Homeless Issue #157

Letting you know


The Nomadic Shelter numbers for the Nov. Dec. and Jan. are as follows: 194 persons are registered with the Nomadic Shelter and have signed a statement of behavioral standards that are expected during their stay at a Hosting church.

For the months of November, 2019
and December, and January, 2020.

Average number of persons per night is 23, With a high 38 and a low of 9 at the beginning. And including 8 persons who have flagrantly broken their signed pledge of behavioral conduct and have been banned from all shelter locations.


We want to give praise and thanksgiving to the host churches, Foothills UMC, Federated Church, Green Valley Community Church, Cold Springs Community Church, Discovery Hills Community Church, as well as those major contributing churches such as Holy Trinity Catholic Church and St. Patrick Catholic Church and others who also provide volunteers who participate at the host churches.

       I really apricate your help!              



Homeless Issue #156

  Den 6 from Cub Scout Pack 117, Shingle Springs/Latrobe, Ca. was in search of a Service Project that would help an individual or individuals in need.  What better event than to hold a SOCK RALLY to collect socks for the Homeless. 


In 2017, they had enthusiastically collected socks and wanted to do it again. 

This project was a significant learning experience and embodied an important part of The Scout Law……”to help other people at all times.”  

 Coordinating with Job’s Shelters of the Sierra, the scouts put out the word and soon the entire Cub Scout Pack was collecting socks!  After listening to Mr. Sachs and then collecting socks enabled each Cub Scout to realize how lucky the are to be in a position to help others less fortunate than themselves.  


Church groups such as the “Teens” at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. This was very enlightening for me due to the depth of the questions and the thoughtful comments by this group of thoughtful young adults. I was impressed. I gave the challeng of being a homeless person for just a few days. Sleeping on the ground, no toilet paper, carrying everything they feel important to them with them for three days, only using water from outside facets, etc. Comment: Can’t do it, have to go to school 😉


Hands for Hope youth from El Dorado Hills that went with me to the “Homeless Camps” at Christmas time in 2008 to experience homelessness first hand.


You Wanna Help?


Homeless Issue #155

We seldom have an opportunity to take time to hear from a homeless person and get a feeling of what being homeless is like. Here is your opportunity. I asked one of my homeless friends who stays at the Nomadic Shelter on the evenings that it is open to write his experience down. This is what he wrote out for me.

“I’m 48 years old. Was raised by my Grandparents who are passed. I’m from the Bay area. I started working at a street rod shop as a welder & fabricator building custom cars at age 17. I did that off & on at 3 shops for about12 years. I was also a Union iron worker where I had a serious back injury that still restricts what I can do. At age 29 I owned a big home in a nice neighborhood in the Bay Area. I don’t drink. smoke, or do any kind of drugs. I made a big mistake that I thoroughly regret and ended up losing everything & went to prison for seventeen years. I had never been in any real trouble before & ending up in a violent level 4 prison. That was a horrible culture shock I have ever seen & experienced things that have seriously traumatized me. I have always had mental health issues. But over the years the stress & major depression has caused heart failure. I have had a pace maker for almost eleven years now. Getting out of prison I was told by CDCR that because I have no family & no where to go that CDCR was going to place me at a prison & take me to transitional housing. But upon my release no one picked me up. So I had to figure out how to get to the parole officer in Auburn which I did. I met my parole officer & he said there is no transitional housing. He dropped me off at the Walmart parking lot in Placerville & told me to go find a place in the woods to live. That was fourteen months ago. I am unable to work due to my physical & mental health problem. I hear voices, I have hallucinations. I have also been struggling with some type of dementia for five years. I get lost sometimes. I have tried to go into homes thinking that I still live there. I have attempted suicide, I tried to jump off the Forest Hill Bridge where the Police picked me up & took me to the hospital. I have been in several hospitals and many mental institutions. I don’t even know how I got to the bridge. In my mind I thought for some reason I was in Oregon. I can see demons follow me. I am struggling to just make it through the day. The last 20 years have been so hard I know that I can make it much longer. Parole has done nothing to help me & say that there is no help coming from them & they have obstructed others from helping me. Throwing parolees out on the street to be homeless in an unfamiliar area where I don’t know anybody is a plan for failure. Nobody should have to ho through this, especially people who have real medical & mental problems. I have worked so hard to change for the better. I have a lot of incite on how my life went off course. Under different circumstances I could have become a productive member of society instead of a transient who is hoping for my pace maker battery to finally give out so my sorrow & hurt will finally end. It should have given out two months ago but it’s still going, for now. If I was an alcoholic of drug addict there would be some program I could go to but for people like me there is nothing. I have met many homeless parolees in Placerville, several with mental problems & parole does nothing for them either CDCR does a great job of taking care of themselves, but those of us, who are their wards have nothing coming. My hospitalizations have cost the county around $100,000.00. Safe, stable, housing could have prevented most of this & would have been much cheaper.”


