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12 Days of Giving: Gathering Inn helps meet emotional needs of homeless

'We are the family for them'
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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During the 12 Days of Giving from Nov. 23-Dec. 4, the Press Tribune will feature a new nonprofit online every day and share how you can help its mission.

While people may think about the hardships of the local homeless population more often once winter sets in, the needs of the homeless are year-round.

“The giving season is upon us,” said Suzi deFosset, director of the Gathering Inn. “People love to give big this time of year. It’s wonderful. But I can’t really say (giving) is more important at Christmastime than in mid-March.”

The Roseville-based Gathering Inn is the only homeless shelter in Placer County. The nonprofit organization closed for a seven-week hiatus this summer due to lack of funds before reopening in mid-September. They have an ongoing need for financial donations, as well as toiletries and clothes.

 The organization also tries to meet the emotional needs of its guests this time of year. Homeless people are like anyone else, deFosset said — they want to spend holidays with family, which they may no longer have.

“So we are the family for them and it’s important for us to be their emotional support, too,” deFosset said.

Nonprofit name: The Gathering Inn

Mission: To offer a community-based response to south Placer County’s homelees population by providing physical, mental and spiritual support through various services. The organization works with more than 60 local churches to provide a place for homeless men, women and children to sleep.

How to help: The Gathering Inn relies on grants, donations, bequests and business sponsorships. Other needs include toiletries such as razors, socks, underwear, combs, feminine products, brushes, deodorant, ear plugs, cough drops, travel-size shampoo and conditioner, shoelaces, Kleenex, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lip balm, sunscreen, reading glasses, nail clippers, stamps and baby powder. Gift cards donated to fast-food restaurants or places that don’t sell tobacco or alcohol are also accepted.

Contact: Call (916) 791-9355 or visit www.thegatheringinn.com.

Check back tomorrow for the next in the Press Tribune's 12 Days of Giving series.