HangTown Haven

HangTown
Haven Inc (HTHI)
      A CHANCE FOR A NEW BEGINNINGS-

Board of Directors:
Art
Edwards, President and Chairman
Ron Sachs, Vice Chairman, Operations
Jim Ellsworth, Secretary/Treasurer
Oct.8,2012
I apologize for not responding to your generous gifts to HangTown
Haven before now, but
I have been waiting to include the latest site developments in my report. The
bottom line
is that the encampment has been successful beyond our wildest dreams. Since it
opened
to Placerville
homeless on July
15th, HangTown Haven has taken in thirty-five men and
women who are living in thirty tents. The residents have created their own
government
that makes and enforces the rules they all live by. It is a thrill to see them
take charge of
their lives and do what is necessary to live together peacefully. “We are
all brothers and
sisters here,” is the words that we hear most often.
The property has been leveled and cleared of brush which has made
the fire chief
very happy. Since camping in the forest is illegal, the police chief now has a
place to
which he can encourage illegal campers to move. The property owner is very
happy with
the cleanliness and organization and enjoys dropping in to have a chat with the

inhabitants every week or so. Now, we are busy preparing for winter.
Since the rotating shelter program will be operational again this
winter, not all of
our homeless will remain at the Haven during the cold season. However, some
will, and
we must provide protection for them from the elements. The following
improvements
have been or are being implemented as I write.
1. Wood chips have been spread around all the tents to keep down the
dust and
   
mud.
2. Plastic tarps have been issued to all tent owners to cover their
tents since most
     tents are not waterproof.
3.
Four portable toilets and a wash station are provided and emptied
weekly.
4. A three cubic yard dumpster is emptied twice a week.
5. Floodlights now illuminate the toilet area and parking lot and
floodlights for
   
reading in the common area are now in service.
6. Twelve electrical outlets are now available for charging cell
phones and using
     computers.
7.
Small size gravel has been spread in the common area to reduce
mud.
      8. A fire pit has been installed in the
center of the common area for warmth and
        
comfort on cold nights.
      9. Four hundred square feet of overhead plastic cover the common
area.
    
10. Four picnic tables and many chair have been provided.
11.  A fire
protection water hose is now connected and available.
12.  A potable
water filtration system has been installed.
13.  Showers are
available at the CRC a short distance away.
14.  The Faith
Program provides lunch every day.
      15. Dinner is available every evening at the Upper Room, a short
walk up
           
Broadway.
      16. A 24′ x 36′ concrete slab and permanent overhead structure
will be added
           
when the funds are available.

At 7 PM on Monday the 15th, the city held
a town hall style meeting in the
city hall building to provide a platform for everyone to share their opinions
of the
existence of HangTown Haven in our community. Vice Major Wendy Mattson and the

City Manager Cleve Morris, lead the discussion providing an
opportunity for all to
be heard.
Everyone connected with HangTown Haven agrees that it has been a
complete
success. We have learned a lot and have made the area as winter-proof as
possible with


the funds available. It was interesting to hear the public’s reaction;
Our long-term. goal .is to build a more permanent structure over a
concrete slab with
additional electric service and heat in the common area building. While we are
accomplishing those goals, we will begin building individual mini-shelters for
people to
live. Tents are a temporary solution. Shelter designs are being developed as
you read this.
Our ninety-day trial period is up next week and we look forward to
negotiating a long-
term lease with the landowner. We continue to work with the city to verify that
we are
meeting all code requirements. All signs are “go”, as we aim toward
successful long-term
help for our community’s homeless. However, none of this would have been
possible
without your gift. The homeless and HangTown Haven volunteers send you their
sincere
thanks for making a safe, clean, friendly place and new life available for
them. To this I
add my own appreciation.
Thank you very much.Your continued support and donations are welcome and vital.
 

Art Edwards, President
HangTown Haven, Inc.
non-profit corporation,
PO Box 89,
Placerville,CA,
95667

Homeless Issues #49

Progress,,,,,, Regress,,,,, 3 steps forward,,,, 1 step back……………………….

