Thursday, January 13, 2005

Homelessness at Home January 2005
Summary of Facilitation for LCHI task group
Jeff Gill – 13 Jan 05

Good news – What you heard as a pleasant surprise

Basic efforts of Salvation Army (SA), Coalition of Care (CoC), and
St. Vincent de Paul conferences & center (StVdP) – (x 5)
So much co-operation - (x 3)
How much is being put "out there" in resources - (x 2)
Focus already in community on shelter needs beyond current capacity – (x 2)
50 beds already on drawing boards – (x 2)
SA went from 6 to 18 beds (w/ a visit to 24 for a time)_
That SA and StVdP have met and are co-ordinating
This room and the cross-section it represents
Decrease in 2004 Point in Time count #
Support of faith communities
Focus on God
Child care available through DJFS
Meals available through SA (noted in later discussion, might have been a x 4 or 5)

Troubling News

Average age of a homeless person = 9 years old – (x 12)
Lack of immediate access shelter/services – (x 4)
Seeing the pictures of the where and how – (x 4)
Likely competition for $$$ locally – (x 3)
Lack of awareness of available resources – (x 3)
$12.43 an hour wage rate needed to afford 2 bdr rental in LC – (x 3)
68 turnaways at SA since Jan. 1, 12 days – (x 3)
The amount spent now for current results – (x 2)
Trends vs. pop. Growth, or will 50 beds be enough in 5 yrs.? – (x 2)
Amer. Red Cross (ARC) out of $$ right now – (x 2)
(including no renter’s insurance among all of the 70% cases that are renters)
No daily soup kitchen
Potential disagreements over priorities, esp. subpopulations
(i.e., you may have statistics, but I know what I see. . .)
Church response should be much better than 60 of 240
Family support shouldn’t be an obstacle to getting assistance
Prejudice against the visibly impoverished ("Them as got, gets")
Bricks & mortar vs. people
1 is too many/no one (even molesters) deserves homelessness

Noted in this section: Lancaster has "The Foundation" with 100 beds;
Zanesville has "Christ’s Table" daily soup kitchen; should look and learn
If I could tell everyone in LC one thing, it would be. . .

Average age of homeless person: 9 years old

12 days, 68 turned away from a full-capacity SA shelter

Tomorrow, w/out family & friends, YOU could be homeless

Homelessness is REAL, and could happen to anyone

Stop discarding your teens (18 emancipation, 50%? drop-out rate at NHS)

Homelessness is everyone’s responsibility;
A community thing, not an agency thing


Remember the ice storm, and how you felt

The Main Place exists

There is help, and hope



At: Camp Falling Rock
On: June 14 thru June 17, 2005
Tuesday thru Friday

Picnic and Awards Ceremony on
Friday, June 17th starting at 12:00 p.m.

The Webelos Overnighter
Will be Friday, June 17th

Registration Fees:
Due On or Before the May 3rd Roundtable
Due On or Before May 27th

Except New Tiger Cub Registrations.

Questions Contact Camp Directors Angela & Ric Eader At:

* * *


There will be a training course held on
Saturday, March 5, 2005
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $5.00 per person
Church on the Rock
Etna, Ohio
Questions, call:
Debbie Neighbarger
P.O. Box 94
Utica, Ohio 43080
Send registrations to:
Simon Kenton Council, BSA
1901 E. Dublin-Granville Rd.
PO Box 29207
Columbus, Ohio 43229-0207
Attn.: Licking District Training
Notes From My Knapsack 1-16-05
By Jeff Gill

Been Homeless Lately?

