“Veteran collects furniture to help homeless transition into permanent housing”

February 16, 2018

“Wayne Worden is quiet as he opens the door to his new storage unit in Auburn. He flicks on the lights and steps through the entryway without a word.

Inside, the room speaks for itself, full to the brim with seemingly any household item one could think of.

He walks down an aisle past a stack of dressers and tables, through a row of couches and chairs and stops at the back of the room, which is outfitted as a kitchenware storage space, filled with silverware sets, dishes and coffee makers. Worden explains that what he’s doing is a unique concept. The idea, as he describes it, was a calling from God.

Worden’s 2,400 square-foot storage unit isn’t for personal use. The U.S. Army veteran is a force behind the scenes for organizations helping homeless people move into permanent housing.

Worden volunteers his time, labor and furniture to more than a dozen organizations in Placer and Nevada counties through what he calls Re-start Ministries.

When those organizations find homes for their clients, Worden invites the newly-housed people into his unit to pick out any furniture they’d like.

He then packs the items in his truck and delivers them to their new homes, free of charge.


A retired contractor, Worden once made a hobby of collecting items at garage sales to sell in online auctions. But in 2016, he realized his pastime could be a real help to people.

That year, he collected furniture donations from garage sales in the afternoons and from people who wanted to help and furnished 36 homes in Nevada and Placer counties. In 2017, he furnished 105 homes.

When he first started, Worden was footing the bill for various storage units on his own. But when his service started growing, he decided to seek help from Jaron Ministries in Fresno, where he’d volunteered for years.

Now, the ministry collects donations to help Worden pay rent at his units, which this week he’s mostly consolidated into one large space in Auburn.


Tom Kellar, housing locator for the Salvation Army in Grass Valley, said it’s often challenging for someone in his role to help furnish a house for clients.

Kellar has housed families staying at the Salvation Army’s Booth Center, including a family of eight late last year. He’s also held similar roles with organizations in different communities.

“What Wayne is doing is so unique,” Kellar said. “And it’s so needed. Sometimes you don’t even think about it when you’re trying to get somebody housed, because that’s such a big deal itself. And then you go, ‘What do we do now?'”

Hospitality House, a homeless shelter in Grass Valley which helped find permanent housing for 78 people last year, sends people who need furniture to Worden.

Debbie McDonald, the organization’s development director, said Hospitality House clients are often blown away by Worden’s compassion and the service he provides.

“When someone is just getting back on their feet, it’s such a delight to be able to go and choose the things they need,” she said. “They go out there and pick out exactly what they like and Wayne packs everything up and delivers it. He is amazing.”


Worden, who served during the Vietnam War, said he’s constantly humbled by the people he meets through his service.

“I’m so blessed,” he said. “I meet other veterans who have been living out of backpacks in the woods for years. They’re grateful just to have a home. I’m lucky that I’ve never experienced that. But as veterans, we talk about things that help us both heal.””

Contact Wayne Worden by emailing him at wworden@wavecable.com.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email mpera@theunion.com or call 530-477-4231.

Source: https://www.theunion.com/news/local-news/veteran-collects-furniture-to-help-homeless-transition-into-permanent-housing/

Weekly News – Live at KVMR – 2/9/18

February 16, 2018

KVMR 2/9/18

I am Molly DeBrock, Housing Case Manager at Hospitality House, which is the only emergency homeless shelter in Nevada County with 69 beds for men, women and children.

While I wish for rain, it is definitely easier on our homeless friends not to have the wet conditions. We are still in an overflow situation with guests sleeping not only in the dorms upstairs but in the dining room as well. 

What does it mean to provide housing case management? There are several ways in which I am able to follow up with formerly homeless folks and offer support as they transition to stability. 

-Home Visits: I consistently go out to people’s homes and check in with them to see how they’re doing. Sometimes I bring food from the food bank, but often it’s just to chat and see how they’re adjusting. Oftentimes it takes a few months for people to adjust from being homeless to being housed. I offer resources and referrals for part-time work and volunteer opportunities because people usually want to find a way to contribute and give back themselves once they’re stable.

-House Meetings: With some of our houses that have several clients living in them, I will go out once a month and conduct a house meeting. This usually entails coordinating with the landlord so they can send any concerns to me and I can bring to the group, and making sure the house is running smoothly. We have co-created “house agreements” so that everyone feels that they have a voice in the house, and so they are accountable to each other. 

-Post Housing Luncheons: Once a month we host a luncheon at Hospitality House where we offer lunch, case management, and peer support. People who have been housed through us come and meet up to discuss the positive things and the challenges they are experiencing. Sometimes we work on budgeting and money management to make sure that we assist people in the adjustment to paying rent and utilities. We also do work around empowerment and achieving goals so that clients feel they have things to continue to work towards. 

So let me share with you about one of the former guests that I have gotten to know . . .

“Ricky” has been a quiet success story here at Hospitality House. Ricky had been homeless off and on for many years, was estranged from his family and had little support. Through his stays at Hospitality House he worked on his health issues and got some income. Through working with the Housing Case Manager he learned how to manage his money and moved into a small apartment of his own. He has been successfully housed since fall of 2015, and continues to attend our Post Housing Luncheons to, “eat some good food and socialize with some friendly faces”.

