Editor’s Note:To anchor our Thanksgiving and Black Friday editions, we asked reporters to go out and find local folks who have been around the track a time or two and are willing to share some reflections on life and living in Yuba-Sutter-Colusa.
Ruth Catlin, Gospel Christian Center Pastor
Pastor Ruth Catlin thinks things are going to get better in the Yuba-Sutter area.
She’d lived here for more than half a century. Catlin, 83, moved to Yuba County in 1965 with her husband when he was transferred from New York to Beale Air Force. Catlin became a licensed vocation nurse at Adventist Health/Rideout, where she worked for 20 years before retiring.
While she admits the area has changed dramatically in the last 54 years, she said living in the Olivehurst/Linda area has been everything she imagined it would be.
“It’s been rewarding living here because it is a small city and we had five children,” Catlin said. “We wanted to raise them in a small town.”
After retirement, she acquired the Gospel Christian Center on North Beale Road in Marysville to begin her work helping the community in need. She runs worship services, serves meals and provides essential components to individuals needing extra help.
Though she has taken a step back recently in her day-to-day duties with the Christian Center, letting her son do most of the pastor work, she still feels motivated and excited to help.
Homelessness is perhaps the biggest issue surrounding the area with encampments popping up throughout Yuba-Sutter and many individuals needing extensive assistance daily.
Catlin is sympathetic to the divisive issue of homelessness and feels things will improve over time.
Another issue in California is housing – or lack thereof – and there are many similarities between now and 54 years ago, Catlin said.
Catlin said it was hard for a black family to find a place to live due to segregation, eventually settling down in Linda in 1965 in a predominantly all-black neighborhood. Catlin is optimistic for the future of the area, noting that she doesn’t see as many homeless individuals as recently as five years ago.
“I think things are going to get better,” Catlin said.
Catlin made a life here and it’s one she says she will continue to live going forward. With five children and 38 grandchildren, Catlin feels there is no reason to leave anytime soon.
“I love Marysville, it’s a friendly town and we’re beginning to come together,” Catlin said.