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West County Homeless Advocates

by Richard Ruge

There are many issues that we are facing: homelessness, climate change, need for disaster preparedness, pollution, water and food shortage, etc. As an individual, it appears hopeless, overwhelming, daunting at the best. But as a member of a church congregation or a service club such as Rotary, Lions or Odd Fellows, maybe not.

My Rotary club, the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise, prepares bag lunches for approximately forty homeless individuals every Wednesday morning. We have handed out laundry vouchers. We created the West County Homeless Advocates to address the needs of the underserved by partnering with church members and other concerned West County residents. Sebastopol City Council members, Sebastopol Police, a Sonoma County Supervisor have attended our meetings. We meet at the Sebastopol Area Senior Center, at 167 North High Street, Sebastopol from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. one Monday of the month. Why not join us?

Our motto is to encourage and inspire each other to be informed and courageous.We want to encourage each other to be more open hearted, generous, serving and responsible for ourselves and others. We want to build lasting friendships and enduring partnerships. We share governmental budgetary news, work to supply immediate needs to homeless (food, tarps, tents, sleeping bags, etc.), support social services to homeless, including medical services and counseling, work to obtain shelters/alternative housing for the homeless and support existing and emerging governmental and related non-profit initiatives. To learn more about West County Homeless Advocates, email and ask to be included in the group’s email distribution list.

The point is together we can do a lot. There are so many worthwhile activities to join. Like Daily Acts (, the Sebastopol Area Time Bank (, theSebastopol Area Senior Center (, etc.

Do something. Form new friendships and partnerships. Serve somebody. Be inspired by others and be inspirational. Amaze yourself! It feels great. There is nothing that focused self and communal effort cannot achieve. What better way to spend the rest of your life.

My wife and I were in Bodega Bay recently watching a large bird soar high without once flapping its wings. If you commit to service, you too can rise so high that you can contribute without once flapping your wings.

West County Homeless Advocates Our next meeting is Monday, July 17, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sebastopol Area Senior Center 167 North High Street, Sebastopol

To encourage and inspire each other to be informed and courageous

Bring your clean plastic containers that you would otherwise recycle

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