Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Winter homeless shelter closing


The nomadic winter homeless shelter will be closing March 31. That is only six weeks from now. There are currently about 40 homeless men and women using the shelter on any given night, but over 80 people have used the winter shelter during this season. There is a core group that come almost every night but there are also a few new people showing up each week, some stay and others move on.

The shelter rotates to a different church each night of the week, being transported by bus or vans. It is run by a core group of dedicated volunteers with many hours needed to coordinate all of the logistics that are involved in running a homeless shelter.

The shelter provides a safe, warm, dry place for the homeless to spend the night; it is their home for the night. Relationships are formed between the shelter guests and the shelter volunteers. It is a wonderful, much-needed program.

The looming date of March 31 and the closing of the shelter for this season causes much consternation, for both the guests and the volunteers. Last spring Hangtown Haven, the homeless camp, was an option for many once the shelter closed. However, this year the camp no longer exists. The Placerville City Council made a decision to close the camp this past November. This March when the shelter closes there will be between 50 and 70 homeless people that will have no place to go. The shelter volunteers usually get asked by the homeless those last few weeks “Where should we go; what should we do now?” We do not have an acceptable answer for them. They have to go somewhere; the shelter will be closed and they have to have someplace to sleep at night.

Many will be forced to set up a camp, which is not legal in most places. As volunteers and concerned citizens we need to ask our county Board of Supervisors what it plans to do for these people.


Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 14 comments

  • Miss MFebruary 17, 2014 - 2:53 pm

    This is so very sad that we have so many jobless and homeless in this country. There are enough vacant homes (most likely owned by the big banks now) to allow 6 for every homeless person in the U.S. Are there not jobs in the area to put these people back to work and in homes of their own? Or programs to relocate people to locations where they can find employment to afford a home and food? What has gone so wrong in America and how can we join together to find solutions and somehow bring it back to what it use to be, when a man or woman could make a decent living.Just saying.

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  • JohnFebruary 21, 2014 - 3:54 pm

    Miss M that would cause so much trouble to have the homeless move into homes that are vacant. The banks own those and they are to be resold. I could just see it now they would demolish the homes and then the banks would be out all that money. Very BAD IDEA!!! Maybe you should think about them moving into your home and help out

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  • Miss MFebruary 21, 2014 - 4:29 pm

    You seem to have a rather demeaning low opinion of homeless people John. Contrary to what you may believe, not all homeless people are homeless because they truly enjoy that way of life. California specifically is one state that has suffered much job loss and is in a big financial mess, along with the rest of the country. The cost of living is astronomical while wages stay frozen and jobs are disappearing, therefore a much higher rate of homelessness in yes, America. Sadly, the banks were "bailed" out of their mess. But the people are still trying to recover. Back in the gold rush days, everyone flocked to California in hopes of "gold" and a better life. Not much has changed other than the "gold" is no longer in California so many are going to North Dakota or other states where they can make a decent living in oil, gas and fracking because that has unfortunately become the new "gold". Although I sadly hear that they are fracking and doing off shore oil drilling in beautiful California as well now?

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  • kggFebruary 19, 2014 - 11:42 am

    I assume there have been discussions about extending the schedule for the nomadic shelter. too bad this is not an option.

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  • ?February 19, 2014 - 1:33 pm

    Why is it not an option?

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  • EvelynFebruary 21, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    Utah Is Ending Homelessness By Giving People Homes - HERE: It seems a tragic paradox that there are more empty houses in the United States than there are homeless people, yet 1,75,000 individuals still remain on the street, and almost 1/3 of them go hungry every day.

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  • EvelynFebruary 21, 2014 - 4:41 pm

    Utah Is on Track to End Homelessness by 2015 With This One Simple Idea - HERE: Utah has reduced its rate of chronic homelessness by 74 percent over the past eight years, moving 2000 people off the street . . .

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  • EvelynFebruary 21, 2014 - 4:43 pm

    Utah Solves Homelessness by Giving Away Homes - HERE: While other states continue to criminalize homelessness, Utah has taken a novel approach and has seen its homeless numbers go down while economic savings to the state have risen.

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  • EvelynFebruary 21, 2014 - 4:47 pm

    Utah is Ending Homelessness by Giving People Homes - HERE: This happened in a Republican state! Republicans in Congress would probably have required the homeless to take a drug test before getting an apartment, denied apartments to homeless people with criminal records, and evicted those who failed to become self-sufficient after five years or so. But Utah’s results show that even conservative states can solve problems like homelessness with decidedly progressive solutions.

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  • ConnieFebruary 21, 2014 - 10:40 pm

    The problem is, that most are not from our County. We are still reeling from the 2006 crash. Just look at all of the empty spaces in the Dollar Tree shopping center and all the ones up and down P'ville Dr. So many of these homeless people came because of the "haven". I feel bad it was closed, but it got too much publicity which drew in way too many "not so good" homeless folks. Yes the homeless definitely needs to be addressed by the County, but we need to get rid of the criminal element first. The Wednesday sweep was a good thing. Maybe we'll finally get back to just our El Do county homeless, who for the most part are law abiding!!

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  • EvelynFebruary 22, 2014 - 10:55 am

    Baltimore's people of the woods: Inside the hidden homeless camps made of milk crates, wooden doors and tarps on the outskirts of town - HERE (Check out the photos.)

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  • Police Target Placerville Homeless Camps, Arrest 2 | El Dorado FrontierApril 09, 2014 - 4:42 pm

    […] 50 and 70 homeless people that will have no place to go,” Camino resident Janis Carney wrote in a letter to the Mountain Democrat. She said they will likely be forced to find somewhere to camp, which could put them at the end of […]

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  • jodyApril 09, 2014 - 7:29 pm

    I admit I don't know that much about where the western slope homeless population originated, so maybe you can point me to the documentation that shows a census of the homeless population here.

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  • jodyApril 09, 2014 - 7:36 pm

    previous comment directed at connie

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