Taste olive oil; help the homeless

In July 2010 the Community Resource Center opened its doors at 1864 Broadway in Placerville to help people who are homeless, or are on the verge of being homeless.

“We serve the neediest in El Dorado County,” said Maureen Focht, who oversees the daily operations of the center with Rene Evans.”There have been over 3,000 people who have walked in and signed in.”

Inside the facility are plenty of qualified people more than willing to help people find a temporary or permanent place to live.

The clients are people who might be dealing with life’s struggles, but want to learn or are very knowledgeable, including in the use of the Internet and various software programs.

“They either use our computers, our phone or showers,” Focht said. “We’re the only place in the county where homeless can get a shower.”

The bulk of the young people who visit the facility seem pretty proficient on computers, Focht noted. Older people who come in and want to learn how to use computers are in luck.

“We do have a gentleman, Steve Baker, who does computer training every Thursday morning,” Focht said. “Also résumé creation.”

Last winter the facility coordinated a seven-night shelter program that was spearheaded by Evans, who founded the center. Several churches took part in the program.

“We’ll have that again this winter,” Focht said.

More than 90 percent of the people coming to the center want to help themselves get back on track according to Focht.

“There’s very few transitional homes,” Focht said. “We’re not a big county. I know there’s people who want to get a year-round shelter.”

Many of the people who visit didn’t earn their high school diploma.

“We’re starting a new program called ‘Steps To Success,’” said Focht, “and one of the goals of that program is for them to get their GED. It’s hard to find a job, especially right now, if you don’t even have a high school diploma. I mean, how can you compete for a job?”

The resource center has received grants but additional funds are needed to continue to reach out to those who are looking to get on their feet again.

This is where the first Wine and Olive Oil Tasting Event comes into play. The evening will feature hors d’oeuvres, olive oil tasting, wine and desserts.

There will also be live music, a silent auction and many prizes.

Focht and Katie Chaney are the co-chairwomen overseeing this special occasion on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Lakehills Covenant Church, 7000 Rossmore Lane in El Dorado Hills, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Admission is $15 per person or $25 for two.

For more information or tickets call the center at 530-344-1864 or go to edcrc.org.

Tickets can also be purchased at We Olive, 1000 White Rock Road in El Dorado Hills, by calling 916-933-1650.

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Posted by on Oct 5 2011.
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