Enough said!




 Homeless Issue #154 /    Christmas Time

Ron went to Holy Trinity to give a little talk about Homelessness to a group of 8th graders. This is the message I received after our talk.
“Thank you for your time today.  Both your words and images from the video gave a vivid picture of what homelessness is in El Dorado County–and what you are doing to help through Job’s Shelters of the Sierra.  Thank you for ALL you do.
Lastly, here are details for your newsletter:
(And Ron suggests a challenge to other faith groups.)
8th Grade Tuesday FFF (Family Faith Formation) class at Holy Trinity Parish in El Dorado Hills wanted to serve their local community.  The class chose Job’s Shelters of the Sierra as their way to serve.  Students planned the service project, promoted the collection drive, raised funds, made blankets, collected more blankets and other items to help the homeless stay warm in Winter.  In total students donated:

9 sleeping bags -104 blankets -229 pairs of socks -21 coats -7 pairs of shoes -lots of small hygiene products
“Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” said Mother Teresa.  We may have some saints in the making.  =)

All the best,
On top of that, 3 days later, the church, Holy Trinity, unloaded a van full of donated, specific clothing items, gloves, ponchos, sleeping bags, gift cards that we use to purchase razors etc., and lots of socks. We share the Safeway cards with the Sheriff H.O.T. to go directly to the homeless in the camps, the others we use to purchase supplies ……..Merry Christmas……Again!

I heard again and again “Ron, here is a little something.” Those “little somethings” keep JSS going. Hear is a little something that also keeps us going.

During the last H.O.T. gathering we gave out 25 blankets. We still have many more to be given out. As they are very inconsistent with what the Nomadic Shelter uses, we have 75 more blankets to be given out. We plan to give these blankets to the Sheriff H.O.T. to directly give out.

I pray that all of you think of and pray for the wellbeing of those who are mentally and emotionally challenged who are on the streets. Year round, but especially during this season.


Homeless Issue #153

What can a homeless person do with their spare time to help them “escape” their homelessness?

Make a plan. Think of one’s resources. Think of one’s skills. Who can/will help them in their time of need? Then continually “sell” the marketable skills one has. During the winter months, stay at the Nomadic Shelter, eat at The Upper Room, and stay active and productive at any job, paying or nonpaying. Just stay active. This worked for me. (I did not have a Nomadic Shelter or Upper Room)

Many homeless persons have mental challenges that can only be treated by professionally trained persons. This is a City/County/State “human” issue that has to be addressed but is ignored by the City/County/State. This group will always be with us. It is “Human Nature,” The only thing we can do for them is purchase a sandwich, a cup of soup, a piece of fruit, or a meal. It is wise not to give them money as they have shown that they are not good money managers. And then, pray that the Cities/Counties/States/ will care for their citizens who have the very least at some point in time….

What can I do to help the homeless?

          Get involved at your church and school as well as let the City/County governments know your concerns, continue to collect socks, rolls of toilet paper, new women’s and men’s underwear (Medium and Large), and most of all remember they could be us. In the winter, jackets, warm hoodies are wanted.

Treat the homeless and all people as we would want to be treated. Give reliable homeless persons jobs to do. Give them some responsibilities when/where you can.
Homeless Challenge: This represents the first few nights to Homelessness. As one finds their way in this homeless situation, they may discover some variations to this regiment.

Take the challenge.

Starting this afternoon:
Eat one meal. Then go outside.
Do not use any toilet paper at any time.
Get any water you use from an outside water faucet.
No TV, Computer, Tablet, Phone, Radio, flashlight,

At sundown go to sleep outside or on a garage floor, with a blanket or sleeping bag. If you are on the garage floor, you are VERY fortunate.

When you get up the next morning, pick up all your belongings including everything you plan on using for the day and keep all of that with you all day. Do not leave any of it alone as it may be taken by another homeless person. (This is the reason that you do not want to donate large shampoos, toothpaste, or large anything to homeless providers/distributors.) They have to be carried all day.

Spend that day outside.
Eat one meal that day.

     Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.
                          Now you will get the idea.


And yes, our County Government has made great strides in planning, preparing, and visioning the day when the homeless who are on our streets, have a place to lay their heads and a safe place to put their burdens down, and cry, smile, and feel worthwhile.

