Hangtown Haven to close

By From page A3 | October 25, 2013

At the Oct. 8 Placerville City Council meeting, Mayor Wendy Thomas announced that Hangtown Haven, the legal camp for homeless on Broadway, will close when its temporary use permit expires on Nov. 15.

The mayor issued the following press release at the City Council meeting:

“Hangtown Haven, the legal campground for homeless folks in transition, has been a pilot program in Placerville for the past year. The goal has been to test creative answers to this challenge, to figure out what works and what doesn’t, while we work toward more permanent solutions in a collaborative effort with El Dorado County staff and Board of Supervisors.

“As this council has stated from the beginning of Hangtown Haven, the Temporary Use Permit will not extend beyond Nov. 15. This date was selected to coordinate with the opening of the 2013-2014 Nomadic Shelter season.

“We have learned a lot from Hangtown Haven, both successes and failures. These will benefit us as we move forward to create a better model. While the permit for Hangtown Haven will not be renewed, we have been diligently working on the next step, and tremendous progress has been made. Vice mayor Hagen, City Manager Morris and myself have been working with the county to move boldly forward in a coordinated effort. Currently, a team from the County Health and Human Services Agency os being assembled and will be available to start meeting next week with residents of the Haven to help them transition into the next phase of their life. We are also exploring options for day shelters to be open during this Nomadic Shelter season. The goal is to give folks a place to go during the day, to continue the sense of community evident in Hangtown Haven and have a dedicated place for volunteer services.

“Finally, in addition to these immediate measures, the city and the county are committed to working with members of the Haven and other interested parties to move forward on a more permanent solution for people in transition. The success of Hangtown Haven has made this possible, and we look forward to making meaningful progress on this issue.”

Earlier in that day, Mayor Thomas, Vice Mayor Carl Hagen, City Manager Cleve Morris,Police Chief Scott Heller and Community Development Director Pierre Rivas visited Hangtown Haven to alert the residents to the eminent closure of the camp.

Wendy Schultz

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