Helping Hands Service


Helping Hands Service


The Helping Hands Group is comprised of volunteers that identify community needs, and addresses them with compassion and physical effort.   Our volunteers conduct various service projects such as taking out the trash for disabled persons, cleaning lawns, and repairing broken things.  In addition we help families struggling to make ends meet by providing food, counseling, and access to available services.

Our Volunteers also make contact with homeless persons building relationships that open doors to providing them with assistance.  The following posts’ chronicle some of those contacts.  Helping Hands Group respects the privacy of every individual we come in contact with.  When a person is identified it is either a fictitious name or with there informed consent.

Blog

 

  • The Tree People of Elsinore

    Many of the homeless in our area have made the riverbeds and lake bottom their home.  In an effort to understand the homeless situation Helping Hands Group ventured to the encampments to see first-hand what is going on.

    First of all and most importantly our group had an escort comprised of the special squad of sheriffs that work on the Elsinore homeless problem. Those officers clearly had a command of the situation and had the respect of everyone we came in contact with. Anyone attempting to contact any of the inhabitants of the encampments without the aid of the sheriffs would be foolish. If Will Robertson from Lost in Space were there with his robo12333t, Robby the robot would shake himself to pieces shouting “DANGER DANGER WILL ROBERTSON, DANGER”. Do not go there by yourself.
    The areas the homeless currently occupy will be under 2 to 10 feet of water when the forecasted El Nino rains come in December and early next year. We spoke with several of the Tree People and gained some valuable insight into their lifestyle. I refer to them as Tree People as in their world they have a home and are not homeless. Some of the homes had canvas walls some had cardboard walls but all were considered home to them. The one thing they had in common was they all lived under the cover of the trees.

    Over the next few weeks I will post my observations and interviews with the Tree People of Elsinore.

    ✜✜ To protect identity and privacy of individuals mentioned on this blog Helping Hands Group will never use the true name or location of any person. ✜✜

     

  • Homeless Assistance Resources

    This is a list of homeless assistance agencies and housing providers. It is always best to sign up at your Department of Public & Social Services to enter any program. Homeless can also register for help at the Temecula Pantry. They can guide you to the Housing First program started by the county. It requires simple registration and is necessary to get help from the county.


    DPSS Lake Elsinore

    1400 W Minthorn St

    Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

    Phone: (951) 245-3100


    Temecula Pantry

    28922 Pujol St

    Temecula, CA 92590

    Phone: (951) 676-8022


    Coachella Valley Rescue Mission

    47470 Van Buren St

    Indio, CA 92201

    Phone: (760) 347-3512

    This group does it all, detox, rehab, housing, food, job training & placement


    Valley Restart

    200 E. Menlo Ave.

    Hemet , CA 92543

    951-766-7476

    Helps people get back on their feet. Provides housing


    Martha’s Village

    791 Date Avenue

    Indio, CA 92201

    760-347-4741

    Helps people get back on their feet. Provides housing, food and assistance


    Path Of Life Ministries

    2840 Hulen Place

    Riverside, CA 92504

    951-683-4101

    Helps people get back on their feet. Provides housing, food and assistance


    Project Touch

    24087 Verdun Ln,

    Murrieta, CA 92562

    Phone: (951) 677-9661

    Helps people get back on their feet, Provides housing


    Anchors in Christ Shelter

    Jamie Maselli

    951-805-4012

    Immediate needs met here


     

  • Community Action Partnership

    501 (c) 3 STATUS GRANTED

    Riversides Community Action Partnership

    The Community Action Partnership of Riverside County, a county agency has worked with Helping Hands Board to gain 501(c) 3 status. The Community Action Partnership is a national, nonprofit organization that works to strengthen, promote, represent and serve its network of member Community Action Agencies (CAAs) to assure that the issues of poverty are effectively presented and addressed.