Unfortunately, we have persons who do not want to give anything to anyone or even care what happens to those who do not have their advantages. They vote for county offices and resources.  Homeless persons don’t vote.

I am blessed to see some of my ex-homeless friends this time of year. Working, dry, warm and with a smile on their faces. One friend I see about once every few weeks, and have known for a number of years who is “off the streets,” has a job and an apartment. When he sees me, he makes an effort to come to me. He opens his wallet and hands me a $20.00 bill for JSS. He is “Giving Back” with a smile and a “Thanks.” …………. That is what you can call a

         Merry Christmas!
From the JSS Group and their donors and supporters.       


Homeless Issues   #152  

After doing this for 11 years, JSS is still doing this. Bullied, Burdened, Abused, Harassed, Loved, Looked up to, Assisted, Hugged, Admired, Remembered, Forgotten, and about everything else, JSS goes where the homeless congregate to give freely the necessities of living “on the streets.” Here we are again partnered with the El Dorado Sherriff H.O.T. and the other County service Depts.

The Nomadic Shelter has started up again for this 2019-2020 winter season again. This year the shelter covers just 5 nights a week. We have only 5 host churches in all of El Dorado County who are willing to allow homeless persons into their building to be protected, warm, and dry. ONLY 5 !

We GREATLY ADMIRE THOSE VOLLUNTEERS WHO GIVE OF THEIR TIME ENERGY AND MOSTLY, LOVE, to their fellow humans who “have the very least,” are mentally challenged, or are addicted.

JSS is giving a tent and a sleeping bag to each of those who sign-in with the Nomadic Shelter who do not have a tent/bag so they can have some warmth and protection on the nights that the shelter is not open. This is a very costly burden on JSS. But someone must step up and do it. JSS spends about $45.00 on each tent/bag distribution, and with 170 signed into the Nomadic Shelter last year, that is $7,650.00 JSS has to plan for. (And we ain’t got it) Or do we need to spend our resources on women’s under ware (3 sizes), men’s under ware (2 sizes), women’s sanitary pads (3 kinds/sizes), rolls of toilet paper, socks, razors, tooth brushes, tooth paste, and assorted lotions and bulbms? Thank God for the clothing we give out that we receive from donations from organizations like the LDS, thrift shops, and other faith organizations and one Family Grant that has been faithful to JSS. All to keep JSS functioning. 

Deserted Juvenile Hall being turned over for use as a homeless shelter and or anything involving the homeless is not at all going to happen. There is an active courtroom in that building.  No way the homeless are to be around the courtroom. That dream is dead!

“14 Forward,” is housing the homeless in Tuff sheds on County property. I asked each County Supervisor “How likely would the County give property for such a community.” How likely would the County change the codes to allow a person to live/sleep in a Tuff Shed.” etc. 3 supervisors acknowledged that they received the request, and two did not.  Never got a reply as to how likely the Supervisors would approve any such homeless community. That dream is dead!

And can you believe that the “California State Association of Counties” is giving El Dorado County an award for their contributions/care of our homeless population. 

While at the H.O.T outing, the Placerville City Police Commander came over to me and we had a very friendly conversation. He wants to be helpful, he asked advice, and I was very comfortable with him. A huge change from past Placerville Police policy. Thank you, Commander Wren.

Our Homeless Vets

We salute

All Veterans

We pay special attention to those Vets
who find themselves on the streets, cold, hungry, suffering from mental challenges and addictions. God bless you all.
And God Bless America.




Homeless Issue #151/Shelter Info.

This years Nomadic Shelter is in great need. Here is the rundown that follows.
Host churches for the 2019-2020 season and other possibilities for shelter
Sunday night            –   Cold Springs Community Church        
Monday night           –   Foothills United Methodist Church
Tuesday night           –   OPEN
Wednesday night     –   OPEN
Thursday night         –   Discovery Hills Church.
Needs staffing                                                                           or no go
Friday night              –    Green Valley Community Church
Saturday night          –    Federated Church

Supportive churches for shelter nights: host volunteers or meal provision addressing needs of each host shelter (please let me know if missing a supportive faith community)
Sunday night:    –    St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church
Monday night    –    Holy Trinity Catholic Church (meals 1st & 3rd)
Tuesday night
Wednesday night
Thursday night    –   
++++ seeking new group of volunteers                                             & team leader 
Friday night        –    by host Church: Green Valley Community Church
Saturday night    –    Faith Episcopal, St. Stephens & LDS


Don asked for volunteers to meet with Pastor Chris Feigles to determine what they will need to be successful as the Thursday evening Shelter Host.
Ron suggested that they need at least 20 volunteers per night breaking into three shifts for the evening and overnight.

