Category Archives: Roseville

There Be Weeds!

OK, so I can’t sound like James Doohan (“Scotty” on Star Trek IV “The Voyage Home”). But, just pretend it is with his voice. I am writing this piece on Tuesday, the 2nd of June. What I want to write about is the board meeting that the organization held last night.

We (I filled in for my wife who was out ill) spent most of the meeting talking about the new place in Roseville for Sunday service. It seems that most of the issues about the place have been addressed, with hopefully a trivial change. We all agreed, in principle, to accept the city’s offer of a different site for Sunday. It still needs to have the contract signed.

The city is offering us a four-year lease on a piece of property to be used one day a week. The property is located at Berry Street and Reserve Drive. It is across the street from the Cemetery and down the street from two high schools.

At the present time, it is nothing but a big patch of “unwanted plants”, or what we would call weeds. They have agreed to clear most of the weeds from the property; offer a pad or some such surface so that we are not trying to plow through a mud pasture when it rains, and that is basically the limit.

It seems that the city bureaucracy does not believe in toilets. Now, I do not know what the people in the city manager’s office use for this item that is still so well known to this author. Perhaps they just hold it until they explode! I do not know. But, the city doesn’t put in toilets in their parks any longer. There are toilets in the older parks, but nothing in anything new. So, I guess that it means that the people who come there will need to relieve themselves on the street curbs; possibly in front of the occupied houses. Such action may be illegal. I can’t say since I am not an attorney.

Until the city can do the work, they have agreed to “look the other way” when it comes to the park. We will continue to serve in the park until the city has prepared the lot for use. That should take a few weeks. Once that is completed then we will have a new home for Sundays. We will no longer serve in the park.

While we are not welcome there, as an organization, the homeless people that we serve are. Perhaps there is some irony in that.

A Day In The Life Of A Volunteer

This is the story of a single volunteer. The person serves the homeless in Roseville CA. She does not live in Roseville but lives in a community near the city.

6:15 A.M. Wake up. This is hard because she was soundly asleep and her husband had to give her a gentle shake.
6:18 A.M. In the shower. The water is warm, but this is just the start of the day.
6:30 A.M. All dressed. Kiss the husband, who is still in bed, good-bye and leave for the convent in Roseville.
7:00 A.M. Arrive at the convent. Get the key to the van and unlock all the doors. Take the convent keys out and open the convent and the storage shed where the food items are kept.
7:02 A.M. Start the water heater to make the coffee and hot water. Attach the hose and drain the standing water from the coffee maker.
7:05 A.M. Go out to the van and remove the coffee and water containers and bring into the convent.
7:08 A.M. Get the hand cart from the van to carry the full coffee containers. They are heavy and go on the cart between the coffee maker and the van.
7:10 A.M. Remove the covers from the coffee maker and the wire baskets. Add a filter to the basket and fill it with four cups of ground coffee. Replace the basket into the coffee maker and notice the hot water is starting to rise in temperature, but it is not quite hot enough.
7:12 A.M. Go outside and check the van contents. Make sure that there is enough food, creamers, sugar packets, and other items to feed about 70 people.
7:15 A.M. Back inside, the water is hot enough to start making the coffee. So, turn on the water and let it flow through the coffee grounds into the tank.
7:30 A.M. There is enough coffee to start to drain some off. So, attach the hose again and let the coffee flow into the container.
7:40 A.M. The coffee container is full. So, turn off the valve, remove the hose, attach the lid, put it on the cart. Drain the excess coffee and start the hot water going into the container. Take the coffee out to the van and lift it into the van.
7:45 A.M. The hot water is full. Turn off the valve, attach the lid to the container and put it on the cart. Stat the water back into the coffee maker so that it is not left dry.
7:50 A.M. All complete. Wipe down the kitchen, check the lights are off and everything locked securely. Leave for the distribution site.
8:00 A.M. Arrive at the site. Remove the tables, sometimes with some help, put the coffee on the tables, remove the cups, creamers, sugars, tea, and other items. Prepare the side of the van for distribution.
8:04 A.M. Open the back of the van and start the process of asking people what they would like to have. Ensure that everyone signs the register so that we have a tracking of the people.
8:50 A.M. Announce that this is the last call for coffee. Some people fill their thermos container with what is left of the coffee. But, usually there is some small amount left to dump. Use some of the remaining hot water to wipe down the tables and put the contents back into the van. Dump the rest of the hot water.
9:00 A.M. Do a quick check to make sure that the area is clean and there is no trash left around and all is secure. Depart for the convent to return the van.
9:10 A.M. At the convent, lock everything and return the keys to their proper place.
9:15 A.M. Depart to continue with the rest of your day.

