the previous police chief, who showed us his records that indicated that the city’s crime rate dropped the month that HangTown Haven opened in July of 2012 and stayed down as long as he was chief.

However, the City Council did not buy into these facts and continued to deny that the crime rate was actually down in our county because of HangTown Haven’s existence. I wonder how the City Council members feel now that proof has just surfaced that Chief Neilson was right. In a study done by the California Department of Justice and just released by the Public Policy Institute of California, of the thirteen counties surveyed in California, ten had an increase in crime in 2012 and three, lead by El Dorado County had a decrease. The average increase of the ten counties was 7%, and Santa Clara County was the leader of the pack at 20.4%. El Dorado County (however) bucked the statewide trend by decreasing its crime rate by 11%. Did Hangtown Haven actually contribute to the decrease in crime rate?

The report had an additional fact that was very interesting. The second county that had a crime decrease (10%) is Placer County, our neighbor to the north. This point is significant because people in Placer County have been working with us to develop their own HangTown Haven to house their local homeless population. It’s significant that the only two counties reported in California that had a significant decrease in crime in 2012 were the two counties that provided some type of shelter for their homeless population. Of the thirteen counties surveyed, the following were included: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Santa Clara, Alameda, Sacramento and Contra Costa among others. This is certainly a meaningful representation of the population of our state.

 It is perhaps heartening to the homeless to learn that they were right. Their encampment did not cause an increase in the crime rate in our community as claimed, but, in fact, may have contributed to its decrease. Now, without a homeless shelter, perhaps we can join the other counties in our state and watch our crime rate escalate!
JSS asked Mr. Mike Applegarth, the spokesperson on the homeless issue for the Board of Supervisors, to make the statement that the BOS promised to make in January. NO RESPONSE! I have a feeling that the City of Placerville would also like to get some kind of response from the BOS regarding a homeless shelter. Has the BOS had a meeting with those who are supposed to be advising the BOS on a homeless solution? I understand that that has not taken place. Ask your Supervisor to get the ball rolling!
JSS has a table display with brochures to display at your next gatherings or meetings. Just let us know, and we will be there. ;-)

Please visit the JSS web site …..www.jobsshelters.org.

Donations can be made by clicking here.


Homeless Issues #66 and Gift Opportunity

Homeless Issues #66 and Gift Opportunity

The poet Stanislaw Lec said “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”

Our pews, club chairs, assembly halls are filled with those “pure snowflakes” that never feel responsible for the avalanche of disregard to those in our communities that have the very least.

May I remind all of you to keep in mind: What faith group, government, or private entity will accept, every night, persons who are developmentally challenged, chemically challenged, mentally challenged, continually enabled in their anti-social behavior, and just out of a prison environment, as well as a few who are “just out of work”????That would be YOU.. How many of you are equipped to deal with all of those issues? Our pews, chairs, supervisors’ chambers, city council chambers, faith centers are full of those who know “how it should be.”  Reality says “It aint so.”

Do we have to be cautious? Yes! We have volunteers and environments to protect. Do we need to enable bad behavior? No. But we are the only ones who are willing to take on the job that those who are elected, and have the most votes, do little to nothing for. Mistakes, sub-equipped buildings, etc. is what we have to work with. Make it work!

Pattie’s Thoughts:  Life After the Closing of Hangtown Haven

Life following the closure has been more challenging for some than for others. Those who were firmly headed in the right direction have continued to benefit from their momentum and from the outpouring of support from our volunteers and church family.

Three out the four Community Council members were taken in by volunteers who graciously opened their homes for them. One of the Community Council members was able to move in with a close friend.

There were four people who actually detoxed or got clean during their time at HTH. They are still clean and sober and doing well. Some have gone on to permanent housing and one has returned to work for a former employer, he continues to use the shelters at this time.

On average between six and ten HTH people utilize the shelter at this time. That number is expected to increase to between fifteen and twenty as the weather gets colder. The over crowded conditions make the shelter a challenge for many. With the shelter already reaching maximum capacity these anxieties will only worsen.

There was a group of about five people who unfortunately backslid. Without the support they needed to maintain their sobriety they have not managed to do very well.

All in all about a third got stable housing, a third are using the shelter and a third are out in the woods somewhere mostly out of touch.


Please, someone make sense of this!

The City of Placerville shuts down Hangtown Haven and puts 30+ persons on the street with no place to go. The attitude seems to be to let the faith centers take care of our problems. Then the City of Placerville enacts ordinances – ordinances that were supported by the full Council – that defeat the very policies of openness and tolerance they so beautifully once exampled. Is the season of Christmas being lost to “money at all cost” politics? Let’s hope and pray not.

As you and your family celebrate the Christmas season please remember those, who like our Savior, are without home.

