He came into EGWINS, Elk Grove Winter Sanctuary, visibly shaken. He shared with anyone willing to listen that this was not the life he was used to. Only a couple of weeks of being homeless had proven to him that it could be very dark at night and he was scared.
But, David felt safe and was able to get some needed sleep and meals at our winter sanctuary. Over the next couple of weeks, his story unfolded. He had grown up in foster care and had few relatives. Recently, the ending of a relationship had left him out on the streets. He wanted to go home.
It is something Elk Grove HART does on a regular basis. If our homeless ask to go home we make a couple of phone calls to make sure they are welcome. If the family is willing, so is HART. So far in 2020 we have enabled three of our homeless from Elk Grove to get on a bus and head home. We equip them with clean clothes, food for the trip and an inspirational pep talk before getting on the bus.
David was one of the three. He found a cousin in Ohio who was excited to help him start a new life. He has reported back that he’s landed a job in a restaurant and is loving his new life. Well, except for the cold! It warms our heart when our homeless have the opportunity for a new start with family. David got a ray of sunshine in Ohio and we are so happy for him.
Your contributions help us to reconnect some of our homeless with a bus ticket and a new start with family. And for that, David thanks you.
Please consider donating on the Big Day of Giving to help those experiencing homelessness go home to their loved ones. Donations will be accepted on/after April 20th. Please visit https://www.bigdayofgiving.org/elkgrovehart
We are all in a time of crisis and being asked to stay at home. But what do those that are experiencing homelessness do? How do they stay safe, and just as important, keep from spreading the coronavirus?
Elk Grove HART has taken measures to ensure that they can stay in place, yet have their essential needs met. To that end, we are delivering sack lunches with sanitary supplies to their camps five days a week. We are taking extra care in limiting the number of volunteers and using all recommended safety precautions. The first week, our volunteer found a gentleman that was starving. It is desperate out there.
The City of Elk Grove has been supportive and placed 3 port-a-potties with sanitary stations in strategic locations throughout Elk Grove. We are handing out instructional sheets with the lunches that contain recommended practices to safeguard against the coronavirus.
There have been many challenges along the way to make these lunches and their delivery successful. Limited supplies and safety precautions have put an undue burden on us financially and strategically. We have a few brave volunteers that are willing to make and distribute the lunches, but it comes at a cost. That cost is approximately $2.75 times the 65 people we are delivering to five days a week. That totals $894 a week.
Please consider what you can do to help. Big Day of Giving is May 7th. Your donation will go to help those experiencing homelessness stay in place, which will keep all of us safer.
Big Day of Giving donations will be accepted on/after April 20th. Please visit https://www.bigdayofgiving.org/elkgrovehart
Elk Grove Winter Sanctuary was recently featured in the Autumn issue of Ardent For Life Magazine. Click here to view the article https://issuu.com/ardentforlife/docs/ardent_for_life_autumn_2019/52
Our 7th Annual Winter Sanctuary runs from December 8, 2019 through February 29, 2020. We are always in need of volunteers to help us make WINS the best that it can possibly be. If you would like to be a part of our team, please email Jenn at email@example.com. Volunteer Sign Ups will be available to everyone starting November 1st.
If you are interested in picking up a copy of Ardent For Life, visit https://www.ardentforlife.net/distribution to see their many distribtuion locations.
Thanks to some very generous churches in our community, all five students currently living at our Meadow Family House were able to go back to school with new clothes and shoes.
A big THANK YOU to Sun Grove Church and Elk Grove Church of Christ for providing donations to purchase the needed items for each student.
The kids and their parents met up with Elk Grove HART mentors and spent a day going shopping. They were thrilled to be able to pick out their own clothes. One young lady, while expressing her thanks and delight to the mentor, said the experience was “overwhelming”.
Thanks again Sun Grove Church and Elk Grove Church of Christ. You certainly made some students very happy. We, and those we serve, sincerely appreciate your generosity.
She came upon them accidentally while walking in a Sacramento park. From a distance, it looked like two men kicking a red and white ball back and forth. As she got closer, Lily realized that it wasn’t a ball, but a white, bloodied dog. Running at the men with all of her force she intervened begging them to stop, telling them she would pay them for the dog: $20 each. They angrily explained that the dog had eaten their hot dogs and they wanted to teach it a lesson.
Lily rushed the wounded animal to a vet, repeating “good boy, good boy” over and over again. It’s all she could think of to try and calm down the wounded dog who was laying next to her, barely moving.
It was the start of a beautiful relationship and the name Good Boy stuck. Then it was his turn to rescue Lily. In January, discouraged after a bad hip replacement, Good Boy never left Lily’s side. In May, the house she had rented for 15 years burned down and the owner disappeared with the money. Unable to go back to work because of her hip, Lily was destitute, but still had Good Boy to comfort her.
The two moved into the Grace House this summer and are both thriving! Lily was beyond grateful and did everything she could to become self-sufficient again. This week Lily was hired to be a house leader in a transitional house and Good Boy will be right by her side. Let the healing begin.
Towering well over 6 feet tall makes Kurt an imposing figure, but it doesn’t take long to realize he is a “gentle giant”. Diagnosed with autism at a young age, he has worked hard to overcome some of the mannerisms he exhibited as a child, such as lashing out in anger at unpredictable times. It caused him to be removed from almost every school he attended and babysitters refused to care for him. Mom finally home-schooled him in an effort to moderate his environment. It was a full-time job which meant actually losing the career that paid their bills. It also meant downsizing and reducing their costs wherever possible. His disability money covered the rent of their little apartment, but as costs rose over the years, their disability payments did not.
Forced to give up their apartment, they moved into their car and put all they owned in storage. Kurt needed routine and Mom did everything she could to keep things as normal as possible. She made sure he got to his job of collecting shopping carts a couple of hours a day and rented motel rooms when Kurt’s anxiety seemed to be elevating. A warm shower and watching sports on TV always had a calming affect, especially when his Dallas Cowboys won.
A year ago, Kurt and his mom moved into the Grace House, HART’s house for homeless adults. At that time, their car had broken down and mom was losing her vision, recently diagnosed with irreparable and painful retinal degeneration. They settled into the master bedroom where they were able to recuperate from months of the mounting stress from being homeless.
HART helped mom to navigate getting disability for her vision disorder and she and Kurt now have their own place. Kurt’s room is decorated with sports memorabilia and he especially likes his exercise bike. He has even learned the bus route to get himself to work. Mom’s dedication to her son has paid off, he is charming and loved by many. She can now rest and know he is thriving.
On May 2nd is the Big Day of Giving. Please give generously and be a part of helping the homeless of Elk Grove get off the streets and into permanent housing.
We are a 501c(3) non-profit organization;
100% of donations go directly toward providing services.
Tax ID# 46-4162394