About HART of Folsom
History | Partners | Goals | Directors
The seeds for HART of Folsom were planted in September 2016 when the Folsom Police Department reached out to the various faith communities of the area to propose a Folsom Faith and Homelessness Initiative. This new group would work under the supervision of the police department and working with a homeless specialist (a Navigator) paid for by the city of Folsom.
As the group got started, it became apparent that the loose affiliation of the groups was not advantageous to the sharing of information nor to the planning of new functions (e.g., a Winter Sanctuary). This was compounded by issues with the initial Navigators that were provided to the city of Folsom. The group decided that rather than work under the police department, a separate organization was needed which would also make it easier to fund raise.
In July 2017, the HART of Folsom was started. The organization would be very similar to the existing HART organizations, and Ed Kelly volunteered to be the first president. Ed was instrumental in the start of the initial HART organization in Elk Grove. A board was selected, and the lovely governmental paperwork was created. Also during this period, the city of Folsom entered into a contract with Sacramento Self Help Housing to provide a new Navigator for the city.
In November 2017 we received our IRS 501(c)3 certification: 82-2259843
We are a resource team for the individuals and connect them to services or programs that will assist them on their path to a better life. We believe that each organization we connect with is skilled in their own mission; we will support and encourage the client during these contacts. We are proudly partnered with the below organizations, but are always on the outlook for others to join us in our mission.
We are a non-profit community-based volunteer organization helping those experiencing homelessness in Folsom move toward self-sufficiency and greater independence.
Our vision is to provide a model that enables homeless men and women, especially those who have served our country, to attain safe, affordable housing, meaningful life activity, and a livable income so they may return to a productive and meaningful life.
- Create programs where we can build relationships with homeless men and women in Folsom.
- Our programs assist those in need toward greater self-sufficiency and independence and do not make it easier for them to remain homeless.
- Utilize the winter shelter program as a short-term program to build relationships assess, and stabilize families and individuals in crisis.
- Provide assistance by assigning mentors to those seeking to improve their lives.
- Utilize professional case management techniques and our city-provided navigator to develop plans for those who have been assigned mentors.
- Provide clear/easy access to local, state, and federal resources to assist with our mission.
- Build alliances with the city, local businesses, service organizations, churches, affordable housing providers, and other organizations that serve homeless individuals and families.
- Help people gain access to transitional and permanent housing.
- Reduce homelessness within the City of Folsom.
- It is essential to serve others with empathy, patience, and a sense of community.
- Every individual deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.
- By providing a non-judgmental environment and access to a comprehensive array local, state and federal services, we demonstrate our commitment to helping those we serve toward self-sufficiency and greater independence.
- Good choices, hard work, and personal responsibility lead to independence.
- Compassion, creativity, and patience are essential to developing solutions that are responsive to the needs of those we serve.
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“God teaches us to love and help one another.” As a young Christian in her teens Judi took this to heart, organizing food drives and working in Baltimore’s inner city day cares. As an adult she taught her family the joy of giving to others. They worked together to support PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) in So. CA. The problems of the homeless/mentally ill/ addicted became very personal this year when her son passed away because of these conditions.
Judi retired from her position as a Legal Assistant in 2016 and became active as a representative of Oak Hills Church for the Folsom Faith and Homelessness Initiative, organized by the Folsom Police Dept. This program evolved into HART of Folsom in 2017. Judi also volunteers for the CAPS program at the Folsom Police and Fire Departments and at Harris Center for the Arts.
She is graduate of Gettysburg College; an active member of Oak Hills Church; and proud parent of 2 daughters and 4 fabulous grandchildren.
Board Member & Community Relations
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Greg grew up in Ohio as the second youngest of five kids. From a very early age he enjoyed playing sports of all kinds, especially baseball. Greg also enjoyed performing in church and school musicals and travelling show choirs.
After graduating HS, Greg completed two bachelor’s degrees, one in Psychology and the other in Sociology. Even though Greg did several homeless outreach efforts in HS, it wasn’t till after college that serving others became a goal, sometimes being vocational. He worked for a social services company protecting children in Ohio. After that, he was able to work with traumatic brain injury victims that were attempting to re-join the work force. Years later, Greg worked with young adults with disabilities in the area of job development. These experiences developed a love for seeing others improve their life situations.
Raising three kids with his wife of 22 years has been a top priority in his life. In recent years, Greg has shared his passion for serving others by teaching his kids how to serve in Mexico. This June will be eight years returning to an orphanage that helps severely and profoundly disabled kids. Other outreach efforts Greg has lead has been working with the Salvation Army, Loaves & Fishes in Sacramento, and individual mentorship of the homeless in the Folsom area. Most recently, Greg has joined up with the HART of Folsom group that shares the same heart for building others up and providing resources for those in most need. Greg currently serves on the elder board at Harbor Church where he is the Pastor of Community.