JSS is in dire need for sox to distribute. Cotton, men’s size and style, new or washed used will be greatly appreciated.

Great Gift Opportunity from Job’s Shelters


Joe’s Home
“Malibu Joe” was part of the Malibu community for many years. He was a homeless man, who lived in a parking lot where he was surrounded by all his worldly possessions: plastic tarps to keep dry, a plastic bottle of water, ice chests for food, a tattered hat and overcoat and a pipe in the corner of his mouth. He wasn’t a pest or a drinker, but loved by the people of Malibu. The little store gave him out-dated food and over ripe fruit. He wouldn’t take hand-outs, but people left things for him. He got some things out of the dumpster.

Louise Nelson, a local artist has undertaken the project of using prints of her award-winning painting of Malibu Joe, to raise funds to help homeless and needy people.

The prints are numbered and signed by the artist, with a certificate of authenticity. 20” X 24”; ready to frame. Bids of over $75.00 will be accepted. We have only 2 prints. Contact Ron at the below e-mail address with your bid, name, address, and telephone number. I’ll bring the picture to your address if possible.

Please visit the JSS web site …..www.jobsshelters.org.

Donations can be made by clicking here.

Homeless Issues #65

Homeless Issues #65                                      11/25/2013

The following are statements from the major players regarding the demise of Hangtown Haven.

Hello Ron,

You can print the following: From Art Edwards. President of HTHI

The homeless folks who were living at Hangtown Haven, the most successful legal homeless encampment in the west, were dealt a serious blow by the Placerville city government when they voted to close down the camp. During the discussion, it was made clear by the two lawyers present that the city had a choice and the council chose to close it, scattering over thirty homeless residents into unknown shelters and illegal encampments around the community. Many are using the rotating overnight shelters at the various churches, and a very few, if any, are using the day time shelter at Christ Like Services.  However, both the daytime and nighttime shelters will close on April 1st and then where will they go?

It is interesting to note that the addition of the thirty or so residents of HTHI has already overloaded some of the rotating shelters and has exceeded the capacity of the bus that drives them there. HTHI has stepped up with its seven person van and is carrying overflow homeless to the various churches each night.

Hangtown Haven, Inc. is staying active with the homeless by providing transportation services driving overflow homeless to the nighttime shelters as mentioned and providing transportation for them to doctor’s appointments that gives them access to needed mental and physical support. Our now scattered residents are hard to locate because many are living in individual camps in the woods around the city. HTHI is also negotiating with Health Connections to see if we can support them someway in the health community.

We will continue to support the homeless in any way possible through this cold and wet winter, a task made extremely difficult by the actions of the city council.


Thank you for the opportunity…here goes: From Wendy Thomas, Mayor

The closing of Hangtown Haven was incredibly difficult; I can only imagine how hard it was for the residents and volunteers who have poured their heart into this effort.  I firmly believe that this ending will pave the way for a new beginning, for we are committed to building on what was good and beautiful about the Haven model while being wise about the challenges within our community.  As we find common ground, we can build on it, and the City and the County look forward to continuing to collaborate with you to make meaningful progress in supporting transitional living.

Thanks Ron,


Ron: From Mike Applegarth. Spokesperson for the Board of Supervisors.

The Board didn’t direct us to find a location for another Hangtown Haven.  The motion on September 10 was to report back on homeless sheltering locations.  On November 5 the Board directed us to report back with an assessment of current services, community needs and possible financing options for transitional housing.  Neither motion excludes a camp format like Hangtown Haven, but our investigation won’t be restricted to that concept.  We hope to report back in January.


I was saddened and upset by the implication that Hang Town Haven was an attractive nuisance. In fact, AB109 has introduced 93% more felons to El Dorado County since the Realignment started. And guess what? They are directed to the CRC and the Upper Room. So much for blaming the Haven for the increased crime incidence of homeless offenders along upper Broadway. But that was the excuse that was used. As Counsel for HTH pointed out, the City Council acted on behalf of a then non-existent Community Planning Director(?), in granting the Special Temporary Use Permit to HTH. And with respect to this, the City Council could act independently by extending the TUP, or even issuing a new TUP on their own authority. I understand the neighbors angst and hope the police can do a better job of cleaning up this rats nest. I sincerely believe that you “threw out the baby with the bath water”.


John J Werner

Placerville resident

for 27 years

Again, back to square one


Posted;  June 12, 2009 ….  From Homeless Issue #3

It is the ultimate goal of the JSS, working with a coalition of caring groups, to acquire property to  build adequate housing for homeless citizens in El  Dorado County who want to better themselves, whereby programs can be offered to integrate its residents back into society with dignity and purpose.

Please visit the JSS web site …..www.jobsshelters.org.

Donations can be made by clicking here.