Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Homeless on Broadway

From page A5 | December 04, 2013 | 7 Comments


As someone who lives within a mile of the Upper Room and Mercy Way Rescue Church, I consider the houseless population on Broadway to be my neighbors. They don’t live in huge decorated houses or drive fancy cars; instead they sleep at church shelters or in tents under the stars. They walk on dirt paths by the blackberries and under the oaks, much like the miners and Native Americans who lived here before us. I am not frightened by my homeless neighbors. They do not accost me on my walks down Broadway or on the bike trail. I do not see trash or obscene behavior on the paths they walk. They have never harassed me or made me feel unsafe. Their presence is a peaceful one and some have even become my friends.

One day while driving down Broadway, out of curiosity, I stopped by to visit Mercy Way Rescue Church. I visit many churches. Mercy Way serves the homeless population and others who study the Bible and want to live in community with Christ. What I found when I entered were friendly, welcoming pastors and a room full of kind, humble men and women for whom life has been a real trial. All treated me warmly, graciously and with respect. Some told me their stories of being in the Child Protective Services system for years, suffering abuse and neglect from parents or family members or not having any family at all. Many were badly damaged at times in their lives and have never felt the safety and love of a real home. Others battle with major health problems such as diabetes, MS, heart disease or mental illness as well as struggling with lack of shelter. Most have lived in this area for many years and at some time did have work and a home.

I go to Mercy Way Rescue Church regularly now and worship with them and offer art projects. They are human beings like me, with children they worry about, days that are sometimes hard and lonely and creative talents too. Many battle with depression and addictions that are hard to beat while living on the street. Some work, but still can’t pay local rents. Mercy Way Rescue Church and the Upper Room give them support, community and the dignity they deserve. I see them as the very folks Jesus said to clothe and feed. They are the weak and poor in spirit that those of us with means are called to minister to.

It is my hope that the police, politicians and citizens of Placerville can find it in their hearts to treat these people with the compassion and assistance they deserve. Hard as it is to see and accept for some, they are residents of Placerville in their own right. They are our neighbors. May Placerville treat them as such.


Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 7 comments

  • robertdnollDecember 02, 2013 - 5:20 pm

    god bless you Patty

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  • Thank You- To All Who Help & Show Kindness To The Homeless Family/People.December 02, 2013 - 5:42 pm

    I have been following all the articles on the homeless. It touches me deeply. I can relate. My own dad is homeless. My dad lives out of his van in San Jose. Sometimes he sleeps wherever he gets asked to come stay by someone who takes pity and shows him compassion. My dad has 4 grown kids including me. My mom gave up and divorced my dad. He was never around anymore. Always on the streets. He does not drink and/or touch Alcohol. My Dad does not do drugs. He is just happy on the streets. I asked my dad a week ago to come from San Jose for Thanksgiving Day this past Thursday. He would not say yes. Instead my dad he surprised us all and woke us up after 10pm. on Wednesday night to say he was in El Dorado. He had decided to come earlier. That is how he is. It's his way or no way. It was late and we were tired, ready for bed. Yet, my husband then talked on my dads phone with A nice couple. Strangers had helped my dad to find a nice lit up parking lot to call me and my husband to say he was very needy of help, and was lost. My husband left immediately as he always does knowing this is my dad, and the way he is. Our life and family becomes turned upside down. My dad always has to be in control. He does not like anyone to tell him what to do. My dad is very smart, but he acts helpless and needy and he chooses the homeless life to sleep in his car. My dad was left a big inheritance by his parents years ago. He gave it all to the church. We had no money growing up since it was a choice for my dad to always remain poor, barely making it month to month. My dad has never liked having responsibility. Yes, even as I said back when I was a child. I am in my 40's and he has not changed. After 4 days with my dad my whole family including my 4 older kids were tired, exhausted, and very weary in well doing. I took my dad to Safeway in Cameron Park, because dad asked to go with me shopping. My Dad stopped everyone he could in the store he could talk to. The Homeless family of people I know are very needy. I was patient. I then thanked everyone for being kind as I took my dad down each isle of the store to each person that dad reached out to and showed kindness & stopped at my dads request to show him a listening ear as my dad always tried to monopolize each persons time with what he had to say. Some stood longer, and showed a great day of patience as he talked. The Safeway manager did not kick my dad out. I just smiled. She too was very kind as my dad talked to her. She had a job to do and yet she showed my dad so much kindness and gave a lot of time even though she may not have totally agreed with my dad, she listened. I just continued to be patient & smile. The EDC/Amador firemen were in the store too. They also were all very nice & kind as my dad excitedly talked with each one of them that he could speak to. Sunday came, and it was very hard to say goodbye to my dad. I do want my dad here. My home is large. & My dad is almost 80. I am praying that God will help me when the time comes to take my dad in full time. Right now for my dad he is still able to be "out on the streets" living. It is his choice and has been his choice since I was young. My oldest brother said it will take my dad to be flat on his back and not able to "run the streets" anymore to stop and slow down and live out the rest of his life quietly. My dads oldest brother finally got to that point as he too lived on the streets homeless. I took care of him on the streets before I moved here to EDC. My uncle pushed a buggy sometimes 2 buggies back in San Jose/Sunnyvale for over 10 years until his legs and feet medically gave out. I was there to walk him through all the paperwork to get quietly settled finally. I was sad but also a relief for me, and my family. Now my uncle is in a nursing facility in San Jose full time run by the state. We talk by phone. Long talks. I just smile and listen. My uncle was also like my dad, stubborn and unwilling to let anyone take him in to care for him, to help him, until my uncle could not "run the streets anymore." Its sometimes a choice for homeless to live this way. It is what makes them happy. No responsibility. Yet-Sadly, it is the family that suffers the biggest loss, like myself, and my kids suffer not knowing. So much unknown. Are they cold? Are they hungry? Are They Safe? Are they alive? It is sad, but in my dads case it is the choice my dad and my uncle and my homeless family members made for their own life. I will be there for my dad as I was for my uncle when the quiet time finally comes to help dad and care for him when he cannot "run the streets" anymore.

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  • CharleneDecember 02, 2013 - 5:50 pm

    Thank you for a lovely letter that personalizes and humanizes these homeless citizens that some would just as soon forget. I hope that they and the homeless animals, too, will have shelter during the freezing days ahead. I hate the thought of them being outside in the freezing weather. Bless you and them.

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  • MorrisDecember 04, 2013 - 2:25 am

    How proud God is for the beautiful and compassionate soul that lives within His child, Patty Case.

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  • kggDecember 04, 2013 - 8:20 am

    patty case wrote: "It is my hope that the police, politicians and citizens of Placerville can find it in their hearts to treat these people with the compassion and assistance they deserve. Hard as it is to see and accept for some, they are residents of Placerville in their own right. They are our neighbors. May Placerville treat them as such." kgg writes: amen.

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  • Richard GuentherDecember 05, 2013 - 8:43 pm

    Think I'll stop in at the Mission Church and let them know how glad I am knowing they're in PV. Now and then I've stopped nearby and chatted with the homeless. Never had any problems with any of them.

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2014 - 7:00 pm

    Even in Freezing Weather Florida Won’t Amend the Camping Law That Prevents the Homeless From Using Blankets - HERE

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