Homeless in Santa Cruz CA – why?

Slipped on a banana peel  why homeless in Santa Cruz CA says  Jon Showalter, President of AFC & member of St. John’s Episcopal in Aptos, CA

Homeless in Santa Cruz CA — Why?  Largely just economic,   a slip on a banana peel?  Or are people homeless due to  lots of inter-related issues with use of  illegal drugs interwoven?  Your experience?

From government statistics:   Roughly 40% surveyed report at least one or more  serious health conditions:   drugs/alcohol;  psychotic/emotional;  post traumatic stress disorder,  physically disabled and  chronic health conditions. Such are the statistics.

It’s one thing to report and another thing as to what the real problems are.   Surveys are simply what people choose to report.

Per government  survey, roughly the same percentage  of homeless persons  look for work (43%)  compared with those who report they are  unable to work (43%).  These figures are from Santa Cruz County data.

A different   viewpoint  expressed recently  by   homeless advocate Jon  Showalter:  He  said in a talk  that 60% of local homeless  are “economic refugees” who “slipped on a banana peel” and  lost their social network. We need to know them human to human  Showalter emphasized.

It’s 60% economic  to 40%  other  (mental illness/ drug and alcohol)   states  homeless advocate Jon Showalter who spoke to 50+ women in Aptos,CA at Resurrection Catholic Community  3/18/19.

Showwalter is President of the Board for the Association of Faith Communities (AFC) and member of St. John’s Episcopal church   in Aptos, CA. The AFC meets monthly at Calvary Episcopal church  in Santa Cruz, CA   and  has 11 representatives of largely north Santa Cruz  faith organizations including Buddhist, Hindu and Christian.

Following Showalter’s presentation,  Pat Lorenzo of Resurrection Catholic Community  updated  attendees concerning other  programs currently in place through mid-county churches  which assist homeless persons  with meals, shelter, showers, socks  and other services.  The collect Socks program will continue says  Pat Lorenzo who applied for ,and received, three or four thousand  pairs of socks in December, 2018. Those socks have been dispersed throughout Santa Cruz County Lorenzo said.

New long term sheltering program:  Showalter states that a new sheltering program starts 3/18/19 at St. John’s Episcopal in Aptos, CA. Occupants of 3 cars will shelter long term in the parking lot of the church.  One car/person has been doing so for several months.  Persons  in the new sheltering  program will be  vetted through the Association of Faith Communities states Showalter.

Not in my backyard issues:

Whether or   how the nearby   housing project  — located adjacent on two sides  to St. John’s Episcopal   church in Aptos, CA  —  was contacted  concerning the long term sheltering program  was not discussed by Showalter  at the Guild meeting nor in  recent  email sent by the Rector, Mtr Tracy,   to St. John’s Episcopal  congregation.   At the Guild meeting an attendee discussed how  a successful   Catholic church sheltering program — located next to a school — managed the “not in my backyard issues”. Ongoing communication,  sharing  meals with  the parish  and a 6 am leave the premises each day  were central rules  she said.

Comment by Aptos Psychologist:

Are people homeless in Santa Cruz mainly   due to  “a slip on a banana peel”?  Mostly an economic issue and only somewhat a mental health/ drug issue?    Nope.  Why the multitude of  needles on the beaches? Why the feces and urine smells in downtown Santa Cruz?  Why the encampment of 100+  unauthorized tents at the entrance to Santa Cruz, CA.   Why do young mothers not take small children to Santa Cruz parks?

Reality:   It’s probably the reverse — 80+ percent drug/ alcohol/ mental illness and  20 percent economic.

What do statistics say?

Take Away :  The numbers show an overall decrease in homeless persons comparing  numbers   first collected (2005)  to the  latest numbers (2017).   There were about 3,400 homeless  in 2005 — and 12 years later — about   2,200 in 2017.

For communities to receive federal grant money for homeless issues those communities must count homeless persons every two years.   Communities   use  the Point in Time method of counting.

Statistics  collected by Applied Survey Research show that in 2005 there were 3,371 homeless and 8 years later in 2013  — the high point —  there were 3,536.  In 2015 the number was 1,964 and in 2017  it was 2,249.The statistics listed above  can be found via  United Way and from Santa Cruz County.

One size shoe  does not fit all:

There’s a fairly  new federal law that cities cannot displace homeless unless they provide a bed/ place for them.  New York City shelters almost all of their homeless.   California provides services to 1/3 of all the homeless in the U.S.   — must be the weather and beaches? — and roughly 70% of the homeless  are not sheltered.  Thus we see encampments of homeless tents at the entrance to Santa Cruz, CA.

What say you?  The government — and religious faith organizations  — should provide long term  house / housing space for all?

written by Cameron Jackson

Monerey Bay Forum

127 Jewell Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
United States (US)
Phone: 831 688 6002
Fax: 831 688 7717
Email: jaj48@aol.com

who receives the Body & Blood? Who can vote? Aptos CA Catholics & Episcopalians tighten their rules — very differently

rules tighten differently  at Episcopalian & Catholic churches in Aptos, CA

Aptos CA Catholics and Episcopalians tighten  their rules — in quite different ways.

  Episcopalians pay to pray before voting:

The laying on of hands by an Episcopalian bishop  and the payment of identifiable  money to the church are two of a number of   requirements for members  at St. John’s in Aptos, CA who want to vote Dec. 10, 2017.

  The Rector, Mother Tracy, writes in an email 12/07/2017  that  in order to be “technically” an Episcopalian,   sometime in the past an Episcopalian bishop laid hands in a church service  on the person.   All  who meet various  requirements can vote Dec. 10 for elections to the church board.

Aptos Catholic  christians also tighten their rules:  The last to receive will be first now. Different housekeeping rules will  be  enforced at  Resurrection Catholic Community. The order of who gets served  first is one change.

  Remember  the bible verse,    “The  last will be first —  and the first will be last”? [Matthew 20:16] It’s an apt summary.

   The Eucharistic Ministers at  Resurrection Catholic Community   who assist with the service  — these people  who used to be the  last persons  to receive — will now be first persons   to receive.   Each Eucharistic Minister will  receive from the  Catholic priest prior to   serving others.

It was stated that this is an “old”  Catholic rule  — one of many “shoulds” that need to  be done — that  now  goes into effect at Resurrection Catholic Community in Aptos, CA.    Further,   the tender  care with which any remaining Body and Blood is handled after everyone has received, those rules are tightened.

 So — are there any  Aptos Catholic christians who want to receive directly from their priest?   Ask to serve and be trained  as an Eucharistic Minister. The last to receive will now be first to receive at Resurrection Catholic Community in Aptos.

 At St. John’s episcopal church all attendees standing in a circle  receive the Body from the priest and then they receive the  Blood from an assisting Eucharistic Minister.

Of most importance is participation as the Body of Christ.  All are welcome at St. John’s episcopal and Resurrection catholic community.

Below are photos taken 12/10 on Voting Day at St. John’s episcopal. Great coffee! 

written by Cameron Jackson

Monerey Bay Forum

127 Jewell Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
United States (US)
Phone: 831 688 6002
Fax: 831 688 7717
Email: jaj48@aol.com