“My Kind Of Town Sacramento Is”

If Frank Sinatra was alive today and came back to our beautiful-diverse city of Sacramento, I’m sure he would agree. I’ve lived here for almost 24 years and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, except maybe Colorado where my son now lives. Besides the warmer weather, the people here are the best in the West. I love Sacramento! This story is about homelessness, the people that came out of it, and the many that help us get off the streets, to help us become a part of society, and enjoy life again. By God’s mercy I’ve been clean and sober for almost 20 years and un-homeless since 1992. To God be the glory for all the many wonderful, caring people from Sacramento that help us along the way, so we don’t starve, get murdered, or freeze to death out there. The homeless can’t make it without the help of Salvation Army, St. John’s Shelter, Loaves and Fishes, SHRA, Welfare, and so many others that volunteer their services to help feed, clothe, and give a place to stay at their Inn. When my Emphysema and other health issues became so severe that I could no longer work, Welfare and SHRA came to the rescue while waiting for my SSDI to come through. I would have been homeless again along with my daughter if not for them, […]

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Unique fundraising event to aid homeless

A line of people patiently waiting for a hot meal on a cold day might be common in some areas, but the line expected in front of Mulvaney’s B&L Feb. 19 will likely be full of the kind of people who are used to being waited on – and the $25 they fork over for a bowl of soup will help those in need. “The $25 they spend for their bowl will go entirely to the kitchens at Loaves & Fishes and St. John’s Shelter,” said Lead Pastor Michael Mervine of the L19 Community Church, which is partnering with the charities and Mulvaney’s B&L for the event. Mervine added that each $25 purchase will pay for a cauldron of soup that can be used to feed 25 to 30 people in the shelters. He said that he, the Mulvaneys and shelter workers are hoping to see a line of people stretching around the block, and that it will be full of those who haven’t stood in line for a meal. “I’d like to see maybe the guy who lives in the lofts above and makes $600,000 a year experiencing standing in line,” Mervine said. The idea is not just to raise money, but help people empathize with the plight of those who are experiencing homelessness – a term Mervine said he prefers to “homeless people,” […]

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4th Annual Sacramento Homeless Connect this Saturday, May 21 at Sacramento City College

The 4th Annual Sacramento Homeless Connect event will take place this Saturday, May 21 at Sacramento City College from 10:00 am-3:00 pm. It is hosted by Sacramento Steps Forward, with support from presenting sponsor The Salvation Army. Speakers at the event include Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, Mayor Kevin Johnson and Supervisor Phil Serna. Over 1,000 homeless guests are expected; additionally the event hosts 500 community volunteers and over 60 different service providers. Project Homeless Connect is a national Best Practice model for bringing services directly to homeless folks. Started in San Francisco, it now occurs in over 150 communities across the country. Homeless Connect events are one-day, one-stop, 100% free resource fairs that bring a myriad of services all to one location, thus eliminating many of the barriers homeless folks face in accessing the services they need. Transportation is provided for guests that day (a major barrier for many homeless people), as well as pet care and childcare. Homeless folks get to meet with providers face-to-face, in a warm, hospitable environment. Additionally, the Salvation Army provides BBQ chicken meals for the guests, and bands Guitar Mac and BluSoul Band will be providing all-day entertainment. 500 community volunteers will be donating their time that day, helping with a number of different projects. This year, over 60 different agencies and service providers will be in attendance, including: Community […]

