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Gathering Inn board member to be featured in service video

Farmers Insurance conference returns to Sacramento
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Placer Herald and Press Tribune editor
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David Larson has served for less than a year as a board member for The Gathering Inn, but in that time has proven himself as an advocate for the homeless, according to Executive Director Suzi deFosset.

“He’s committed and he has a huge heart for serving the underserved, and he is a great board member to have with us,” deFosset said.

Larson and several other Farmers Insurance agents will be featured in a video to be shown at the Farmers Insurance California Legislative Conference in Sacramento this week. The video seeks to show how agents are serving their communities across that state and will include Larson’s work with the homeless, an agent who reads aloud to elementary school students in her spare time and another who works at a receiving home in Sacramento. The conference will include time for the agents to talk to their legislators about issues that are important to them.

The Gathering Inn relies on its volunteers and board now more than every, deFosset explained, reflecting on how budgetary woes forced the shelter to shut its doors for six weeks last summer.

“People have been more attuned to how fragile the Gathering Inn can be to finances,” she said.

The shelter takes in 60 people each night for shelter, and during the day 70 use the resource center to look for jobs and get help with public assistance paperwork, deFosset said. There is also a dental clinic for residents and a community medical clinic, both staffed by volunteers. In the last two years, she added, The Gathering Inn has helped 282 people find housing.

Larson said he became involved with The Gathering Inn to give back to his community, and to raise awareness of the problem of homelessness.

“The idea of homelessness is quite broad,” he said. “It’s not just the stereotype of mental health, drug abuse. It’s beyond that.”