I am a fairly new resident to California, let alone Patterson. It has always saddened me to see homeless people. I, however, have never seen so many homeless people in my life.
Well, not at least all in one area.
This is an ongoing issue everywhere in California, it seems. I not only read your article in the newspaper from April 17th but have read it again today (Wednesday, April 30).
Unfortunately, I have been unemployed since moving out here to the West Coast. It's tough to get a job out here.
If one does not have a BLS, Associates or Master’s degree, or some sort of degree on a higher level, how do you expect to help a homeless person to obtain a job when an average educated licensed resident can't obtain one?
The reason I am inquiring about this article, is simply because there are many abandoned buildings around here that, if only we had the funds to contribute, we could start a half way home for these people.
Obviously, it would need to be state funded and we could raise donations (through Costco, Wal-Mart, Save Mart, etc.) for food.
However, the homeless people will need to agree to stay clean and, once they have a job, contribute a small portion of their payroll to the halfway home. (It’s only fair to keep up with daily essentials.)
There, they will have a place to rest their heads, stay warm, eat and perhaps even watch a TV show in the evening. There are many ideas and ways we can come up with in order to lend a helping hand.
It all comes down to finances. I would be willing to volunteer my time to help, and get my family to help as well. I'm sure there are plenty of residents that will lend a hand and their time.
Once the homeless start getting on their feet, somehow arrange for individual help in getting them a job.
The residents (at least once a week if they could afford it) could bring a pot luck to the halfway home. We could place a list of items out to the community of what they will need for supplies, clothing sizes, coats, shoes, blankets, etc.
There are a ton of yard sales every weekend in our surrounding area. When word gets out, perhaps those people will help donate what they are trying to sell. If I can help in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.
These are just some ideas. They may be farfetched or unrealistic but it is worth a shot.
Editor’s note: Thank you so much for your letter. We had a shelter that very closely describes what you’ve been encouraging to start, however the program was shut down for a short amount of time. It was called HOST (Helping Others Sleep Tonight), and it was something which I would consider you trying to become a part of, as volunteers are always welcomed and encouraged.
HOST closed after losing out on a grant, which would have kept the shelter open throughout the summer. They plan to open back up in the fall when it starts to get cool, but it is still unclear about what is to happen. If you would like to know more about their current standings, please visit: http://bit.ly/1pT7lAT
I wish you luck and thank you for your support.