Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Count the homeless

From page A4 | November 25, 2013 | 13 Comments

By all accounts the 30 who lived at the Hangtown Haven were the creme of the homeless population. The camp was largely self-governing. A goodly number of the tenants of the organized tent city were able to bring enough order into their lives to land employment or at least disability payments that would help finance permanent shelter.

From the testimony given at the last Placerville City Council meeting there appears to be an increase in the number of homeless in the immediate vicinity of the upper Broadway area, with even the residents of Smith Flat Road complaining about break-ins and people camping on the trail. Wiltse Road residents are also experiencing similar problems.

From 2012 to 2013, the Placerville Police Department reported a 92 percent increase in the number of homeless with whom they had contact because of aggressive panhandling, illegal camping, drug and alcohol abuse and public urinating and defecating. And burglaries went up 25 percent and thefts 62 percent.

The police believe there is an influx of homeless and they are coming from out of the county. Residents believe the organized camp attracted outsiders.

Another factor left unsaid is the prisoners released or paroled into this county with little resources other than to join the homeless.

What we would suggest is the volunteers who supported Hangtown Haven organize a census of the homeless that would include information about how recently they came here, how long they have been here, where they came from, including the jail and state prison, and what is their basic personal status. Information is key. Information can be empowering. Information is needed to take the next step in tackling homelessness in this county.

Mountain Democrat


Discussion | 13 comments

  • GoldMinerNovember 21, 2013 - 5:22 pm

    During the Great Depression, those without jobs, and hence, no food, stood in soup lines to get a meal. Imagine today, if the 47 MILLION people on food stamps, and other Govt. assistance, had to do the same. You think maybe the average American might have a different opinion of the state of our economy? We certainly wouldn't have a President, and other Gov. Officials telling us that unemployment was only 7.4%! The new assistance system hides everything under the rug very nicely, where no one can see it.

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  • EvelynNovember 22, 2013 - 12:37 pm

    According to John Williams, an economist known for asserting the government reports manipulated “shadow statistics” of economic data for political purposes, the real unemployment rate for July 2013 was 23.3 percent, not the 7.4 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. - HERE

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  • cookie65November 25, 2013 - 9:49 am

    Evelyn, enrollment in the ocommycare exchanges in Colorado is barely half the state's worst-case projection. They run their own exchange so directing the blame at the slushfund disaster won't cut it. The simple fact is we have a government takeover of healthcare that was forced on the American people against THEIR will and the numbers don't lie, unlike those who wrote it, sold it and passed it.

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  • readerNovember 24, 2013 - 10:33 pm

    What most residents believe and common sense would tell you is that the biggest attractors are 1: the Upper Room for free food. 2: The CRC. 3: The recycle center, for a quick source of cash to buy booze and drugs. 4: The bus station\ church which functions as a way station for a bed, and a place to pass time and socialize. 5: The HTH inc website and Face Book page to spread the word that placerville has much to offer the homeless in one convenient location. Don't like shelters? well there are acres and acres of forested land to make a tent and live as you choose you only have to stay in the shadows and one step ahead of PD. I would think the the probation dept. already has census stats on parolees and early release inmates. We have already seen many exaggerated claims by HTH in the press about how many there are, their means of support and their successes. How about an independant census and audit of HTH incorporated?

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  • Sara YatesNovember 25, 2013 - 7:27 am

    What I do not understand is how someone can be homeless, yet afford a cell phone and cell phone bill every month. The phone, undoubtedly a "smart phone: with all of the bells and whistles, is most likely much better than my "dumb phone". Then again, I work for a living and have other priorities for my money. Oh, yeah, it isn't their money paying for it - probably paying for it with their government assistance money - and, you're welcome, by the way, for that and all of the tattoos your skin has room for... just saying. Some, not all, but some just want a hand out, not a hand up. It would be nice to be able to live for virtually nothing and have my smart phone, tattoos and go back to school to be a lawyer... Really?? Get a )$^_# job!

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  • Sara YatesNovember 25, 2013 - 7:57 am

    The homeless I am referring to has never worked, I don't think, as long as I have known them. Has always lived off the system or off someone else. This "homeless" period wasn't because of the economy or bad luck, it is because their meal ticket is no longer here to pay their way through life. Don't get me wrong, I do feel for those who are homeless due to the economy or other catastrophic events - they just want a hand up to get back on their feet. But some only want a hand out, like they have forever, and I'm sure wanted to make a career out of their "counseling" experience afforded to them by the Haven. It's pathetic they use something that was intended to help someone get back on track, not intended to last a lifetime for someone who doesn't want to work and contribute as an adult.

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  • DNovember 26, 2013 - 10:10 am

    Amen Sara

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  • EdrunsNovember 25, 2013 - 8:36 am

    The homeless are not going away. Our team from Green Valley Community Church served lunch yesterday 11-24. We served between our 4 stops, Christ like services 12-15, Hangtown Hotel 17, Mercy Way 25, CRC 10. And we missed a few on road. My guess there might be close to 70-75 people out there. Seems liking I'm seeing new faces, weekly on our streets!

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  • cookie65November 25, 2013 - 9:43 am

    Welcome to hope and change.

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  • Psalm 41:1November 26, 2013 - 2:44 pm

    "Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble."

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  • shaken not stirredNovember 26, 2013 - 3:50 pm

    "Teach a man to fish feed him for life. I don't know who said but it makes a lot of sense.

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  • Fran DuchampNovember 26, 2013 - 4:01 pm

    Anne Isabella Ritchie, the daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray, (who, if her photograph is any guide, was a studious young woman) wrote a story titled Mrs. Dymond, sometime in the 1880s and it includes this line. "He certainly doesn't practise his precepts, but I suppose the patron meant that if you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour; if you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn."

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  • shaken not stirredNovember 26, 2013 - 4:09 pm

    I'll drink to that Fran. €;<{S

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