But only because she’s managed to stay safely at a Salvation Army shelter. If not, Amber Jones could easily be one of the people who live along the American River in Sacramento.

The “tent city” residents aren’t camping by the river for vacation. Their stay is not going to be as temporary as they’d like. They’re homeless people with few resources at a time when options are scarce. The government is stepping in to offer housing to as many as they can.

Jones’ story is different but it’s the same too. Her minimum wage job doesn’t pay quite enough to make ends meet, so she’s staying in The Salvation Army Women’s Safe Haven and taking a shower and eating meals at Loaves and Fishes. She’s been in town a month and is saving all she can so she can afford to rent a room.

Watch Amber Jones' story on CBS Early Show

Amber Jones story on CBS Early Show

She’ll do okay. She has a lot of support from the Army and other local charities. Thank God she’s energetic and in good health.

The folks down by the American River? They’re going to have a tougher time. Their stories of homelessness stretch much longer than that of Jones’ one month ordeal. They’ll need a lot more intervention and the continued kindness of the Sacramento community and the help of The Salvation Army until they can become stable, healthy, sober and hopefully, employed.

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