Board Member & Mentor Coordinator
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Dave has lived in Folsom for 40 years, half – working for Silicon Valley companies and half -volunteering in the Sacramento Area.
His faith defines his work. He feels honored to have served with many great churches and nonprofits including Sacramento Habitat for Humanity, 211Sacramento, Bayside, Community Bible, Powerhouse, Luis Palau, Senior Legal Hotline, Eskaton Senior Connection, Placer Food Bank, Safe Ground Sacramento, Pilgrimage Homeless Overnight, First Step Communities and Salvation Army. He enjoys the opportunity to collaborate with other “Do-Good” organizations.
His responsibilities have included volunteer coordination, board-work, as well as other leadership and “get it done” roles. But, what he enjoys most is mentoring, both with people-in-need as well as collaborating with other mentors to sharpen skills.
After years working directly with people experiencing homelessness, he found that being there in the moment, being able to call individuals by “name” and treating them like friends were the most meaningful actions that he could offer. And he learned that anyone can be armed with the information needed to help a person in need. That’s why the first thing that he did after joining HART of Folsom was to put together a mentoring toolset (that utilizes a modifiable Action Plan with a Resource Guide) that arms mentors with real tips, contacts and processes and guides individuals towards achieving self-sufficiency.
Dave is a “72” graduate of UC Davis (Math/Comp. Sci.) and has been blessed with an amazing wife, 5 amazing kids and 8 amazing grandkids. He loves the Folsom bike trails, trees, lakes, churches and people.
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My father always worked but without a high school diploma he didn’t make a lot of money.
I guess I get my heart for homeless from the way I was raised. I never thought about peoples status, I saw everyone as God’s people. My parents used a VA loan to buy a house here in Folsom. A few years later my father seriously injured his back at work, and my mother found out that she was having a surprise baby. Well… We now had NO income. Family friends brought us salmon and steelhead and we held onto the house because dad had disability insurance on the loan. We could have easily been homeless… again but now with 4 kids.
I left home and started working at 16 years old. I met my spouse of almost 33 years at 18. We have 3 grown children, 1 with ADHD and OCD ,1 with Asperger’s and 1 with ADD, OCD and Autoimmune hemographic Anemia.
We started feeding hungry and homeless or as I now like to call them “unhoused” people in the parks of Folsom about 8 years ago.
Today, with many volunteers, we feed 2x a week. We serve them a full meal and sit and talk with them. We get to know their stories and always talk about resources to help them find a better way in this life we are all doing together.
The 1 thing to take away from my story is that….Anyone can become homeless thru no fault of their own.
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I was born in Stockton, California, but at an early age we moved to the Bay Area where I grew up on the Peninsula in the town of San Bruno. I never forgot the enjoyment of my early years in Stockton, so when it came time to think about college, I decided to return to the Sacramento Valley Region. The climate and the cost of living convinced me that this is where I wanted to stay. I would meet my wife in Sacramento as commuters on RT going to work every day. Who would have thought life could turn on a bus ride. I have 5 children, 4 grown and 1 very actively growing.
My growing years were always full of people. I am one of 5 children. One of my brothers was a foster child who came to live with us when he was 10 years old. While Mom and Dad would never get the chance to adopt him, as they desired to do, Malcolm would become one of the family and would grow up as part of our family. I also had a cousin who spent several years with us, so accommodating others just seemed to be part of life. When I was riding the bus to work, I use to walk about 5 blocks through downtown from my bus stop to the office. Panhandlers would often ask for money. I would often offer to buy them a meal or food because I wanted to make an immediate impact although it seemed like I was giving so little. But I did not have any personal encounter with the homeless or those in immediate at any deep level.
My life took a radical turn at 28 years old when I became a Christian and turned to following the Bible and going to Church. Jesus Christ has a lot to say about serving the poor and the homeless. So it was 3 years ago as I sat in a church service and during the announcements, HART came in my life. As soon as the words were spoken HART was starting in Folsom, I knew I had to be involved, I had to step up and go to a place of fellowship I had never before known. That was 3 years ago. I am thankful I was called but more thankful I responded. It has been a spiritual growth in my life. I am so thankful I decided to trust and obey and serve the homeless. I have been the welcome team coordinator the last 3 years. I have come to know the story of the Homeless as well as meeting people all through out our community who volunteer to serve and provide for those with a critical need. It has truly been more blessed to give than to receive.
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After nearly 30 years in law enforcement Ed retired as the Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Elk Grove. He is the past president and incorporator of Elk Grove HART. He recently relocated to the Folsom area with his wife of more that 30 years to be close to his two children and grandchild.
Knowing the success of EG HART, seeing the need and the budding effort in Folsom, Ed began coordinating volunteers and started forming and incorporating HART of Folsom. He has a strong belief that we are called to serve those less fortunate, not just to meet their immediate needs, but in a true effort to help them on their path to a better life. This takes the one on one mentoring and guiding effort that HART of Folsom offers.