    Since their inception as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, CAAs have helped low-income Americans escape poverty and achieve economic security. Through programs such as Head Start, job training, housing, food banks, energy assistance, and financial education, CAAs tailor their services to meet the needs of the individuals and communities they serve. They put a human face on poverty, advocate for those who don’t have a voice, and provide opportunities.

    The Partnership has spearheaded a number of quality training and technical initiatives designed to help CAAs enhance their capacity to serve vulnerable people and communities. These include:

  • JOBS – RESUME – JOBS

    NEW RESUME SERVICE

    Helping Hands has found in general that unemployment or under employment is the root cause of many of the stresses on the community.  As a remedy we have begun sourcing job postings from the Inland Empire.  We post randomly but try to post at least once a week.  You can find the postings at helpinghandsgroup.us

    In addition Helping Hands Group has launched a resume writing service that will help you put your best forward in that job search.  Our team will also coach you on interview techniques.  Send your resume to contact@helpinghandsgroup.us

  • 501 (c) 3

    501 (c) 3 STATUS GRANTED

    Riversides Community Action Partnership

    The Community Action Partnership of Riverside County, a county agency has worked with Helping Hands Board to gain 501(c) 3 status. The Community Action Partnership is a national, nonprofit organization that works to strengthen, promote, represent and serve its network of member Community Action Agencies (CAAs) to assure that the issues of poverty are effectively presented and addressed.

    Since their inception as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, CAAs have helped low-income Americans escape poverty and achieve economic security. Through programs such as Head Start, job training, housing, food banks, energy assistance, and financial education, CAAs tailor their services to meet the needs of the individuals and communities they serve. They put a human face on poverty, advocate for those who don’t have a voice, and provide opportunities.

    The Partnership has spearheaded a number of quality training and technical initiatives designed to help CAAs enhance their capacity to serve vulnerable people and communities. These include:

  • Community Care Program

    Community Care Program

    Hello and welcome to the Community Care Program. We would like to thank our sponsors;

    This program will enable teens to gain community service points while being an active and productive member of our communities.

    We will be working in the surrounding communities on the first and third Saturday of every month. The work will be cleaning up trash, clearing empty lots, and cleaning graffiti in blighted areas.

    Each team will be made up of about 10 volunteers and one Team Leader. The Helping Hands Group makes team assignments.

    We need parents to volunteer to be team leaders. Please parents help us and sign up today.

    You can sign up at helpinghandsgroup.us Go to the sign-up page and fill out the form. Remember its dot US and not dot COM.

    You will receive your assignment by email no later than Wednesday of the same week. The assignment email will tell you who is in your group, where you need to go, and what time you will be working.

    Please be on time.

    We will be working in some messy places. Vacant lots, illegal trash dumps, the lake shore line, and along the sides of roads. Dress appropriately.

    You are required to wear closed toe shoes and long pants. An orange Community Care Program tee shirt, and gloves will be furnished.

    This is why you wear long pants when participating in the Community Care Program. Rattlesnakes live in our area and were here first.

    When we find them we do not kill them. Call a Team Leader and let them deal with the situation.

    Every group has a Team Leader. You can rely on your Team Leader for assistance while doing your job. If you see anything that looks dangerous call the Team Leader immediately.

    When bagging trash please do not leave more of a mess than when we started.

    Do not over fill bags. Every bag must be tied closed.

    Your Team Leader will designate an area to stack your filled bags.

    All bags will be stacked close to a curb or road for easy pickup by the Trucking Team.

    Hey, MAKE A FRIEND

    Your time spent with Community Care has many meanings.Community service is not only putting in your time it is a time to help build the community by getting to know the people in your group.   Enjoy yourself….

  • From The Friday Flyer

    This article appeared in the Friday Flyer on 9/9/16

    by Pat Van Dyke     Most everyone desires to make a positive difference in the community and in the lives of those that one touches, but it isn’t always easy to know how to begin. Canyon Lake resident, Robert “Bob” Sasser found himself in this dilemma in 2005. He knew that the Lord had a special ministry in which he was to become involved, but Bob just didn’t expect to be the founder and director of the ministry.