We now have a covered and graveled common area, a safe fire place, water testing has been completed, and safe and legal residents. We at HangTown Haven want very much to thank you for all your efforts and all the volunteer plumbers, electricians, and laborers, with the help of some of those living at HangTown Haven, for making it all possible..
Now we have to keep it going. It will cost about $2,000.00 per month to operate the facility. We do not get any financial support from the City of Placerville or from El Dorado County Governments. We of HangTown Haven Inc. would like to encourage both the City and the County to help us with the financial responsibilities we assume taking care of their citizens and our people. Keep in mind that without the cooperation and bending that the City of Placerville has already shown, we would still be
without any place for the single, homeless El Dorado County citizen to sleep. Rent for HTHI alone will be $500.00 per month.
What we need for the future:
Can we get a pledge, a true commitment, in writing, by e-mail, in some way, that you can be counted on to donate XXXX amount of dollars each month for the up-keep of HangTown
Haven????
We need that so we can make out our projected budget.
Winterizing HangTown Haven Inc.:
Yep, we are going to be open during the winter months for our residents. Why?? So our residents have a place to go during the time they are not at a Nomadic Shelter.After
they eat at the Upper Room in the evening, they will go to Mercy Way Rescue to be picked up to go to a host church if they so desire. They will return to the pick-up location about 8:30 AM the next day. On nice days/nights they might wish to stay in their tent with their belongings.
This gives them a choice that we have experienced in past years. Some just do not want to go to the crowded shelters. And some might just want to enjoy the safety, community spirit, and legal status of where they are now staying. We pray that the future holds “Micro-shelters” to replace the tents. It all takes your donations. Please send those donations to:

HangTown Haven Inc.
P.O. Box 89
Placerville, Ca.  95667

Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (for tents and bags)
P.O. Box 1839
Shingle Springs, Ca. 95682-9998

Ron Sachs 😉

Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS)
www.JobsShelters.Org 

Homeless Issue #48 + HTHI

HangTownHaven Inc. is flourishing! Self-governed by its residents and recent past residents.

They said it couldn’t be done, and with your help it is being done. The
5 member board of Citizens in Transition, with advice when needed from
Marie Cook, Operations Manager at the CRC, is experiencing group
government.
Yes they have had to deal with those who can’t
control their own lives, have cultural challenges, addictions, and just
can’t get along with others.  In addition, they have to deal with their
own feelings of accomplishment in what they are doing and where they
will go from here. Those
who
can’t control their own lives, have cultural challenges, addictions,
and just can’t get along with others, will, of course, have a different
view and prospective, and will attempt to bring down what has been
accomplished at HangTown Haven Inc. by
others.

The
Placerville Police Dept. has stepped up and assisted HangTown Haven
Inc. in keeping order and civility in the community. They have come when
needed, and are welcome when they are not needed as law enforcement;
they come just as citizens wanting to help..
As of 09/01/12 There are 23 tents, with three tents that are double occupancy. All are enjoying clean, legal, and cooperative living
while they struggle at being homeless, and needing help.

We see what parents never see in their children when their child is
living on the street by choice. I’m afraid that I have had  a mother
shouting at me, while she proclaims how honest and saintly her daughter
is who had chosen to live on the streets and not under the supervision
of anyone. We saw and experienced a very different child then what was
presented by the mother.

Many  groups have come forward with expertise that we lack and have offered their support. WE welcome all support.
If a group of persons wish to tour HangTown Haven Inc., we would be
pleased to take them on a tour, after we inform the residents of when
the tour will take place. This protects the residents privacy.

This
Haven for the homeless population is primarily for those who can show
some connection to Placerville City. When the tents and sleeping bags
from Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS) are given out to the homeless,
they are offered to residency at HangTown Haven if they have some
connection to Placerville City. If they don’t, they are told not to set
up anyplace
within the Placerville City limits and are told to go onto El Dorado
County land.

