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Lodi leaders discuss services needed to help local homeless population

Improvement Committee holds forum exploring ways to provide help to homeless

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Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:28 am, Wed Nov 9, 2011.

About 40 residents representing different volunteer organizations in Lodi all agreed on Tuesday night that the most important tool in getting the homeless off the street is to connect with them.

“We have a fear of dealing with other people who may be tattooed, (or) maybe don’t have the same dress as us or don’t even speak the same language, but they have the same heart as we do,” said Michael Michelucci, with 3rd Heaven Ministries.

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  • Keith Colgan posted at 6:20 pm on Thu, Nov 10, 2011.

    Keith Colgan Posts: 30

    See Video of Homeless Forum meeting at

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:16 am on Thu, Nov 10, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Mr Litton... I am glad to read your post and hopeful things will get better for everyone.
    Thank you for the invitation but I will be in Thailand February and March.
    Hope the meeting goes well and provides constructive solutions.

  • Tim Litton posted at 9:43 am on Wed, Nov 9, 2011.

    Tim Litton Posts: 24

    Mr. Baumbach,
    I encourage you to come to the meeting in February and raise these concerns. You have a valid argument that should be, and was raised at last night’s meeting. The purpose of these meetings is to create a public forum for these conversations, so we can come up with solutions and not just talk about them. I look forward to seeing you there.

    Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:19 am on Wed, Nov 9, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    In my view, I am thankful that all these organizations and people are committed to helping people who find themselves in situations that they cannot help themselves or simply have had less fortune come their way through no fault of their own.

    My only concern are some of the people I see on a daily basis that seemingly do not fit the scenario I described above. I have worked in downtown Lodi for 3 years now and on a daily basis drive by the Salvation Army facility and businesses in downtown Lodi. I go for a daily walk for exercise downtown.
    During these walks, I encounter people I see waiting in line at the Salvation Army at 5:00PM
    between 9:00am and 3:30 PM each day. I see the same people over and over daily, month after month.
    Many look stronger than I and talk well when I talk with them. My concern is the thought that sometimes, some people will not be motivated to work or struggle with self improvement if all the basic needs are taken care of. I think sometimes people with wonderful intentions to help sometimes take the roll of enablers unintentionally.

    For the people who need food clothing and shelter when they are in a bad way, we all should do what it takes to help and be thankful for people who put their heart and soul into taking care of disadvantaged people. It is a calling that should be respected and admired.

    There should however be a time limit of how long this help can be given in some circumstances if these individuals are physically and mentally fit to work.. This article did not address this concern. It seems to me if this concern has been addressed, I would not see the same individuals one month after another... some one year after the next when I go for these walks.
    I remember a gray hair old man that daily slept on a bench who has not returned for about a year now. I stopped a police car one day that was near this man and talked to the officer. I asked how this man could be allowed to sleep so often on a bench downtown. The officer told me he was a regular for years now and they deal with him often. The word “years” still rings in my ear...that is sad.



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