    While Bob was recovering from a devastating injury that he experienced after a successful career, he knew that he didn’t want to “just retire.” He wanted his life to have meaning. He prayed and searched for the open path in his life and discovered the reward of helping others. This led to the concept of “Helping Hands.”

    Helping Hands provides concerned people a pathway to serve the disabled, elderly, homeless, abused and low income with compassion and caring. They strive to match people in need with people that have the ability to help.

    The Helping Hands Group was founded in 2005; however, in 2015 it became a formal organization. This year, Helping Hands was given the status of a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. At the present time, Helping Hands currently serves the communities of Canyon Lake, Menifee, Quail Valley and Lake Elsinore.

    Bob, along with his wife Linda, sees Helping Hands as having a very definite but ever changing purpose in the surrounding communities. Bob says, “As we see change in the needs of the community, Helping Hands Group changes to meet that need. Sometimes, it is as little as offering a kind word or assistance to a service provider in the area. Other times, it is as physical as repairing a wheel chair ramp in a senior’s home.”

    At the heart of the helping Hands Group is a team of volunteers who are willing to make a difference in other’s lives. Each volunteer has their own area of expertise, which includes carpenters, electricians, plumbers and people who can take the time to make welfare calls to seniors in their neighborhoods. The jobs can be as simple as taking in the trash cans, but they find that serving people in need changes their own lives. What may seem to be a small act of kindness to one person speaks volumes to others.

    Bob is the “captain of the ship” in Helping Hands, but he has close to 40 individuals that are standing behind him waiting for an assignment. When help is needed, Bob sends out a group email and volunteers respond according to their ability to help.
    Reaching out to the homeless is perhaps the most difficult task that involves the volunteers of Helping Hands. The volunteers find themselves visiting riverbeds, parks and other specific areas in which homeless people congregate.

    Bob remembers an especially difficult time when he and his wife Linda found it necessary to go into the actual lakebed encampment of the homeless. Bob recalls, “Early this year Linda came with me to interview the homeless in the lake bottom in Lake Elsinore. We were assisting the county with a count of the homeless and the effort required a police escort. The two of us conducted interviews of about 40 people that day.

    “During one interview of a group, we both noticed that the sheriffs were getting closer and closer to us. When Linda finished her interview, we saw one of the men running through the brush with all but one of the sheriffs hot on the trail after him. Dust was flying, and branches were breaking. There was a fight in the brush and the man, who we then discovered was an escaped violent felon, ended up in handcuffs.

    “I looked at Linda and she broke out in song: ‘Bad Boys, Bad Boys.’ She just smiled and said we should be on the show ‘Cops.’ Without hesitation, she continued with me and the remaining sheriffs conducting another two hours of interviews.”
    Currently, Helping Hands Group members are working with 17 active requests, but Bob can receive up to 10 new requests a week. Requests come via churches and individuals; however, Helping Hands, while being faith-based, is not associated with any specific church or organization.

    At this time, Helping Hands is totally self-funded; but Bob would welcome any donations from individuals or groups who wish to give him the ability to meet the needs of more hurting individuals.
    Bob Sasser is truly an “Unsung Hero” as he unselfishly leads his team to fulfill their mission, ”to bring people that care together with people in need.”

    If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or donating funds to help meet the many needs of the disabled, elderly, homeless, abused and low income individuals that live in our area, please refer to the Helping Hands Group web page at helpinghandsgroup.us

  • THE REST OF WALTS STORY

    It was clear to the group that Walt needed to be moved. We began an investigation into his situation and the “In Home Health Services” the county of Riverside provided for him. After speaking with his caseworker we set a plan in motion.

    We located a caregiver that was willing to take on the project. It was determined Walt needed more than she could offer but she was willing to take on the project short term. Meanwhile our group spread the word that we needed help. A home was found and by the grace of God the owner was a qualified caregiver.