We
would love the Supervisors of El Dorado County to acknowledge that the
County has a homeless population and would either set up there own site
or contribute to the operation of HangTown Haven and allow the County
homeless population to join in the advantages of HangTown Haven Inc.
.
There is space for more persons at HangTown Haven Inc. Tell your County Supervisor to step up and help ALL of their citizens, not just the revenue producers.
They are all God’s children and citizens of their County!

I was told that a new church, Mercy Way and Rescue is being created to provide worship and Bible study for the homeless
population who, I was told do not feel welcome or feel out of place in the churches in and around Placerville.

Ron Sachs 😉

Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS)
www.JobsShelters.Org 

Homeless Issues #47 + HTHI

You are doing it! God bless you, and thank you, from those who have the least.

A few bumps in the road. You said. Who said. What said. How, Where, When, and what did you say? Growing pains, new cultural structures, responsibility; we are learning fast.

The HangTown Haven, Inc. site is going well as the “Citizens In Transition” go through the learning experience of being an organization, working as a group. There are 23 tents with about 30 persons living at HTHI, and this arrangement of “self-government” of the homeless population at HTHI, has a few growing pains. Water is a very tough problem. There just is not enough water at the HTHI to fulfill the needs of those living there. I ask that some group or organization help us out with providing water to the residents of HTH. There is a well, but the water has to be processed in such a way that the City can approve it for drinking. This cost about $3,000.00 to get going. Is there some person or group that knows what is needed, can do the work, but just needs some money for the parts? Or could we organize a “bucket brigade” of some sort to keep those at HTHI with water to drink?

FAITH, the feeding organization, provides food at lunch time, and “The Upper Room” provides food at their facility at 4:30 to 5:30 PM. every day as they have been doing for over 8 years.

I have heard that there is/was some speculation as to weather Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS),  HomeTown Haven, Inc. (HTHI), and the Community Resource Center (CRC) are recognized as tax-deductible, non-profits by State and Federal agencies. All three are 501 (3) (c) non-profit, tax-deductible organizations, recognized by State and Federal agencies. And those donating monies will receive the proper receipts, necessary as prescribed by law, for their yearly tax returns.

Dr. Deb Prock is hosting, with her group, a “Great Give Away” on Saturday Aug. 11. A big Bar-B-Que, clothing, medical advice, plus music, will be open to all of the homeless community, at the Community Resource Center. It will be a big break for our homeless community and up-lifting to those who participate.

There are other groups that I am not aware of, or do not ask me to their meetings, that do things “on the street,” for the homeless population, I can’t report on them or what they plan to do or what they are doing. The Nomadic Winter Shelter is organizing now for this upcoming winter, and I am sure they are looking for help. Each of these have their own newsletters, and I assume that you will be hearing from them and what their needs are.

We need your support and donations.

Don’t forget the T- shirts, socks, toilet paper, tents and sleeping bags that JSS gives out three days a week. JSS has given out, through the CRC, 145 tents and/or sleeping bags since Nov. 2011. They are still needed and can be dropped off at Foothills UMC @ 3301 Green Valley Rd. Rescue/Cameron Park, Monday through Thursday 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM.

You can donate to the “Water System” at HangTown Haven Inc. by writing “HTHI Water System” in the memo line on you check to HangTown Haven Inc.

HangTown Haven Inc.           Community Resource Center        Job’s Shelters of the Sierra
P.O. Box 89                            1864 Broadway                               P.O. Box 1839
Placerville, Ca. 95667            Placerville, Ca. 95667                    Shingle Springs, Ca. 95682-9998

Homeless Issues #45 & HTH

Up-Date on HangTown Haven Inc. Yes,Yes, Hangtown is one word. “HH” just doesn’t make it. 😉
It is now HTH, for HangTown Haven Inc. I pray  I did not offend anyone. It is still one word. 😉

God, The Maker, has heard, and said “Now is the time.” The Hangtown Haven site will not be ready for winter this year, and we need to rely on the Nomadic Winter Shelter to do its thing this winter. The HTH site is located next door (east, towards the CRC) of the Hangtown Motel about 100 yards or less. You will see a new driveway; and when you turn in, you will see two “Porta Potties.. A great welcome.

