Photos Loading
previous next
  • Lezlie Sterling / lsterling@sacbee.com

    A guest walks down the hallway from the rooms at the Volunteers of America Sacramento Senior Safe House, an emergency shelter for seniors who have been abused or neglected. The shelter is asking Book of Dreams readers for a new dishwasher and other household items.

  • Lezlie Sterling / lsterling@sacbee.com

    John, a guest at the Volunteers of America Sacramento Senior Safe House, a shelter for neglected and abused seniors, sits on the bed in his room. The shelter is asking Book of Dreams Readers for a dishwasher and other household items.

  • Lezlie Sterling / lsterling@sacbee.com

    Ana Bernal, a staff member with the Volunteers of America Senior Safe House, washes dishes by hand next to the broken dishwasher with a sign taped to it instructing staff not to use it. The shelter for abused and neglected seniors is asking Book of Dreams readers for a new dishwasher and other household items.

More Information

  • Book of Dreams: Center helps cancer patients, their families
  • Book of Dreams: Nonprofit shelter program needs beds for families
  • Book of Dreams: Page-turning gadget would make reading easier
  • Book of Dreams: Music is whole-body therapy for Adult Day Program students
  • All about Book of Dreams
  • Thank you for supporting the
    2012 Book of Dreams!
  • BOOK OF DREAMS WISHES

    Here’s a list of wishes published so far in the series:

    Dream: Help for avid book reader Priscilla Wong, who was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.

    Needed: An electronic page turner. Total: $350.

    Dream: Mobile beds for the nonprofit Family Promise of Sacramento, which provides shelter for families and helps them overcome homelessness.

    Needed: 14 rollaway beds and bedding. Total: $4,200.

    Dream: Supplies for Wellness Within, a mind-body wellness center for cancer patients and their families.

    Needed: Supplies for classes, food for nutrition classes, drums for meditative sessions and art supplies. Total: $5,000.

  • BOOK OF DREAMS WISHES

    Here’s a list of wishes published so far in the series:

    Dream: Help for avid book reader Priscilla Wong, who was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.

    Needed: An electronic page turner. Total: $350.

    Dream: Mobile beds for the nonprofit Family Promise of Sacramento, which provides shelter for families and helps them overcome homelessness.

    Needed: 14 rollaway beds and bedding. Total: $4,200.

    Dream: Supplies for Wellness Within, a mind-body wellness center for cancer patients and their families.

    Needed: Supplies for classes, food for nutrition classes, drums for meditative sessions, and art supplies. Total: $5,000.

    Dream: Portable computers for Stephanie Spidell and her daughters, one of whom seeks a career in the medical field. One of Spidell’s daughters, 2-year-old Khya, was born with a brain malformation and died Nov. 22.

    Needed: Three laptop computers. Total: $3,000.

    Dream: Musical instruments for United Cerebral Palsy of Sacramento and Northern California’s Adult Day Program.

    Needed: Set of instruments that can be played together in harmony. Total: $3,000

Book of Dreams: Senior Safe House a welcoming, nurturing place

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 - 8:29 pm
Last Modified: Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 - 3:36 pm

For years, The Sacramento Bee's holiday drive has sought to help those in need in the capital region. Today, we start a new series of tales of hope and generosity.

The inviting aroma of garlic and Italian herbs wafted down the long hallways of the home as eggplant parmesan and chicken baked in the oven.

The home’s residents meandered through the house as the dinner hour neared. While one woman relaxed on the couch, another read a Bible in her bedroom. All the while, volunteer Nita Duggins, 69, glided through the expansive kitchen, preparing that night’s dinner of donated food.

This is the Volunteers of America’s Sacramento Senior Safe House, a six-bedroom emergency shelter for seniors 62 and older who have been abused, neglected or exploited. The 4,783-square foot home, situated in an undisclosed location in the city, runs on donations and with the help of volunteers. And it’s one of Volunteers of America’s many programs in need this holiday season.

Typically, men and women who come to the Senior Safe House have been referred there by Sacramento County Adult Protective Services, as well as other community partners.

“Elder abuse is very real,” said Juanita Daniel, the program’s director. “We have had people say Senior Safe House gives safe a whole new meaning.”

Daniel is asking Book of Dreams readers to help purchase a dishwasher and other kitchen items for the Senior Safe House. Volunteers are hand-washing the dishes after every meal, Daniel said.

Mary, 77, said she didn’t expect the level of comfort she’s felt since she arrived, around staff, volunteers and others staying at the shelter. Because of the residents’ situations, The Bee is not publishing their full names.

As she stood in the doorway of her room, another participant paused near Mary, balancing carefully with one hand on her walker so she could pat Mary’s arm.

“I’ll be sad to leave,” Mary said. “I’ll miss these people like they were my own family.”

In the dining room, Debbie, 47, and her father, John, 68, sat and joked as the dinner hour approached.

The pair began staying at the shelter after a family member assaulted John, who served three tours with the Army in Vietnam.

They had fled their home, but after money ran out for motels, Debbie began looking for shelters. While other shelters would have split up the family, Senior Safe House offered the ability for Debbie to stay and remain a caregiver for her dad.

“They make you feel human again,” John said. “You never have to lock your (bedroom) door. That makes you feel good.”

Needed: A dishwasher and other kitchen items.

Total: $2,000.

Book of Dreams 2013: Read all the dreams and make your donation

From the editor: With your generosity, we can help those in need

Print the donation form

Donate online here

Read more articles by Niesha Gates



Sacramento Bee Job listing powered by Careerbuilder.com
Quick Job Search
Sacramento Bee Jobs »
Buy
Used Cars
Dealer and private-party ads
Make:

Model:

Price Range:
to
Search within:
miles of ZIP

Advanced Search | 1982 & Older

TODAY'S CIRCULARS