November 22, 2016

We aren’t the Statue of Liberty but our poem could be close. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Streicher House has certainly become the settling place for the masses of poor, tired, mentally ill, and addicted in our county. How we, as a community, didn’t see them before, I do not know.

They somehow were invisible in a productive, bustling county of busy people. Since we have discovered them and shared their stories with you, we can say it has brought out the best in people and we have been given support by the citizens beyond expectations.

Still, you and the volunteers at Streicher House can only do so much. We cannot come near to meeting the needs of these throwaway people and relief doesn’t look close.

What we have found is that the majority of lost souls,

living outside are mentally ill. It really isn’t the addicted,

the criminals, the lazy or poor. It is people who are not functioning mentally and lay right below the radar of anyone seeing t...

It's a long story of five days attending to one of our well known homeless fellows who has been living in the woods of Pioneer Park for the last several years. Swampy, as he is known to his street friends and Sierra Roots, has a real name which is Phillip Joel Courture. I started to call him Phil, but when I met his family, I found out they have always called him Joe. He is the youngest of three. He has one son, Brendan, who is a straight A student at his university. Joe is very proud of all of them and feels close to them but that he is a burden to them because he has MS and can't take care of himself.  

Though Joe gets a good bit of money for disability, he uses it up pretty quickly each month, as he has a very generous heart and ends up helping every other homeless person he can, buying them food, drink and cigarettes. He also uses a lot of marijuana for the pain of his MS.  

Several weeks ago, Swampy (Joe) showed up at Streicher House in desperate need and shame. His M...

Our homeless friend Carol is passing to the other side and I wanted to share a bit of her with you. Carol lived her last many years in her car and gutted out trailers. She had a passion and deep love for her animals and that kept her out of shelters. If you have ever donated to NC Pets of the Homeless you made a difference for those loved animals. Thank you.

When I first met Carol, I was horrified. I mean, her car. It was a rolling dump truck filled with everything one might discard. You would see a few usable items but the overwhelming items were junk. Newspapers, containers, canned stuff, clothes, anything and everything. Surprisingly, it didn’t smell or from what I recall it didn’t smell.
 

I remember finding her in the old Safeway parking lot. She had a big note on the car window. Something about that she was OK and not to call the police.

I would ignore that and often call the police and ask them to do a welfare check on her. They were very familiar with her and would always check on...

It seems like a simple thing, a simple need - a place to come home to where we can let our hair down, take our shoes off, put our feet up, rest, and eat a good meal. Everyone should have a "home to come home to".  After a long day of meetings, shopping or traveling, nothing appeals more than coming home to rest. 

A "home to come home to"is what our unsheltered friends need. Yet, they have no place they can call home - no place to rest safely. No place to be warm and dry out of the weather. As the generous community we are in Nevada City and Grass Valley, can we come together to provide a place like this for each of our citizens? What will it take? 

Right now we have Hospitality House Community Shelter as an overnight emergency shelter which is doing a tremendous job of finding housing for so many un-housed individuals. It is one solution for many people. But if you have animals, you can't come in. If you've had something to drink during the day, you can't come in. If you h...

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