We have already heard and are aware of the “bad mouthing” by some of the homeless population; you can figure who they might be, but when 16 homeless persons showed up to do hard labor, clearing brush, in the heat, working 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM on a Saturday, supported by 6 interested persons, who had not, to my knowledge and by their questions, interacted with the homeless population.  I say that is success.
A late comer, ” You take donations” giving me two crumpled dollar bills, representing many cans and bottles dug out of the trash, “I’m nothing, just a drunk, old, Indian woman, I’m nothing.”

The “nay-Sayers” and those who are bad-mouthing this project, have issues beyond anyone’s help in my humble opinion. .

Thanks for your support, your prayers were the ones that encouraged God to say, “I’ll look into this.”

We have started the project that all receiving this have supported in some way. “Homeless Issues” is sent out only to those persons who somewhere, some place, showed an interest in what is happening to our citizens who have the least.

What day can the homeless population who want to abide by the rules of consensus and have some connection to El Dorado County, move in? We as yet have to be informed by the City of Placerville and its code enforcers, and its Police and Fire Dept.

Celebrate,  and stay tuned. Yes, we need funding. HTH will need $87,000.00 to complete the project. We will begin, and build as we receive operating and construction funds. See the address of the major organizations that are involved in this project below.

HangTown Haven Inc.           Community Resource Center        Job’s Shelters of the Sierra
P.O. Box 89                            1864 Broadway                               P.O. Box 1839
Placerville, Ca. 95667            Placerville, Ca. 95667                    Shingle Springs, Ca. 95682-9998

Ron Sachs 😉

Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS)
www.JobsShelters.Org

Homeless Issues #43

LET’S GET UP-TO-DATE about our homeless citizens in El Dorado County…..

What about the Community Resource Center (CRC) ………………….

After noting that there are 225 to 250 different individual visits each week at the CRC, and that the CRC has a 4 1/2-page “intake” procedure that gives them information to provide homeless persons with the services that might be available to them, since November, JSS provided 124 sleeping bags and/or tents that were distributed by the CRC. This helps make sure the tents are going to those who truly need them.  We are not just throwing away the tens/sleeping bags JSS provides, I asked Rene to give me a run-down.

Thanks, Ron. Please, prepare yourself, this is a long one! J

In July of 2010, we opened the Community Resource Center with the thought that we would serve primarily the homeless population and we have. We helped coordinate the county’s first seven- night-a-week winter shelter. We have become the place to send people when they have nowhere else to go. We have completed intakes and assessments on more than 600 individuals with over 9,000 visits through our doors, since we opened. We have documented 1,845 incoming referrals from 26 types of service groups and government agencies; provided grant assistance for direct funding to the community totaling over $20,000 in funds for car repairs, identification, bus passes, school supplies, interview clothing, sleeping bags, tents, rope and band aids, etc. We have been at the core of finding over 35 people permanent housing, 42 people jobs through our resume services and over 122 people onto medical insurance in the past 20 months. We have provided over 400 loads of laundry and 1800 showers to folks in need. We have been this community’s safety net and we have not asked for much. Our average cost to keep our doors open is around $20,000 per year. We have one person on staff, our Executive Director, who earns less than that annually and $14, 000 of that was donated by one amazingly generous person, but it could only last for so long. Now, there is no money for a salary and little else to do much with, either. We are definitely hanging on by a thread right now…
Here’s some general service info for you. See throughout (closer to the bottom) for specific numbers. You’re right, it is time for the community to step up and be responsible, too. We have PayPal for those who do not trust that we will get our mail and we DO send out thank you’ s to those who donate unrestricted funds to the CRC. Ron, we have been doing almost all of this since the first day we opened. Our overhead is approximately $1500/month or an average of $50 a day to keep all of these services available to our community. I am sure I am forgetting something. Here’s our donation receipt and some Success Stories, too. We are at a point of do or die. Do we continue or let it go? Rene


