The Lighted Candle (TLC) is a 501(C)3 Non-Profit Charitable public benefit corporation dedicated to providing relief to the homeless and most underserved population of El Dorado County. TLC was established in 2017 in response to the large unhoused and chronically under-housed population in El Dorado County. Currently, our work is limited to the Western Slope; but we plan to expand to the South Lake Tahoe area in order to encompass all of El Dorado County.
TLC improves the dignity (and perceived need for dignity) of the chronically underhoused. The Lighted Candle is working to solve the economic barriers to improve employment opportunities. We are mobilizing the homeless to achieve participation and upward mobility in economic systems.
Upward Mobility is our first and most well-known effort. We created a portable laundry trailer, which can be deployed to virtually any location. Providing access to clean clothes has had the immediate and growing effect of raising the self-esteem of the unhoused clients that we serve. Part of the success of this project has been the ability to break down the psychological barriers between our clients and our staff, enabling us to develop mutual respect, trust, and even friendships. Through providing such a simple service, we are able to help our clientele become more open to helpful suggestions from friends to help them help themselves to climb back up the social and economic ladder and become active participants in the community.
The Happy Camper Clean-up Crew (HC3) provides free garbage bags to clients in our test area. We partnered with El Dorado Disposal to provide a year of free vouchers to dispose of the bagged waste. In addition, TLC has partnered with the City of Placerville to provide additional clean-up resources at the “Forni Campsite”, and also on its own, been involved in cleanups of several other abandoned camp sites and trash-blighted areas of Placerville. HC3 is made up primarily of unhoused individuals, along with a contingent of staff, to visit abandoned camps in the Placerville area to remove the remaining scattered garbage and tent sites. Additionally, HC3 reaches out to existing unhoused individuals to encourage them to clean their own campsites as well as spread the word. TLC has secured funding for the continuation of the program -paying the dump fees associated with future clean ups.
TLC has also secured funding for Upward Mobility II, a mobile shower unit. During the development of Upward Mobility II, we also created a single stall, portable shower unit that can be deployed in small spaces along with our laundry trailer. The Mobile Shower is a retrofitted 30-foot motorhome that will contain 3 shower stalls complete with toilet and sink, along with a dry dressing area. Upward Mobility II is expected in early 2020.
The Lighted Candle (TLC) is a 501(C)3 Non-Profit Charitable public benefit corporation dedicated to providing relief to the homeless and most underserved population of El Dorado County. TLC was established in 2017 in response to the large…