    It was a rocky transition as moving his book collection was more than we could provide. After all we are a bunch of old guys. Very quickly a Canyon Lake contact with a pickup truck became available and he was ready to help.

    This may seem like a simple situation but experiencing the drama behind the scenes was stressful. Walt was on edge, desperate, and close to giving up on life. Dealing with the county is always challenging and the logistics of a move like this was definitely interesting. The previous caregiver became agitated and even malicious about us moving Walt out. The move was on and off time and time again. Finally the move was made and the following word for word text was recently sent by Walt to the Helping Hands Group.

    “Its hard for me to stop thinking and praying for you sir because in my 18 years of blindness you have brought me the most happiness the most secure and comfort yes and 18 years you have helped me the greatest. Thank you”

    (Please note Walt uses a cell phone with voice recognition to text)

  • The Story of Ted (part 2

    Walking away we knew we needed some help in dealing with Ted. What better guidance than the Bible and Siri to ask for help. The story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) gives a clear picture of God’s desire for us to help those in desperate need wherever we find them. Siri offered help in dealing with mental illness. Do not make direct eye contact, do not be judgmental, get on the same level with the person. If they are sitting, sit with them. Bring yourself to their level. Hours of reading brought many more tips on how to deal with several types of mental illness.

    A week passes and we make a quick trip to Wal-Mart for a canvas bag, which we fill with new shoes, socks, first aid kit and some food. We head for the park and there is Ted sitting in the same place holding onto the plastic bag. We avoid eye contact and set the new canvas bag down next to him. Turning to walk away we say it’s a gift from your brother, look inside.

    Over the next few weeks we visit Ted and are able to communicate with him in a cordial manner. In our short visits we always sit and ask how he is doing and if there is anything we can get for him. He always says he is fine and needs nothing.

    We see that the new canvas bag we left him is full of things; he is wearing the new shoes and socks. Several visits later we learn from William that Teds birthday has just past so we get a small birthday cake from Stater Brothers and take it to the park. As always we make the visit short and as we begin to leave, Ted says God bless you.

  • Walt’s Story (part 1

    Walt is a blind man in his late 50’s totally dependent on others for his existence. About 5’4” and 100 pounds he is a soft-spoken harmless man. He was placed in a room for rent by a relative without any type of background investigation. He called the local church looking for a ride to their Easter services and spoke with an administrator who contacted us.

    After spending some time with Walt we were able to discover the living arrangements were unacceptable. The homeowner was mildly abusive to him taking all of his money for rent and care. Care that he was not providing.

    Several of the Helping Hands Group members stepped to help. Within hours Walt had food and personal needs supplied as well as transportation to church. Several other members invited him to sit in their small group meetings. Others sat down to develop a long-term plan.

    more to follow

  • The Story of Ted (part 1

    We were called to the church office where we met with William a man in his 60’s with a concerned look on his face. Sitting in a private office William began to explain he is a successful businessman living in the Santa Barbara area with a brother living in a local park. William’s brother Ted was suffering from a diagnosed case of schizophrenia. Ted, a man in his late 60’s left his family and chose to live as a homeless person. William explained to us that he would make available anything we need to accomplish the goal of getting Ted off the streets.

    Our first contact with Ted was later that day in the local park. He was sitting in the shade of a tree stuffing cardboard in his shoes. We could see both shoes were worn out; his holey socks were very dirty. His belongings were stuffed into a black plastic bag that he held onto while we were there. He also had a small scalp wound that was bleeding.

    We introduced ourselves and Ted immediately ask what we wanted followed by leave me alone. We explained to him his brother had sent us to see if we could help him. “You must be church people. I don’t like church people. My brother doesn’t go to church. Leave me alone”.

    We ask if he needed anything he quickly replied, “Give me some money”. We told him we don’t have money to give but if he was hungry we had food and water.   “Leave me alone” was all he said. We said we would be back and that we would pray for him.