What about the “HangTown Haven” …………………..
The legal encampment area, being provided by the city of Placerville? It is in the formation mode. Yep! It is going to happen. Total cost will come in at $87,000.00 to $97,000.00 completed–all from donated monies. We plan to build in stages as money is made available. To start the project we will need $4,000.00 for the fence. There will be an area and improvements to allow the homeless population to move in before the project is completed. After $9,000.00 and donations of material and labor, we should be able to start allowing persons to move from the illegal encampments to a legal encampment. Did you get that? Legal encampment!!!!!

Yes, we need YOU. Donations are to be sent to:
(In the “memo” line, put “For CRC” or “For HangTown Haven.”)
Community Resource Center
1864 Broadway
Placerville, CA. 95667
The CRC web site will accept PayPal credit card donations for the CRC. …… WWW.edcrc.org ….

Ron Sachs 😉
Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS)
www.JobsShelters.Org

Homeless Issues #42

Feel beautiful time.
After the hard winter of wet times, the sun always comes out. It reminds me of the song from Annie, “The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, ther’ll be sun, tomorrow, tomorrow,…………………”    We have a lot of groups, and churches, that do not forget those who have the least and continually share what they have so that others can have a little. And I do want to lift up those who have the least; find something they can do to assist others.

“Hi Ron – We (CRC) are bringing a team of 8 volunteers and Guest Partners to Santa Cruz for training on the 100K Homes campaign.  This is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the vulnerability of homeless persons and how being homeless relates to health overall.  The CRC has partnered with the leaders of this nationwide campaign and will be holding its registry week this summer in El Dorado County.  Our teams will be assisting the teams in Santa Cruz for their Registry Week and learning hands-on how to do ours successfully, too…..Stay tuned!” (Rene Edwards)
I am impressed by the participation of the “Guest Partners” in this project and of their work at the CRC and in assisting the new homeless persons that arrive on the street every week. You guys are an example of what community is all about. You share with others everything you have. You care for others!

Placerville Seventh Day Adventist church held a “Ministry Fair” that highlighted all of the ministries that they are involved with, including table displays, banners, and “the whole works.” This Fair  exhibited ministries that are outside of their individual church. We should remember that Placerville Seventh Day Adventist Church sort of “started it all” with their Camino Church in partnership with United Outreach under the direction of Roz, the then president, and then Art Edwards, hosting the overnight winter shelter 5-6 years ago..

Foothill UMC is involved in reaching out to those who have the least with a variety of projects. The first  is called “SOCK IT TO ME!” – a collection of socks and toilet paper for the homeless of El Dorado County.  The IMPACT leadership group at Lakeview Elementary school in El Dorado Hills was also inspired to have their own collection and it is going strong!!  The youth of Foothills UMC will be delivering socks, toilet paper, hygiene kits and other needed items to the homeless population in El Dorado County on Saturday May 19. Everything left over from the “Great Give-away”  will then be distributed by JSS in the following weeks.

The goal is to get people in our communities to see what good the churches can do for others and to support all peoples who are in need of help. .

The groups like Hands4Hope, CN ministry, and individuals to numerous to name that make, and deliver food to the homeless encampments under the direction of Dee Hook and her group of willing volunteers at FAITH are all part of the fabric of El Dorado County.

You ask how is it coming with the city and a micro-shelter development. Welllllllllll, remember it is a city project, involving a city government, and the citizens of that city. I will say step #1, #2, #3 have been taken. Remember city/county governments, four steps forward, and three steps back. etc, etc, When we arrive at the “get together active labor ” part, I’ll let you know. And ask for your help………………… This project with the City of Placerville does not replace the need for a “Sober Re-Entry Facility” in the County.

That “Higher Power” has heard our cry, and things are falling into place. Unfortunately, our time frame does not jive with His time frame 😉 But our cries and prayers have been heard.

