The Journey to Hangtown Haven

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How a group of committed volunteers led by a retired aerospace engineer built a homeless shelter in a gold rush community and how the power and financial elite closed it down. Was it because Hangtown Haven was an unexpected success?

How does one build a successful homeless shelter that is legal, practical and economical at no cost to the taxpayer? A group of homeless volunteers led by a retired aerospace engineer along with non-profit corporations and concerned churches jumped into the fray and did just that. Not, however, without making mistakes and ruffling feathers along the way. No one could have predicted how controversial it would be to provide shelter to our neighbors who had no place to live. “We are going to build a modern dog shelter with $7 million, but don’t bother asking the county or the city for one penny to help our homeless citizens.”

So, the real question is, “How do you build a homeless shelter that works and is acceptable to the entire community with donations only?” This book tells the story of one Sierra community’s eff ort to answer this question and how its success proved that it could be done, however its success also turned the city’s power establishment against it.

When it was obvious that the shelter was a success and homeless people were thriving, the city’s power structure got together and closed it down throwing forty homeless men and women out of their shelter in the middle of winter with no place to live.

But the genie is out of the bottle now and the occupants of this small gold mining town know how to do it the next time. They are prepared to try again until they are successful even though all of the business, political and power interests are determined to stop it. Th is story tells how it was done, how it can be done and how to avoid serious mistakes along the way.

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Author: Arthur A. Edwards

How a group of committed volunteers led by a retired aerospace engineer built a homeless shelter in a gold rush community and how the power and financial elite closed it down. Was it because Hangtown Haven was an unexpected success?

How does one build a successful homeless shelter that is legal, practical and economical at no cost to the taxpayer? A group of homeless volunteers led by a retired aerospace engineer along with non-profit corporations and concerned churches jumped into the fray and did just that. Not, however, without making mistakes and ruffling feathers along the way. No one could have predicted how controversial it would be to provide shelter to our neighbors who had no place to live. “We are going to build a modern dog shelter with $7 million, but don’t bother asking the county or the city for one penny to help our homeless citizens.”

So, the real question is, “How do you build a homeless shelter that works and is acceptable to the entire community with donations only?” This book tells the story of one Sierra community’s eff ort to answer this question and how its success proved that it could be done, however its success also turned the city’s power establishment against it.

When it was obvious that the shelter was a success and homeless people were thriving, the city’s power structure got together and closed it down throwing forty homeless men and women out of their shelter in the middle of winter with no place to live.

But the genie is out of the bottle now and the occupants of this small gold mining town know how to do it the next time. They are prepared to try again until they are successful even though all of the business, political and power interests are determined to stop it. Th is story tells how it was done, how it can be done and how to avoid serious mistakes along the way.

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