Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Homeless shelters overloaded, says church volunteer

From page A1 | December 02, 2013 | 22 Comments

With winter coming on, the number of homeless using local churches for overnight shelter has increased, leading one of the volunteers associated with the program to put out a call for help.

Janis Carney, who is a member of Green Valley Community Church and also one of those involved in coordinating the shelter program, said there is need for more churches to step forward.

“We are stretched to capacity ever since the homeless camp — Hangtown Haven — closed,” Carney said, noting that to date they have had as many as 45 people needing a place to stay for the night.

“That was the highest number so far,” she said. “But once the first storm hits, we will get considerably more.”

Currently nine churches are providing assistance of some sort although only five are actually used as shelters. Those nine include Foothills United Methodist, Mercy Way Rescue Church, Green Valley Community Church, Solid Rock Faith Center, Christ Like Services, Cameron Park Christian, New Hope Fellowship Church, Cold Springs Community Church and Federated Church.

Carney said the capacity of the five churches varies from 37 at New Hope Fellowship Church to 50 at Green Valley Community Church. In the past week they have had anywhere from 37 to 45 people needing shelter every night.

“Most of the churches helping can comfortably handle 40 people,” she said. “Over that, it is a problem. But we won’t turn anyone away. What we do in that situation is open another building not set up to be a shelter. But then we need additional volunteers, more mats and sleeping bags.”

Last year, Carney said the average number of people needing shelter was between 30 and 35 when Hangtown Haven was in existence, although they had up to 50 to 60 one night when there was a storm.

Anticipating a similar surge in those needing overnight shelter once the winter weather sets in, Carney said they not only need more places for people to stay, but donations for more mats, sleeping bags, gasoline and other supplies.

Noting that most of those using the shelters are locals, Carney estimated that only four are from out of the area and are either transients, probationers who can’t leave the area, and possibly one from Tahoe who moved down the hill as the weather turned cold.

According to Carney, most of those using the shelter are men. They make up three-fourths of the total. However Carney said this year they are sheltering a couple and its two young children.

“We need to have more churches come on board,” she said. “We’d also like the city of Placerville and El Dorado County to work with us on an overflow location so we can handle additional people,” she said.

Cleve Morris, city manager for the city of Placerville said the city is operating a day shelter at Christ Like Services seven days a week during the daytime hours, but only about a dozen people regularly use it. In addition, on the second and fourth Saturday of the month it operates as an overnight shelter.

Confirming the number of those needing shelter, he said he heard the number was running between 40 and 45 people a night.

Morris said the city will be going to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors next Tuesday to ask it for $4,100 a month through March to help pay to operate the day shelter.

“Christ Like Services could on occasion be used as an overflow site,” he said, “but not on a regular basis.”

In the meantime, Carney said she and the other volunteers associated with the church-sponsored shelter program are scrambling to accommodate those who need shelter as the weather gets colder.

“The bottom line is we need more churches to step forward and we need a back up plan for the overflow,” she said.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.


Discussion | 22 comments

  • Matthew 19December 01, 2013 - 11:03 am

    “If you want to give it all you’ve got,”Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me.” That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go. As he watched him go, Jesus told his disciples, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom? Let me tell you, it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.” The disciples were staggered. “Then who has any chance at all?” Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”

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  • cookie65December 02, 2013 - 5:26 am

    In Jesus's time many of the cities were walled. They had main gates and something else for entry. That something else was called the needles eye. It was a hole in the wall just big enough for one man at a time to pass through. It was a way for individuals to pass in and out of the city at night without the threat of a large group of enemy combatants entering the city all at once. It is used in this passage to illustrate that getting into heaven requires leaving earthly possessions behind. The disciples would understand this since they understood passing through the needles eye was only possible if you weren't loaded down with "stuff". As far as the rest of this passage, it has nothing to do with the poor. It has everything to do with teaching the disciples that no amount of "earthly treasures" will purchase that which is not for sale.

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  • Dink LaneDecember 02, 2013 - 11:13 am

    Actually Cookie-- Jesus was 'poor'.... he slept in the garden, he never owned property or a house.... He was an outcast .... the EDC's NIMBYs would have NEVER let him walk their house to go to a homeless camp...

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  • cookie65December 02, 2013 - 4:02 pm

    Dink, Jesus being poor is another misnomer. If you remember the story the Magi brought gifts. Three gifts. Frankincense, myrrh and GOLD. There weren't three wise men, there were three gifts brought by many Magi. Jesus was well provided for and never had a want for anything. Take religion out of it and just consider pure logic. If God the father, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, sent his only begotten Son to earth why would he not provide for him? Wouldn't logic suggest he would have a better chance at being successful at his mission if the wasn't worried about starving? He owned no worldly possessions but that doesn't mean he was poor. I wish the nonsensical social gospel would die a slow and painful death and be replaced with the Truth.

