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Homeless shelter honored

Social service visitors increase
By: Bruce Warren Journal Staff Writer
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The Gathering Inn of Roseville received the 2008 Collaboration Award Thursday at a large gathering of Placer County social service groups at The Ridge country club. Suzi deFosset, executive director of the inn, recived the award from Supervisor Jim Holmes on behalf of the Placer Collaborative Network, the award’s sponsor. The Gathering Inn, located in Roseville, partners with more than 40 Placer County churches, food banks, hospitals and county agencies in helping to provide shelter and services for the homeless. More than 30 hands went up when the PCN moderator asked which agencies had been in touch with deFosset and The Gathering Inn. “She does such a great job by bringing hope to so many families and I’m proud to present her this award,” Holmes said. “We appreciate all you do for our community.” The program depends on community donations and grants for its existence, and deFosset thanked those present for their support. “It’s the community that supports The Gathering Inn and what’s 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 haven for the homeless 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 in Auburn to transport 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 thegatheringinn.com and donations can be made there, too. With area residents getting 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, 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. In a 10-day period, one of our case managers was counseling three separate families in the Auburn area, who were facing foreclosure in a 10-day period.” Families in that kind of situation can come to the Family Resource Center at 11990 Heritage Oak in Auburn. Tilisa May, program manager at the center, noted the need for health insurance. “We’re seeing an increase in families needing health insurance for their families,” May said Thursday. “The primary breadwinners are losing their jobs and businesses are closing.” The Family Resource Center provides a certified applicant assistant program that can help parents register their children for health insurance with Healthy Families, Medicaid or Kaiser. “Healthy Families has a program for families that qualify by income, where they could pay as little as $8 a month for their health premium,” May said. “This is for the children, not adults.” In addition to health insurance, requests for marriage counseling have risen. “We’ve also seen an increase in requests for marriage counseling, but we have a limited capacity to provide it,” May said. The Journal’s Bruce Warren can be reached