by Yasmeen Hassan


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Now that homeless camps are permitted in the area of the American River, some say the problem is growing, but it’s actually the homeless community working to clean it up.

“I believe that the Lord got me doing this out here. I think I’m in the right place at the right time,” Dell Shook said.

He has been homeless since an eviction a few years ago. Now he is working to help clean up the area he’s living in.

Dan Aderholt formed American River Homeless Crews four years ago. It started with six homeless people, but now it’s spread to over 1,000. Every day they meet, spending hours cleaning up the river not just for themselves, but for the whole community.

“We got children that come out and go fishing and stuff like that, so I think people would like to see a nice clean area when they come out,” Shook said.

READ: Churches Work To Fight Homelessness By Building In ‘God’s Backyard’

Now the crews are expanding to beyond the homeless community. The word is spreading on social media, and people are volunteering to help any way they can.

“I’ve never seen that before where community members come down and take the day off to come down and help us clean and bring my crew members subway pizza you name it they do it,” Aderholt said.

Many never expected to be in a situation like this, but still trying to make the best out of it.

“I believe I’m just doing what my father wants me to do he said ‘Go out to the four corners of the earth and help the needy,’ so I’m part of the needy helping the needy so it’s all good with me,” Shook said.

If you want to get involved, a lot of the organizing is happening on the Next Door app, just contact the organizer, Dan Aderholt, by searching his name.

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