While the same person does not work every day, the organization does. This is but a brief glimpse of the process that goes on six days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. We have many people who help. They all follow a schedule similar to but not exactly the same as what I described. They are all dedicated, hard-working, and caring individuals.

The post office must have taken our motto about rain, snow, sleet and shine because we are there during all weather conditions; doing our job that we have come to love each day. Each day is a fresh start.

Christmas in Roseville

This is the crowd who served on Christmas Day, 2014. Christmas is a special day. It is normally spent with family. It is spent with Friends. Here are some of our family and friends.

Vito Amurao and friend
Vito Amurao drove the van and brought family and friends
Margo manned the side
Vito and his Christmas hat
Vito and his Chistmas hat
the morning crowd
The crowd of “our” friends
the morning crowd
Still more “friends” for Christmas
LaDon, Tom B, George, and Tino
Ladon Mellen, Tom B, George, and Tino.

Monday in Roseville

Here are a few photographs that were taken of the people servicing the homeless residents in Roseville at the Abundant Life Fellowship church. They are all part of a team who give of themselves in a selfless manner to help others in need.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Rebecca & John Leveike with Renae & Marty
Brian & Rebecca with Margo & Jack
Katie & Megan

We are again in the papers

We have made the headlines in the Sacramento Bee newspaper. The story, in case you don’t subscribe to the local paper, may be obtained by the following link.

The story is related to the previous posting about the Roseville operation starting again on Sundays. I am sure that it will draw some attention with hopefully a full and acceptable solution to all parties involved.

In addition, a local radio station has picked up on the news story. Their take is at the web page below.

I don’t care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right

Today there was a service in Roseville. Today, like the week before, it was held in the park. Today, like the week before, we had a few people show up for service. I believe that the total count was about 10. This was a very light day for most. There was a time when I remember that Sunday had about 60 people show up. However, that was before we were “asked” to leave.

It does not take religion. We are not specifically a religious organization. We, for the most part, do not carry bibles and quote scripture. We are just seeking to aid and comfort people. It is simple, basic charity and human compassion that drives all of the volunteers. It is not greed. It is not notoriety. It is not preaching to anyone, other than to say “welcome” and perhaps “have a cup of coffee.” It is the sense of compassion and care. It is the same reason that many people choose a career of service in the police, military, fire-fighting and medicine; or any other service related organization. It is to help their fellow man.

Today, a reporter from the Sacramento Bee newspaper showed up along with a photographer. The photographer was strapped down with two, count them two, beautiful Nikon D4 cameras. Each had a different lens. The reporter came only with a notepad and a pen. The reporter spent most of his time talking to the homeless people who did show up for a meal, a cup of coffee, and a bit of conversation.

I hope that the reporter will write something about us in the paper. It is widely attributed to P.T. Barnum the quote “I don’t care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right.” Perhaps he felt that any mention of his name was publicity and publicity attracted the crowd to him.

So, in closing, I do hope that the Sacramento Bee spells our name correctly. It is not that we need the publicity. We run on a very tight budget with as little costs as possible. What funds that we do receive we distribute in food to those less fortunate than most. We are a small organization of people who share a common purpose; to help their fellow man.

I wish that it was shared by more people.

Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve. It is the day before we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Now, some may argue that we don’t really know when He was born. We don’t even know the year, let alone the specific day. It does not matter when he was born. (To be honest, the Catholic Church decided that December 25th was the day in the fourth century. They usurped the Roman pagan holiday of “Saturnalia”.) We celebrate His birth; that’s all that matters.

It was Tony’s turn to drive the van this day. He arrived shortly after 8 A.M. and brought a helping hand. Together the two of them worked the back of the van, handing out lunch items to the large crowd that arrived today. Today was a busy day. This was Wednesday. Wednesday, the people from the Life Community Church arrive to serve breakfast items. They had yogurt, fruit, and other cosmetic items along with some warm clothing.

I spent the morning talking to the people, along with gathering a few signatures for our daily ledger. Most were very pleasant when I asked them “Well, so, what are your plans for tomorrow? How do you plan to spend Christmas?” It was my intention to write a short blurb about the Christmas time and this is it.

