Homeless shelter honored

Down economy increases demand for services
By: Bruce Warren Gold Country News Service
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The Gathering Inn of Roseville received the 2008 Collaboration Award last Thursday at a large get-together of Placer County social service groups at The Ridge Country Club in Auburn. Suzi deFosset, executive director of the nonprofit group, received the award from Placer County Supervisor Jim Holmes on behalf of the Placer Collaborative Network, the award’s sponsor. The Gathering Inn partners with more than 40 Placer County churches, food banks, hospitals and county agencies in helping to provide shelter and services for the homeless. “It’s the community that supports The Gathering Inn. That’s what is moving us forward,” deFosset said. “I am very happy about getting the award. We depend on the community to help us provide service to the homeless to get them to the next best level of care.” With the arrival of colder weather, The Gathering Inn has been sheltering as many as 40 individuals nightly, who are transported to various area churches to spend the night. The program has a regular van run that transports homeless individuals to rotating churches. The city of Auburn donated one of its transit buses in storage to The Gathering Inn over the summer in order that larger numbers of homeless could be picked up and also for transport to various health-care facilities. The Gathering Inn is currently looking for a driver for that bus, deFosset said. On Nov. 15, there will be a Christmas fundraising festival for the inn at R.C. Willey, a Rocklin furniture store. Tickets can be purchased on the Internet at and donations can be made there as well. With area residents being laid off and the mortgage foreclosures, county agencies present at Thursday’s award ceremony, such as the Child Abuse Prevention Council, have seen a steady increase in clients. DeAnne Thornton, executive director, said the Child Abuse Prevention Council, also headquartered in Roseville, serves thousands. “As an agency we’re expecting to serve 6,400 kids and families in our first quarter,” Thornton said. “We’ve already served 2,300 so we’re on track to serve 9,000.” When county residents lose jobs, they often come to Auburn’s Family Resource Center, which is under the umbrella of Thornton’s organization. “In this economy, families are stressed,” Thornton, said. “Parents are losing jobs. Families are losing homes.”