By Angela Greenwood

AUBURN (CBS13) — A North Auburn homeless shelter will soon be cleared out, following a switch in operations. Placer County awarded the shelter’s contract to a new vendor, but before the old operators move out, they’re cleaning house and taking items they say are theirs. But, some community members are questioning what’s being taken, claiming some items should stay put.

It’s home to 100 people, including Deneane Williams.

“This shelter’s changed my life,” said Williams.

Now, residents inside North Auburn’s homeless shelter are bracing for more change.

Williams said, “There’s a lot of fear of the unknown.”

Volunteers of America currently runs the shelter, but it’s moving out and taking almost everything inside with it. Betsy Bender is a community volunteer who says some of the items inside the shelter were donated or bought with money donated by the Auburn community that should stay in the community.

“I think it’s unethical and for a nonprofit organization to do that, I think it’s terrible,” said Bender, “Removing those things is going to impact the homeless.”

“I’m not taking away anything that was donated to the shelter. I’m only taking what I brought in,” said Leo McFarland, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter.

McFarland wouldn’t allow cameras inside the shelter but pointed out the items that would be leaving, including mattresses, refrigerators, storage lockers, and coffee pots. He’s says everything inside the shelter is being removed, except for the county-owned bunk beds and washers and dryers that were already on site, as well as clothes and blankets that have been donated.

“We have a real use for everything that we brought in,” said McFarland.

On July 1, The Gathering Inn will take over shelter operations.

“Part of the contract is $19,000 in startup costs that will help them replace essential materials,” said Placer County Health and Human Services PIO Katie Combs-Prichard.

Placer County officials say the transition will be smooth and all residents will still have what they need.

“The only part that makes me nervous is not knowing if and when new equipment is going to come in,” said Williams.

Bender says she wants to make sure the shelter is stocked up with everything it needs, so she’s asking the community to donate any kind of items they can.

Here’s list of what’s needed:

  • Equipment & supplies
  • Dining tables & chairs
  • Refrigerators (4)
  • Couches – leather or vinyl (10)
  • Upholstered chairs for living areas (10)
  • Coffee tables (5)
  • Wall decorations
  • Large area rugs
  • Guest computers
  • Staff desks (5)
  • Office chairs (10)
  • 4 drawer file cabinets – lockable (10)
  • Combination locks (100+)
  • Washing machine(s) & dryers
  • Linens – twin sheet sets & blankets
  • Towels
  • Travel size shampoo, conditioner, lotion
  • Shaving cream
  • Razors
  • Toothbrushes
  • Travel size toothpaste
  • Q-tips
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Liquid laundry detergent he
  • Clorox wipes
  • Fabreze spray
  • Mr. Clean floor cleaner
  • Simple green
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plates
  • Paper bowls 20 oz.
  • Plastic water cups
  • Styrofoam coffee cups
  • Plastic forks, knives, spoons
  • Individual sugar packets
  • Powered coffee creamer
  • Coffee
  • Instant oatmeal – individual packets
  • Peanut butter
  • Cereal
  • Canned soup
  • Plastic chairs, patio furniture, benches for outdoor areas
  • Extra large kennels/crates for animals
  • Cat litter boxes
  • Garbage cans – 44 gallon (10); 13 gallon (10); small office (7)
  • Lawnmower, edger & blower
  • Brooms
  • Mops
  • Toilet brushes
  • Scrub brushes
  • Whiteboards
  • Printer paper
  • Pens, pencils, markers
  • Staplers
  • Staples, paper clips, binder clips
  • Tape
  • Manilla file folders with fasteners – letter size
  • Plain white security envelopes
  • Batteries – aa, aaa and c
  • 3 hole punch
  • Heavy duty extra large hanging canopies for outdoor areas
  • Large heavy duty black & yellow plastic totes for guest storage
  • Single tier metal lockers
  • Extra large free standing laundry/janitorial sink & fixtures
  • Large metal rolling or fixed shelving units for clothing closet safe

If you’d like to make a donation, contact The Gathering Inn’s Roseville campus at (916) 791-9355.


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