Let me see; the responses from the people that I talked to, and those were but a small sample of the almost 60 people that showed up today, were basically as follows:

Clyde told me that he plans to read the newspaper tomorrow. He is deeply interested in the computer security issues and is concerned about internet security. He actually told me about his impressions of how the internet transmitted data and how insecure the internet transmissions were. He prefers to buy by old fashioned mail order, not use the internet but to send postal money orders. So, tomorrow is “paper” day for Clyde. He wants his news the old fashioned way too, by a newspaper.

Tino mentioned that he was going to spend time with his grandchildren. He was going to play with them. That is a general aspiration that most people have; to spend time with family on Christmas. Still, he is coming to help out with the van service tomorrow, Christmas.

Kern said that what he was doing is a “secret” and did not wish to share.

ScottE was going to the Methodist church for their Christmas meal. He was going to pass out toys to the 7 to 12 year old kids from 11am to 1pm. While he was not going to dress up in a red suit, it was still a good feeling and he has done it for the past few years.

Donny said that he had purchased a toy car for his grand-daughter. It was remote controlled and he was going to let her ride in it while he controlled the car from afar. It was going to be great fun watching her turn the wheel and the car to behave under his control.

Rick came dressed in a brand new jacket. He obtained it from a second hand store where he bartered the price down to $0.00. It fit well, looked good, and should be warm enough even for this cold weather that is typical in our area at the end of December.

Nick, who arrives late because he is serve breakfast where he lives, stated that it was going to be the same as the last three weeks, no different between Christmas and every other day of the year.

Lest we remember that Christ was born poor. He was born in a mangier; not in a mansion; not in a palace. He was wrapped in plain cloth, not spun with gold. The people who found him first were shepherds. Shepherds were the poorest people in that society. They were the homeless. They were the wanderers. Yet, they were the fist to recognize Him. They were the first to appreciate Him. Let us appreciate the poor at this time of the year. Let us celebrate the birth of Christ; even if if Christ was not born in December.

Merry Christmas.

Roseville service to resume on Sunday

The board of directors has decided to resume service on Sundays at Saugstad Park in Roseville. Service will be starting on 21 December 2014 from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM and continuing as long as possible on a weekly Sunday basis.

This is in addition to the normal service that is offered Monday through Friday at the Abundant Life Church.

A Day of Thanks in Roseville 2014

To most people, a day of thanks involves having those that you care about near you. It involves gathering family and friends over for some good times. Usually a turkey is cooked. Sometimes it is ham. Sometimes it is goose (well, not normally in the USA).

I can remember back when I was young. My mother had a recipe for stuffing that involved that we grind up celery. I do not know if you have ever tried it. It produces so much water that it took almost a whole role of paper towels to mop up the mess that we children made. Still, the stuffing was good. The turkey was good. But, perhaps most of all, just being around the family was the best time.

To our clients, for lack of a better word in the modern business sense, life is different. They were concerned where they might even find a turkey dinner, let alone have family over. I spoke with one of them. He said that he had a little bit of family, but they were no where near him. They were across the country.

I suppose that he has friends. Yet, he traveled alone. There was not a large gathering around him. For him, like many people during the holidays, this is the loneliest; time of the year. This is where depression sets into the psyche. It is not in April. It is not in August. It is not in September. It starts with the end of November and goes through the first part of the new year.

Still, I must remember that we are all here to help. We are all here to at the very least offer some comfort, some form of companionship. The food is good. It helps the body. Conversation, and just making a human connection, helps the soul.

These are a few photos of the people around service area in Roseville on this day, this day of thanks; a day that we call Thanksgiving.

Tony Scott works the back of the van with the food

Margo Ezell and Tino work the side providing the cups, cereal, and other items

This is “ten foot” Tom. He and his two dogs have a total of 10 feet among them. He brought the donuts.

Clyde prefers solitude

Finally, after an hour of serving people, Tony Scott takes a well deserved break. Here is to Tony! He is only one of our unsung heroes of the day. There are too many to mention specifically. Today God was smiling down upon the Earth. He smiled at all those who helped others feel better about themselves and continue to offer assistance to their fellow humans where we could do so. My God bless all.

Thank you to Mimi’s

WWJD would like to thank Mimi’s for their previous generous donations of food and money to help feed the hungry in Placer County. We regret that the store which did the donations was forced to close so the donations have ceased. Still, we are grateful for their past donations.