Quite a few Licking Countians (a quarter? a third? half?) have recently known, at least in part, what homelessness feels like, from the inside.
Sure, it was an ice storm, and you knew the utilities would come back (they would, wouldn’t they?), and that you’d return to your home (but when?), but the experience was still there.
You didn’t want to go, you weren’t sure where to go (sorry, we’re full up tonight), and you were making stressful decisions under difficult circumstances (why didn’t we just go to cousin Jean’s instead of Aunt Bertie’s?), which probably didn’t always show you at your best.
For folks who work with the ongoing housing and homelessness problem in Licking County, this all sounds very familiar.
What’s been different is that people from Utica to Buckeye Lake, from Toboso to Pataskala had the experience – and are talking about it.
Actually, in any given year, people from that many different parts of the area, from about as many economic backgrounds, run into a slower motion crisis that results in the same impact as the ice storm: where do I go? How do I get heat and water for my children?
There’s quite a bit we know about homelessness. We know that the emergency shelter on East Main in Newark run by the Salvation Army, with 18 beds, has been operating at full capacity for over two years now. We know they are forced to turn away people because of capacity and fire code issues: 68 were turned away between Jan. 1 and Jan. 12 just in the start of this year. And we know the average age of a homeless person is . . . 9 years old.
How do we know things like this, that the average age of homelessness is 9? Local groups like the Salvation Army, the Licking County Coalition for Housing, the American Red Cross, or Moundbuilders Guidance Center all are expected to keep careful records for the state and federal funds they receive, such as through FEMA. They want to know more about the how and the where and the who of homelessness, not to mention the why.
They work together, too, such as in a recent meeting at the Reese Center on the OSU-N campus, comparing notes and dreams, and making plans.
Next week, these groups are preparing to work together to try to do a "one night count" of both unsheltered and sheltered homeless people. Teams with training will go out between 10 pm and 1 am on Wednesday night, Jan. 26, and check their assigned area for people sleeping out and around. They will carry some items to give out that might be of use to those in that situation (gloves, blankets, flashlights), and they will walk away from anyone who doesn’t want to be bothered.
That’s not what happened last year, the first time this was tried in Licking County. From I-70 truck stops to railroad overpasses, most wanted to talk and appreciated the effort to find them and tell their story.
So if your own recent brush with homelessness makes you want to help, you can be trained this Tuesday, Jan 18. Show up from either 1 to 3 pm or 6 to 8 pm, your choice, at the MRDD Office at 565 Industrial Parkway in Heath, just east of Rt. 79 (think behind Wendy’s).
Last year they counted 97 homeless people in Licking County on that one night. We hope this year is lower, and suspect it’s higher. But why talk more about it, when we can go out and count, and talk to those folks who really know what it’s like.

Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and occasional preacher around central Ohio. You can contact him for more information about the "1 Night Homelessness Count" through

Monday, January 10, 2005

February 2005 "Scouter" Simon Kenton Council

Licking District Trailmarkers

(Insert CSLBT article first)

(Insert Cub Day Camp article second)

Boy Scout Leader Basic Training

For you troop Scouters, we've got training coming up for you folks as well; contact Kelly O'Reilly for details. They will be meeting for two weekends in February and March. We need a better percentage of unit leaders on all levels trained in Licking District, and especially on the Boy Scout level. Do you have assistant Scoutmasters or newer troop committee members who could benefit from exposure to the entire Scouting program? Give 'em a nudge!

Commissioner's Staff

Kudos from Trig Gamble, district chairman, and Mike Deeslie, district commissioner, to the unit commissioners and Bill Burgess' invaluable assistance: at year's end, 42 of 49 units were chartered On Time! This is an advance on recent years, and a good step forward. We can take a few steps more (about 7, it looks like), but this is great for starting 2005 the right way.

Cub Scout 75th

This month and next are most of our Cub Scout Pack Blue & Gold banquets, with special attention to 75 years of Cubbing in the Scout Movement. Do you have a "Friends of Scouting" presentation planned as part of the program? Call Larry Lorance or Bill Burgess if you don't have one set yet.

These presentations are simply to offer the opportunity to give to support Scouting, not an arm-twist session. Often there are parents and grandparents who would like to share something for the support of the district and council, but don't know how. And don't forget, it costs Simon Kenton and Licking District about $110 to provide Scouting per youth; United Way covers about $10, leaving $100 per Scout for us to raise each year for district and council operations.

So don't skip the FoS presentation!

Last Calendar Reminders

March 17, registration starts at noon in Indian Mound Mall for district Pinewood Derby

April 17, District Recognition Dinner

April 22-23, Spring Camporee