Category Archives: Auburn

A Volunteer Tells His Story

This story is from our newsletter. Robert who served in the Auburn area wrote it. I have never met the gentleman, but the story is interesting in and of itself.

This is his story.

“Hi, my name is Robert, what’s yours?” That is the question that I ask every Thursday morning. Strangers come out of the bushes, from behind buildings or exit off the local transit bus to gather around us there at the Dewitt Center from 8:00 until 9:30 am.

On January 14th, 2013 a head-on collision took the life of my granddaughter Emily (age 3). My son was critically injured and is still recovering to this very day. I have been a believer in Christ since I was 9 years old, but it has taken me until the age of 50 to realize the limitless power He has given me.

I was the ability to speak in front of large crowds and I used that gift to speak at my granddaughter’s eulogy. I asked the Lord our God for wisdom and strength and that He would be glorified. He graciously granted my request, but He didn’t stop there.

I shared this experience with my pastor and my heart-felt a desire for the lost. He invited me to lunch one afternoon and began to tell me about a place of need. He told me about a program called What Would Jesus Do? He said the need was from among the homeless.

At first I thought, “why me”? I have so many other things going on in my life, why do you want me Involved with this program? My life is full already. I don’t have time for this! I am uncomfortable with the idea of meeting the homeless. I had every excuse to say no, I had every legitimate reason to say no. I am not an enabler! These are the same people I have to escort out of my store. These are the people at the street corner with their dogs begging for money. There will be “crazy” people there!

I agreed to test the waters. I would show up hoping I would find an excuse not to include this program in my busy life. I showed up…. And…. So did God! I had this silly notion that if you’re homeless you are not a believer. I am so weak-minded. What I realized is that some of the sweetest Christians are among our homeless brothers and sisters; Christians who just need some encouragement and a little love.

I have met some of the most grateful human beings ever. One was happy and thankful that we showed up on the 4th of July. What amazed him was that our group choose to serve him rather that out celebrating with our families. In the short time that I have served I have seen God working in so many ways.

We try to have socks on hand, but we often run out. On one occasion, a man came to the van and asked for socks but, unfortunately, this was one of those times. Without hesitation, one of our volunteers said, “wait a minute, you can have mine.” He had me help him pull his shoes and socks off and handed him the socks right off of his feet.

Do we enable? Yes, we do enable. Are we reaching others for Christ? Are we showing our homeless brothers and sisters the unconditional love of Jesus? Yes, we are.

I have met many Christians who have said, I am waiting on God to tell me His will. I am here to say…. Don’t wait! His will is going on RIGHT HERE…. RIGHT NOW!

Homeless Emergency Shelter Approved in Auburn

The group “Right Hand Auburn, Inc.” has successfully petitioned the board of supervisors for Placer County to use the county-owned property in North Auburn called the DeWitt Center for the purposes of being a temporary housing facility for the homeless.

The DeWitt Center is located west of Hwy. 49, between Bell and Atwood Roads, in North Auburn. The Center houses many county facilities. Several other county offices and facilities are at the County Administrative Offices, “The Domes,” at 175 Fulweiler Avenue, Auburn.

The motion was carried unanimously by the board of supervisors for a three month trial period. There are, of course, government “strings” attached to the action, such as oversight. But, that is the nature of government. And in many respects it is a good thing to have given the human nature. Life is not always easy for the homeless and sometimes the inter-personal relationships between people are strained.

Still, it is a great step in the right direction. It is something that the board can agree upon. The county and Right Hand Auburn need to work out the final list of conditions. Their goal is to have an agreement that balances the need of the homeless with the needs of the other residents who are worried about the potential impacts.