at HangTown Haven became frustrated due to what we found to be going
around and around in circles when we attempted to address the mentally
challenged guests we encountered at the Haven. We
needed, on the ground, protocols to address what we can do to be of
help to those at the Haven who had mental challenges, and lack the
ability to function. Now.Today..
The major players are: Placerville City Police. They involve themselves in criminal activity only. Being mentally challenged is not a against the law. El Dorado County
Dept.: They are
involved in only Civil law within the city limits of
Placerville. Marshall Hospital: A privately-owned medical facility that can chose to admit or discharge persons regardless of what county, city, community mental health professionals recommend. Then there are County, community non-profits, and “mental health” advocates. Among that group is the “Crisis Team-Mental Health.” And finally,there is HangTown Haven Inc. with Laurie Marchant
as liaison/coordinator on mental issues at HangTown Haven. She will be
asking for volunteers to help her in transporting mentally challenged
person to their appointments. Contact her at ………..
firstname.lastname@example.org …….. if you want to help out.
have a subject; we will
use the name “Jordon,” a real person, mentally and medically/physically
age 61, and how he has fallen “through the cracks” of the care of the
challenged persons with little to no income in El Dorado
County.Jordon’s mother is in an assisted living facility unable to take
care of herself, leaving a son of 61 years of age who can’t take
care of himself, in a tent at HangTown Haven Inc.
The following is a summarized timeline of one incident with Jordon. Those
involved are Larry, Chair of HangTown Haven Community Council, Kenny of HTHCC, and
Laurie of HTH. And City/County authorities.
ER. Released within a few hours.
a 61-year-old man living at HTHI with mental illness, medical challenges of
chronic incontinence, and concern for possible contagiousness for all residents
at camp and the Upper Room. No help by
(and Ben). Meeting eyeball to eyeball to
convey our concerns was imperative.
Jayle was compassionate, concerned and helpful. Case opened.
refills @ 4:30.
follow up check in the morning.
incontinence, concern for contagiousness.
Gregg very helpful.
1:00. Unable to get a stand by
appointment but scheduled for appointment. tomorrow at 5:00 pm (expedited). Advised to take Gordon to Marshall ER to
test for C-Diff. and rule out contagious concerns.
Rather than simply dropping Jordon off, Laurie and Ken stayed to
advocate and give history.
compassionate but unable to help with housing placement. Tests negative for C-Diff and other
potentially contagious health issues due to fecal incontinence.
two necessary documents for placement in Assisted Living or a Residential Care
Facility: Obtained copy of chest x-ray to rule our TB; however, physician on
call would not complete the “602” form required for placement in a Community
up with personal physician. Jordon does not have a personal physician, he is homeless.
Community Health appointment. at 5:00 – 6:30.
Appointment. scheduled for Mental Health on 10-31-12 with Dr. John Bachman and
full physical on 11-1-12 with Kate, FNP.
Laurie asked Larry and Gene to set up a used tent, sleeping bag and
blankets, as Jordon’s was nothing short of a health hazard to ALL residents
with fecal matter, urine, and filthy contents.
Laurie asked Gordon if he would be willing to purchase a new tent and sleeping
bag when his SSDI money deposits on 11-3-12. Jordon agreed.
covered in feces and urine while in common area at HTH. Laurie suggested calling NAMI and CIT.
hold. Ambulance transported Gordon to
Marshall ER. Sgt. Hammitt advised Larry
that Gordon would NOT be back to HTH.
County Mental Health is contacted for
evaluation. Robert Bloom and someone
from his staff (Eric?) determine the criteria for a 5150 hold is not met. Marshall ER releases Gordon and sends him by
cab to HTH after 8:00 pm.
Laurie met Larry, Ken and Gene at HTHI @ 11:00 to clean out Jordon’s filthy tent. All bedding placed
in plastic bags for disposal. Feces,
urine, loose tobacco, cigarette butts scattered amongst all contents. New Rx,
Depends and some clothing soiled. Tent flooring and mat cleaned. Another sleeping bag provided. Gordon was instructed afterwards that he is
NOT to smoke in tent. He agreed.
That is just one person out of many.
Thank you Jordon for being the catalyst to bring all Mental Health operatives in El Dorado County together. Lt. Norlen of the ED County Sheriff Dept. and Cathy Hartman of NAMI, called a
meeting on Monday of all the Mental
Health operatives in El Dorado County together, and working together,
we pray, will find all the cracks that homeless persons fall through in
El Dorado County, and improve their care..
in mind that HangTown Haven is a Tent Encampment of Homeless guests
staying in tents. HTHI is not a Mental Facility that has the expertise
or ability to manage Mental Health issues.
At that time they feel that with working with the County, they can move
HangTown Haven, the CRC and Upper Room to another location. That way all these services would be in one building. That will be the city’s goal.
I will up-date you as we proceed through the
City Manager is to make the following suggestion at the 7:00 p.m.,Tuesday, Oct. 23rd Town Hall meeting building (across the street from the Mexican restaurant just above the Placerville Court house); that HangTown Haven should be shut down for the winter, citing safety reasons.
The homeless persons of Placerville have been camping in tents during
the winter, including in that location, for the 8 years that I have been
involved with the homeless population of Placerville. Since the Nomadic
Shelter has been in operation and before that, when United Outreach
hosted the homeless, we experienced that some nights we would have 15
persons and on other nights we had 60+. Why the difference?
Some persons did not want to stay at the Winter Shelter. The churches
try their very best to take care of those, the citizens of the City that
The City may care for but don’t provide for; but they can’t handle 60-80 persons every night for 4-5 months. Every homeless person who has been found frozen to death during the winter was found in isolated, hidden places. Not in any community that takes care of one another such as HangTown Haven.
each of you who receive this message, send an e-mail to each of the
following and/or phone these city council members, asking for them to
listen to those who have experience with the homeless community, have a
knowledge of what homelessness challenges are. and have experienced being homeless during the winter months.
Edwards, President and Chairman
Ron Sachs, Vice Chairman, Operations
Jim Ellsworth, Secretary/Treasurer
Haven before now, but
I have been waiting to include the latest site developments in my report. The
is that the encampment has been successful beyond our wildest dreams. Since it
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
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 fire chief
very happy. Since camping in the forest is illegal, the police chief now has a
which he can encourage illegal campers to move. The property owner is very
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.
winter, not all of
our homeless will remain at the Haven during the cold season. However, some
we must provide protection for them from the elements. The following
have been or are being implemented as I write.
tents since most
Four portable toilets and a wash station are provided and emptied
reading in the common area are now in service.
phones and using
Small size gravel has been spread in the common area to reduce
center of the common area for warmth and
comfort on cold nights.
10. Four picnic tables and many chair have been provided.
protection water hose is now connected and available.
water filtration system has been installed.
available at the CRC a short distance away.
Program provides lunch every day.
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
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
success. We have learned a lot and have made the area as winter-proof as
the funds available. It was interesting to hear the public’s reaction;
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
live. Tents are a temporary solution. Shelter designs are being developed as
you read this.
negotiating a long-
term lease with the landowner. We continue to work with the city to verify that
meeting all code requirements. All signs are “go”, as we aim toward
help for our community’s homeless. However, none of this would have been
without your gift. The homeless and HangTown Haven volunteers send you their
thanks for making a safe, clean, friendly place and new life available for
them. To this I
add my own appreciation.