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Diva Eve Clothing Swap

Around 80 women shuffled into the California Museum Thursday night with overflowing bags in tow. The baggage wasn’t credited to a long day of shopping, but rather the beginning of a long night of swapping. The Diva Eve Clothing Swap was a eco-friendly evening of fashion, beauty and philanthropy, benefiting St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children. Seventeen years ago, Clothing Swap founder Suzanne Agasi invited three close friends over for a wardrobe exchange experiment. Guests cleaned out their closets and poured their belongings into Agasi’s Walnut Creek studio apartment. The evening was informal and intimate as the women picked through each other’s clothing and donated the leftovers to charity. Little to Agasi’s knowing, her small gathering would turn into a national trend. "The idea just grew," Agasi said. "I kept having these clothing swaps and more and more women came." Agasi, dressed in a black floor-length gown she discovered at a swap, welcomed all attendees as they entered the pre-swap reception. Available at the front door were "Nostalgic Notes," small tags to place on special items as women prepared to part with their once worn belongings. "They are little notes to say something special about each piece," Agasi said. "If you bought it in Paris or if you wore it to a wedding, you can tell the next owner why the piece is special […]

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Bosom Buddy Program Supports Women

The Bosom Buddy Bra Recyclers are giving bras a second home. Founded in October 2008, the organization collects used bras from women around the world to donate to homeless shelters and transition houses. If the bras can’t be used, they’re recycled and given a new life in a different form. The idea for the project came when Elaine Birks-Mitchell was talking to a friend who worked at a shelter. As they talked about what the women needed, the subject of bras came up. "They never get enough," Birks-Mitchell said. "People don’t think to donate bras." Birks-Mitchell said the response to Bosom Buddy has been unbelievable. The project has received 20,000 bras in the first quarter of 2010 alone. Combined with last year’s donations, the total is more than 40,000. While women are encouraged to mail in donations, there are 17 drop-off locations, most are in the organization’s home state of Arizona, with one in Dallas, and another in Sacramento. "For some reason, us women, we don’t like to throw anything away," Birks-Mitchell joked. Many donors have found the recyclers on the Web, dug through their closets, and found one or two bras that just don’t fit right. Some still have tags on them. And donations have come from as far away as Hong Kong. Connis Kimball, co-owner of At Last Bra and Lingerie, the local […]

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Sacramento Steps Forward initiative announced

Thursday morning, journalist Lisa Ling, members of the City Council and the homeless and formerly-homeless community joined Mayor Kevin Johnson in launching the "Sacramento Steps Forward" initiative. A crowd of several hundred waved blue initiative flags and cheered as Johnson announced his goal "to end homelessness and focus on permanent housing." He applauded permanent housing shelters such as Mercy Housing, Turning Point and Martin Luther King Jr. Village, 3900 47th Avenue, where the launch was held. Johnson said the goal of Sacramento Steps Forward is to provide 2,400 "decent and affordable" permanent housing units over the next three years. That would nearly quadruple the amount of permanent housing units created in the city over the last two years. The mayor asked the Sacramento residents to advocate for the homeless, educate others about services needed to end homelessness, and to help find public, corporate and nonprofit funding. "The homeless do not need a handout, they need a hand up," Johnson said. "They want to be empowered." Johnson is chairman of a multiagency task force, part of the Policy Board to End Homelessness, that found funding for 269 winter shelter beds last month. This came despite an 84 percent cut in county funding for homelessness and the elimination of funding for winter shelters in September. Tim Brown, director of the Sacramento Ending Chronic Homelessness Initiative, said last […]

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Gone fishin’

 A recent fishing derby pulled in a truckload of clothes and cash for St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children in Sacramento. The sixth annual Gone Fishin’ Derby held recently at Granite Regional Park had folks of all ages showing up with their fishing gear in hand. "Approximately 250 kids and 100 adults attended the event," says Tammy T. Nguyen, Community Relations Coordinator for The Hoyt Company. "We gave away almost $2,000 worth of fishing equipment, not including the gift baskets we received from SunSweet, a trip to Donner Lake, and the gift certificates from Squeeze Inn." Derby co-sponsors were HDR|The Hoyt Company, BLT Enterprises,Power Inn Alliance, Granite Park Partners, Jackson Properties, Inc.,Teichert / Stonebridge Properties, LLC and Walmart. Seven-year-old Joshua Hang caught the first, and largest, catfish weighing in at a little over six pounds.    Photos | Kati Garner and Tammy Nguyen (Joshua Hang holding fish)  

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