Homeless Agency Prepares For Winter Rains

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Sacramento --

Staff members at Sacramento's Loaves and Fishes handed out rain panchos to homeless clients at Friendship Park in anticipation of a rain storm that is expected hit Sunday and Monday.

The facility is open only during the day and many of the hundreds of homeless who gather at Friendship Park will be sleeping in homeless camps that line the American River.

"It's going to be terrible of us, hopefully these will save us," said William Hopkins who has spent several winter seasons out doors.

Friendship Park director Garren Bratcher says those who are new to homelessness will feel the effects the most. The facility will be open during the day with heaters and covered areas where clients can stay out of the rain. Donors have supplied Loaves and Fishes with plastic rain gear, gloves and hats.

The city and county sponsored shelter programs won't kick in until closer to Thanksgiving. Staff members plan to do outreach in the field fearing that an El Nino winter may cause extra hardship on the homeless.