I have heard of other groups/ministries starting projects, but I do not have any particular information  to report at this time.

Ron Sachs 😉
Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS)
www.JobsShelters.Org

Homeless Issues #41

YES, YES, YES.
“Do you want a Homeless Shelter in this city”? That was the question put forth by a County Supervisor. “No, we don’t, but we have the problem in our city, and we have to deal with it.”  The reply by the city……….. (Actually, none of us want to have homeless persons at all who are in need of sheltering, but we do have them.)
Dealing with it. The City of Placerville recognized a problem, faced that problem, and decided to do something about that problem.  They didn’t refuse to acknowledge a glaring situation that effects the very citizens of El Dorado County as the BOS has done..
Our hats are off to the City Council of Placerville who recognized a problem and stepped up and addressed the problem, and for the endorsement of the Chief of Police. . That is what a government is supposed to do.
The city now has a city representative who will join organization meetings to keep the City Council and City Manager up to date on homeless issues. Art Edwards is the person chosen.
The city has received a parcel of land to erect modular shelters for our homeless population. I helped to “pace it” off today. It is in a great location.
The city is responsible to all of the citizens of their city.
Thank You City Council! …………………. I’ll keep all of you informed as the clearing, building, organizing, and volunteering progresses.
I just had to get this out! 6 years of heartbreaks, 6 years of praying, 6 years of prodding. Can we all work together to pull it off? WE CAN!
Ron Sachs 😉
Job’s Shelters of the Sierra (JSS)
www.JobsShelters.Org

Homeless Issues #40

“Clearing the park”

I have had many people ask me how the “clearing of Lumsden Park” went. From the standpoint of some who lived there, it was done compassionately by the Placerville Police Department. The CRC, assisted in the clean up, and the Police Dept. were helpful to the community as well as treated those homeless persons who lived in the park with dignity. Notice of the clean-up wqw given to the residents and their tent site. Those persons who heeded the notice, took down their tents and moved to another place. Those persons who stayed at their tent site had their tent taken down, packed up and given to them so they could move on. And yes I heard of the ravaging of personal property etc. coming from those who feel entitled to, be catered to, or “just complain.”.

I want to give congratulations to the Placerville Police Dept. and to the CRC for their participation in this “clean-up,” and how they conducted it.

This did not end homelessness in El Dorado County! All of those persons had to move someplace. Some went to another location; some went to the Winter Shelter programs, which will come to an end, held by the four churches; some just went to the “streets.” The problem is not solved. It just has been temporarily moved.

I have heard people say, “Why don’t they just move to Sacramento? Our homeless population is from El Dorado County, born here, went to school here, worked here, lost their jobs here, became addicted here, and are just like many of us who have supportive friends, loved ones, families,and/or familiarity with “home ground” here in El Darodo County. There is none of that in Sacramento or any other place. This is their home!. And yet we still have cold hearts to contend with. And, of course, the “I’m privileged and those people are not” group stays hidden but is much alive.


Shelter at the churches will end March 30, 2012. What then?????
Well, JSS has handled the distribution of tents, sleeping bags, rope and tarps, working through the CRC and other providers of services to the homeless, for the last few years. JSS expected to get some financial help to provide tents etc. from a private entity. That has not happened. Big disappointment. JSS, with the help of churches, individuals, and just plain people who care, will come to their rescue. SOOOOOOOOooo,,,, step up churches, organizations, and just us plain, caring people. I was told today, within one hour of receiving the, end of shelter information, reported above, that the Placerville 7th Day Adventist church has collected 27 tents and/or money to supply 27 tents and 27 sleeping bags. Not only that,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, but they have pledges for even more. And leading by example, Pastors Ron Mellor and Pastor Roy Hager and the Youth Pastor slept out in the open, overnight, on a cold wet night, with other members of their church family, to accent the need. OK! Any other group want to take on this very worthwhile challenge, of giving a person a place to go to when it rains, when they need to be alone, when they want to cry, rest, read a book, pray for a better life, or think about tomorrow??????? Will you get a drive going at your church????? Please Do! Dome tents should be no smaller than 7’X7′; Sleeping bags should be rated to 25 or 30 degrees. Light indoor bags just don’t make it. Think $25.00 each tent and each bag. Send checks to: JSS, P.O. Box 1839, Shingle Springs, Ca. 95682-9998, designate checks for “tents & bags,” or “open for special needs” JSS is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit. You will get a letter acknowledging your contribution. Tents/bags can be left at Foothills UMC at 3301 Green valley Rd. Rescue/Cameron Park, Ca. 95672. OR I will come pick them up from your church or organizations location.