Please contact Pat Maher (530) 306-6515 or Paul Kodelja (530) 363-6524 (both call/text) if you or your faith community wants to be involved in the worthy effort
We will build a volunteer list and make available volunteer opportunities with written guidelines for the team leader.
There are no kitchen facilities available so all food will need to be easy to serve and either kept in ice chests or room temperature as appropriate for food safety.
Their first shelter night is
NOVEMBER 7th which is not far away. 

We will assist the new team leader with organization and training of volunteers along with Ron, Don, Peg and other Nomadic Shelter  Ministry members. 
the functions we will be covering to begin with are:
     Van Drivers evening (2)
     Check-in/vetting volunteers (4)
     Meal volunteers
     Evening hosts (2) 6:30 – 10:00PM
     1st night hosts (2) 10:00PM – 2:00AM
     2nd night hosts (2) 2:00AM – 6:00 AM
     Morning hosts (2-3)
     Van Drivers morning (2)

Guidelines will be written for each volunteer position using the guidelines from the other Host Church Shelters.
Pastor Feigles will meet with the team leader and give a set of keys for the room as well as demonstrate the outside lighting for use of the restrooms. Volunteers will need to escort guests to bathrooms as they are located outside of the sleeping room.

 So partner Faith Communities, please share this need with your congregation and let us together answer the call to serve as Jesus served.

I will go Lord, if you lead me,
I will hold your people in my heart”


JSS will be providing the shelter guests with a tent and sleeping bag to protect our homeless community from the weather elements on the non-shelter nights. We had 170 registered guests in the shelter last year. If we provided a tent and bag ($45.00 cost) for each person this year of 170 it would cost $7,650.00.
This year JSS is only giving out tents and bags to those who are signed up for the Nomadic Shelter. And only to those who have not received a tent and/or bag with in the last 12 months. As those who receive tent/bag sign a document that they understand that they will not receive but one tent/bag within a 12-month period.
JSS will distribute as long as supply last. When that runs out. No more tents or bags. We anticipate we might receive/have, prayfully, $4,500.00 for tents/bags as of now.
Keep in mind JSS also supplies toilet paper, men’s and women’s underwear, socks, razors, toothbrushes and paste, women’s sanitary napkins, etc. all year long and these have to be bought as supplies diminish. JSS clothing is all donated and we give out what we have when we have it.


Homeless Issue #150/Homeless Village


14 Forward Tiny Homes Village                  

County planned visit to a program in Yolo county.


The 14 Forward Tiny Homes Village’ located north of Sacramento at 940 14th St, Marysville, CA 95901, is, to the best of their knowledge, the first sanctioned Tiny Homes Community in California. Hangtown Haven proceeded it by 6 years.


It consists of 20 12′ x 8′ Tiny Houses constructed using Tuff Sheds,’ the interiors little more than a shell — no plumbing, electricity, cooking or heating, initially furnished solely with a bed or beds. Bathing, showering and food are provided in a church adjacent to the village, while laundry is off-site. Dogs are allowed on-site but not in the units.


The village is designed to be transitional — Intended for homeless people currently living out of doors who are to be provided with more permanent housing in 30-90 days, while attending to medical, mental health, and other needs of the residents.

The total cost to create the village is reported to have been $200,000 ($10,000 / unit), with some $100,000 spent on the Tuff Sheds” and their transformation. Some $100,000 was provided by Yuba County.


Most impressive is that the project took only a few months to come together, and just three weeks from arrival of the ordered Tuff Sheds until the village was ready to accept its first residents. (Can this County move that fast?) This is a demonstration of what can be done with a bit of organization and a lot of will. For less than off-quoted estimates of the cost of a single affordable unit, more than twenty people and their pets are no longer homeless, their ability to receive services has been enhanced, they needn’t worry every night if their possessions will be stolen while they sleep, and they can look forward to the prospect of getting permanent housing. A similar test project can and should be undertaken in Berkeley, Oakland or elsewhere in Alameda County, with an eye towards rapid expansion. While the particulars may be different in different locales, the Yuba City village is a proof-of-concept for California. It’s time to stop talking and start housing. This is not much more then the tents that JSS provided the homeless in El Dorado County at Hangtown Haven..


   ……..These, plus bathrooms would have to be added on site and are the most expensive services that would have to be provided and maintained.


What needs to be overcome


Land. Who will allow it and get the “use permit”? Do County building laws allowing a person to sleep in such a structure, and Overseen by whom?


