The San Antonio Way … Haven for Hope Focuses on Transforming Lives of the Homeless

By Craig Powell

I first learned about Haven for Hope, a unique homeless facility in San Antonio, Texas, from a close friend, Jill McDonnell. Jill is a professional photographer in Sacramento who doubles as the official photographer of the Land Park Volunteer Corps. Jill rides “shotgun” with me on our monthly park work days in William Land Park. We distribute copious amounts of cold water to hardworking park volunteers and thank them for their indispensable help.

Jill’s overriding passion, however, is capturing extraordinary images of Sacramento’s homeless people. Her photography is reminiscent of the remarkable work of Dorothea Lange, the photographer famous for chronicling the desperation on the faces of struggling migrants during the Great Depression. Jill’s photos of homeless people have been displayed in the photo gallery in the lobby at Sacramento City Hall and other local galleries. We occasionally display her work at the Corps’ Base Camp, a reminder to park volunteers of the struggles the homeless in our midst face. Her pictures of our park volunteers are often featured in this publication.

Jill is no softheaded bleeding heart. She has a steely-eyed realist’s view of the complexity of human nature, both its positive and negative elements. She’s also closely attuned to the players, policies and politics involved with homeless issues in Sacramento. Because she has an abiding human compassion and innate common sense (an all-too-rare combination, I’ve found), I sought out her perspective when I began studying the city’s stumbling responses to the homelessness problem. She had one unwavering piece of advice: Go to San Antonio.

view/download … The San Antonio Way … Haven for Hope Focuses on Transforming Lives of the Homeless

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Comments

  1. Stacy Schmidt says:

    I love what Craig Powell had to share about Haven for Hope today at our Chamber meeting. We need to replicate this in Sacramento and every other affected city across America. I will help spread the word! Thank you Craig!

  2. Jill is right! As part of the original team that envisioned and built Haven for Hope, it serves as a one-stop continuum of care for the homeless for emergency shelter, transitional housing and permanent housing. Most importantly it works with over 100 nonprofits to help the homeless move to self-sufficiency permanently. It is a model that would be wonderful for Sacramento!

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