SRF Sober Re-Entry Facility info. 2/13/12, we had the Continuum of Care committee meeting today. A Long, long discussion was held on who should be in charge the CoC: County or a Lead Non-Profit organization. The CoC is hiring a consulting firm to coordinate the ED County CoC and the federal government. Thanks to the EDCF for the funding for this……………. Regarding the SRF Sober Re-Entry Facility. The CoC agreed to go forward with our plans to start the process of organizing those who stepped up and said they would be involved in the operation and maintenance of a Sober Re-Entry Facility. We will e-mail those who are on board with this project for a meeting in the very near future.

Those who are new to this newsletter might want to go to our web site below and read the 39 past issues of “Homeless Issues” and get to know us.

Homeless Issues #39

What about that SUPER meeting on Jan. 9th?

The one about a facility for sober, homeless citizens of El Dorado County.

Well, 44 people showed up. Not the 100 I was praying for. We had a good cross-section of those who had various commitments to investing time and energy in helping the sober, homeless population of El Dorado county re-enter “the main stream.”  9 people marked the sign-in roster with an big asterisk, indicating that they wanted to participate in making a facility for sober, homeless citizens of ED County work.

It was pointed out that Progress House and Vitality Lake Tahoe/Sierra Recovery Center had empty beds for homeless persons and were very under-used. Something like 20 some beds were available. We thought we should check this out. Progress House: I know homeless persons and others, who are/were under their care for recovery of addiction. They are a premier rehabilitation center serving all who are addicted, at a fee, that fee is not always affordable to persons who are homeless.

I am familiar with Progress House, I needed to check the possibility that persons who are sober/non-addicted would be welcome. I got their info. that is current on their web site. Then I phoned the number that was posted on their web site. A young lady answered the phone, and I said I was inquiring about the services provided by Progress House. My questioning was as if I was interested in applying to Progress House. I did not get far and was told that they are a recovery facility and if I was not addicted they could not help. (This is all paraphrased, not word for word.)  I did the same with Vitality Lake Tahoe/Sierra Recovery Center. I am really jacked up with knowing that they will accept sober persons who are homeless. I know Progress House charges for “Out Patient” as well as “In Patient” services…………..  I ask, that if one finds out that they do accept sober persons, the question arises, is what happens when they need the beds for substance abuse treatment or transitional services for that population; and my other concern is the issue of the appropriateness of services available or influence of the addicted at those facilities, in meeting the needs of sober homeless persons.

Tuesday’s meeting of the Nomadic Shelter Providers committee reveled that 4-5 out of 10 persons who use the CRC are sober persons. That is 40% to 50%. Thus, as sober, they are not able to enter a recovery center. A transitional/re-entry facility is very much needed so that those who are not addicted, are sober, can move on in their lives to becoming productive members of our community

Almost 25%, attending the meeting, that included some who are opposed to the idea of this facility, indicated that they would put time and efforts into this project. What would happen if 25% of all of you who have some interest in our homeless population stepped up and said, “Include Me! That would give us over 100+ people on this project for a facility for sober, homeless citizens of El Dorado County..

The Nomadic Shelter is going very well. The shelters are having some of the sober, motivated, helpful, “guests” assist in the operation of the shelters. These persons are doing a great job as the volunteerism within some of the churches wanes and “burn-out” sets in. You are encouraged to step up and give 2-3 hours a week helping at one of the shelter sites..