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  • DogmaDecember 02, 2013 - 5:35 pm

    Wow! Cookie, you’re now an expert in theology too? Cool the way you have it all figured out. Man, you're an expert at everything. Well I guess I'll have to take the word of an eyewitness.

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  • cookie65December 02, 2013 - 7:12 pm

    Being educated isn't really that difficult. It doesn't take much more effort than being ignorant and just repeating some popular belief regardless of how false it is. If no one ever clarifies it you go on repeating it. Just like dink.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2013 - 11:22 am

    LINK - Punished for kindness?

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  • cookie65December 02, 2013 - 5:41 am

    "My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." -- Thomas Jefferson

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  • kggDecember 01, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    there were 43 folks without a place to sleep last night at federated church, including a mom, dad and their two small children.

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  • cookie65December 02, 2013 - 5:10 am

    Welcome to hope and change.

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  • JimBoDecember 02, 2013 - 5:52 am

    Read City Manager Cleve Morris letter to the BOS. $3,000 of the $4,100 a month requested is going to pay a City Bureaucrat to watch over the homeless center. This is typical of our government today, they take a service that was "free," shut it down, place government control over it, monetize it through taxpayer dollars into a salaried position for one of the City Hall employee's crony family members.

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  • Dink LaneDecember 02, 2013 - 11:06 am

    "“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?" ..... Pope Francis

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  • FrederickDecember 02, 2013 - 12:47 pm

    Maybe this will motivate them to get cleaned up, get a job, and become a productive member of society. This cold streak coming might just do the trick.

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  • Dink LaneDecember 02, 2013 - 1:41 pm

    Says Fredrick sitting his nice warm home, with his nice big retirement check, and eating his turkey leftovers.... Why would anyone think someone walking the streets in the cold, would really prefer to be there if he had opportunities like Fredrick?

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  • cookie65December 02, 2013 - 4:09 pm

    Dink, what freedom do I wake up with that they don't?

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  • plan eDecember 02, 2013 - 5:33 pm

    Perhaps they could find a carpenter to put wheels on the pews, and get some seventhday christians onboard to take up the slack.

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  • cookie65December 02, 2013 - 7:27 pm

    He wasn't an outcast either, but it isn't worth the risk of carpal tunnel trying to explain something that simple to dink. If he had been an outcast the Jews wouldn't have insisted that Pilot crucify an innocent man. He was hugely popular among the everyday people which is why the Jews were terrified of him. He threatened their political and religious influence. dink has been infected with the eastern mysticism that has replaced a lot of the Truth about Christ and convoluted the gospel. It is more common than being lied to by leftists. Jesus was an anti-leftist. He was the inventor of FREE WILL.

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  • James E.December 02, 2013 - 7:38 pm

    Cookie??? Some unnamed dudes brought Jesus gold and his parents set up a trust fund? Never heard this one before.

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  • cookie65December 03, 2013 - 5:02 am

    Mat 2:11 "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and the bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh." I didn't write it James.

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  • shockedDecember 03, 2013 - 3:25 pm

    Fredrick,Cookie U r heartless. U have no clue how these people became homeless. And Cookie u quoting different scriptures that u can take whatever u want from. One thing we all know is Jesus said we should not judge and those who have not sinned can throw the first stone. Cookie u teaheafs have no compassion and u r racist. Simple as that. Shout to the stars thAt u aren't but u all r fooling noone. We know!

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  • Dink LaneDecember 03, 2013 - 4:02 pm

    Cookie & Fredrick: Are you the kind of people who see NO problem with TRICKING a customer into signing a mortgage that jacks their House-payment from $900 a month to $3000 a month (by variable interest instead of standard interest) ......... and have no problem with it ...... And $5 says you'd be Proud of yourself too ......

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  • sikntiredofitDecember 03, 2013 - 9:56 pm

    Dink are you talking about the "victim" Who also overstated their income, looked at their mortgage statement that clearly showed negative amortization. Ran their credit cards through the roof then filed for "strategic bankruptsy" ? They are better off renting because being responsable and managing resources is not a liberal trait. That's what bothers me most that their are so many "victims" with a sob story to tell and they never mention the poor choices they have made just that everybody else has more than me so I will take it from them.

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