By Donna Westfall – July 6, 2021
If you’ve never experienced homelessness, let’s get some basics out of the way.
There are four very real insecurities:
1.) Food and shelter
4.) Basic Needs :
Let’s start with #4. Water and food are not guaranteed. Warmth and dry clean clothes not guaranteed. Cleaning up with a bath or shower not guaranteed. Getting their hair washed or cut not guaranteed.
YES, we all have heard that if the homeless didn’t have drug, alcohol or mental problems they probably wouldn’t be homeless. But there are many that drop through the cracks. Besides, even those with substance abuse problems still crave basic needs.
Tuesday morning, July 6th at 9:30 am, a specially equipped portable shower with two separate stalls pulled into the parking lot at Open Door located on Washington by Northcrest in Crescent City. From 10 am to 2 pm, the portable showers were there along with a slew of other helpful amenities:
One table was set-up to provide some warm soup. Liz Reeves, a volunteer and attendee of Cornerstone Church cooked soup. Today it was chili. Boxes filled with donuts were also available.
Another table was set-up to address an issue that is largely ignored: RAPE. Men, women and children suffer this indignity in our town and it’s a common occurrence. If taken to the hospital, calls are made to the Rape Crisis group. They have five employees and are funded by grants. Someone will go to the hospital and in a confidential setting, will speak with and offer options to the victim. They have the option to report or not report to law enforcement.
Another table offers clothing so they can put on fresh clothing.
Daphne Cortese-Lambert from Mission Possible was there. I learned that her group will be renting space at Our Daily Bread Ministries to set up a shelter.
I spoke with Lauren Brawley about the portable showers program wanting to know what group put it together. I was told it was Amanda Haynie, who is Lauren Brawley’s supervisor, at the Del Norte Senior Center. They are located at 1765 Northcrest Dr, Crescent City.
Local resident, Wes Nunn, will be driving the portable showers to several locations in addition to Open Door. There are two or three other locatons that will be firmed up shortly:
- The Family Resource Center at 494 Pacific Ave in Crescent City.
2. The Park City Superette store at 725 Elk Valley Road in Crescent City.
3. St. Vincent de Paul’s at 1440 Parkway Drive, Crescent City.
Please spread the word.