A group traveled all the way to Yolo County to see their tiny building, here is one that Art Edwards of Hangtown Haven designed and  had built in 2013 for you to compare. It cost $2500 at the time.

           A house with a wooden doorDescription automatically generated           A wooden tableDescription automatically generated      


This, just before the city of Placerville shut Hangtown Haven down.     

ED County, take action! PLEASE!!!!  


What do we do with the Addicted/Mentally challenged?  


Nomadic Shelter & Homeless Issues #146

It is time to gear up for the winter months to assist “Those who have the very least,” the Homeless population El Dorado County.

Host churches
for the 2019-2020 season.

a. Sunday night            Cold Springs Community Church      
b. Monday night           – Foothills United Methodist Church
c. Tuesday night           – OPEN
d. Wednesday night     – OPEN
e. Thursday night         –
Discovery Hills Church
f. Friday night               – Green Valley Community Church
g. Saturday night          – Federated Church
Supportive churches for shelter nights: host volunteers or meal provision addressing needs of each host shelter
a. Sunday night: –
St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church
b. Monday night – Holy Trinity Catholic Church
c. Tuesday night
d. Wednesday night
e. Thursday night –
Christ Like Services
f. Friday night – Host Church: Green Valley Community Church
g. Saturday night – Faith Episcopal & LDS
Why can’t the County come up with just an unused county building with room and bathrooms????? The volunteers of the Nomadic Shelter would cover the staffing of the shelter nights at the facility. Come on County! Just Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I would pray that there is at least one employee with the County who would act as “Overseer.”

This year we now have the cooperation of the County Sheriff Department and the Placerville Police Department assisting and not harassing our homeless population. At the September Nomadic Shelter general meeting our law enforcement departments will be there giving support to our efforts.

I recently had a conversation with a homeless person who was strongly condemning all the police. His “beef” was for being jailed for “loitering.” He had no comprehension about laws and who must enforce those laws or why there are such laws. Also, his attitude was much like “Me” and I don’t care about anything else. His mind set was that all police are making trouble for him. But that is not true! His mind was made up that the police were after him. How do we overcome that? I am working with the Sheriff H.O.T. (Homeless Outreach Team) and watch them interact with the homeless population who want assistance and are grateful for the help. I have seen deputies stand by as one under the influence of drugs is doing outrageous gyrations harming no one in the process, as they express themselves. The deputies stand by with understanding. That made me proud of our Sheriff Dept.

Big Night! Great people! Nomadic Shelter Benefit Dinner!

Nomadic Shelter Benefit Dinnerchairperson Paul Kodelja reporting:

a. Date/Time:  Saturday October 12, 2019 from 5:00PM-9:30PM

b. Location:  Holy Trinity Parish, 3111 Tierra de Dios Dr, El Dorado Hills, CA (located off of Country Club Dr. between Cambridge and Bass Lake Roads

c. Menu:  baked penne pasta with sausage, salad, garlic bread, coffee.

And one of the funniest comics you will ever hear is preforming.


$25.00 tax deductible if you pay by check. Put in an extra $25.00 for someone who can’t afford to pay the price.

An All New Beginning is Awaiting You and I and All “Those Who Have the Very Least” Who, Try, Endure, and Understand. Life is All New Beginnings.
God Bless Us All.

Ron Sachs

Thank goodness! Only Kindness Inc., the non-profit that has been on the streets as long, if not longer than JSS, is reopening their office in the old Placerville sub-station in the Dollar Store shopping center. It will not be a “drop in” but by appointment for the homeless to register with HMIS and learn all the resources that are available to the homeless person applying. JSS plans to team up with Only Kindness in the distribution of tents and sleeping bag for our homeless population as we had done in the past. Great news!



Winter/Rain Is upon us!

170+ persons registered with the Nomadic Shelter last year. Tuesday and Wednesday nights of rain will not be covered this winter season. JSS has traditionally supplied tents and sleeping bags for our homeless population throughout the year. This year JSS does have a god supply of sleeping bags but are out of tents. Each person is entitled to one tent and one sleeping bag within one twelve-month period. Our homeless need at least 50 tents to start off with. That is 50 tents @ $23.00 for a tent that will accommodate one person and their backpack and belongs. Or $1,150.00. (Last year a group wasted a lot of money on what turned out to be children’s “Backyard tents” that did not accommodate an adult and their belongings.) We need those tents now! Will you step up and help to shelter our “Brothers and sisters who have the very least,” our homeless?
I beg.


Ron Sachs and the JSS hygiene/clothing distributors, Brian, Will, John, Richard, and Jerry/Betty.