The ground work is under way for the TEMPORARY (it is ONLY temporary!) Remodel and Reconstruction of Bread & Roses Thrift. We need volunteer groups to join us for a sorting party to prepare donations for sale. Contact Sue@hhshelter.org to sign up. Keep your eye on our website for details about the Re-opening. We look forward to having all our wonderful customers back shopping with us. We also need Assistant Volunteer Monitors at the shelter, please contact Sue at sue@hhshelter.og to sign up for this four-hour late afternoon/early evening shift. 

Thanks to Fable Coffee this week for sharing their delicious coffee with us. Located right next to Del Oro Theater in Grass Valley, their friendly staff makes well-crafted coffee drinks. So visit Fable Coffee and tell them thank you for helping out the shelter!

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter:

– Sheets, specifically twin size flat sheets

– Towels

– Small blankets or throws

– Dog food for our friends at Pets for the Homeless

Needs for Housing Clients:

Disinfecting wipes/spray

Paper Towels

Toilet Paper



Drop off your donations at Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past A-1 Appliance, 1262 Sutton Way.

Finally, if you are a potter or woodturner, we would love your help for our annual Empty Bowl event on March 17. You can donate hand-crafted soup-size bowls for people to select and stand in solidarity for those who are hungry and homeless. Drop your handcrafted ceramic or wooden bowls off at Utah’s Place–attention Debbie. And get your $25 tickets now for Empty Bowl on March 17! You get to choose a lovely ceramic or wooden bowl and fill it with soup. Buy tickets at hhshelter.org or at BriarPatch!

“Survive and thrive: Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning starts new chapter”

February 16, 2018

“Around 60 sophomores from Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning began a new expedition Tuesday at Hospitality House.

Survive and thrive.

“There are so many ways that people survive,” Sierra Academy field work director and adventure teacher Dale Berry said prior to the students being admitted into the Hospitality House for the simulation. “For some people, just having a roof over your head might be surviving.”

Prior to entering Hospitality House, students were asked to put themselves in the shoes of a homeless person. They were given a card with a name, age, and a list of any medical issues that the simulated homeless person might have.

Students then lined up and were given a breathalyzer test before being allowed to enter Hospitality House, much in the same manner of a homeless person would have to.

“You get one chance and if you fail, we typically don’t give second chances,” Hospitality House program manager Isaias Acosta told the students before administering the breath test.

Once inside, students toured the facility, were informed of Hospitality House’s culinary program, as well as many other services the shelter provides.

“It’s way more serious of a shelter than I imagined,” Sierra Academy student Matt Berry said. “Especially with how they’re trying to get people back on their feet.”

Other students gave similar sentiments during the post simulation break down.

“It made me appreciative of the things I have in my life,” Sierra Academy student Katie Lyons said. “Makes you think that you should be grateful for the things that you do have in your life.”

“There’s a lot of stability that (Hospitality House) offers,” said shelter director Debbie MacDonald said, explaining this is the first time the shelter has done this type of in-house simulation.

The students will continue with their survive and thrive learning expedition by volunteering some time at Hospitality House in the coming months, as well as explore other ways of surviving with a snow camping trip planned for March.”

Source: https://www.theunion.com/news/local-news/survive-and-thrive-sierra-academy-of-expeditionary-learning-starts-new-chapter/

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email, efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230. 

Bread & Roses Thrift Temporarily Closes for Remodeling

January 18, 2018

Starting January 16, 2018, Bread and Roses Thrift & More will be temporarily closing for remodeling and reorganization.  The renovation is expected to take several months to upgrade the existing space and better serve store customers.

The remodeling work will include:

  • Improvements to our production area to allow us to more quickly turn donations into
    store inventory
  • Reconfiguration of the sales area to better showcase jewelry items
  • Moving dressing rooms to allow staff to better help customers in the dressing area
  • Electrical and accessibility improvements

In addition, the team will be reevaluating store hours, donation guidelines, and opportunities for
collaboration with other nonprofits.

“After 19 months in the thrift store business, we’ve identified ways to improve the space and our
processes in order to enhance the customer experience and increase profitability,” explains
Executive Director Nancy Baglietto. “Closing the store temporarily is necessary to complete the
changes as efficiently and swiftly as possible.”

The store will not accept donations during the reorganization as staff and volunteers will be
focused on renovations and reorganizing existing inventory for the store’s reopening. Volunteer
shifts will adjust to accommodate the reorganization schedule.
Bread & Roses Thrift opened in June 2016 to benefit Hospitality House Community Shelter and
in its first year won runner up for The Union’s “Best Of” Nevada County Thrift Store category. In
addition to providing a “boutique” thrift shopping experience, Bread & Roses Thrift provides free
clothing to people struggling with homelessness. Since it opened, the store outfitted 409 homeless
people through free clothing vouchers for interview clothing and other items not found in
Hospitality House’s clothing supply closet. During the remodel, clothing needs of homeless
people will be met at Utah’s Place.

Bread & Roses Thrift will continue to be an important retail training ground for Hospitality
House guests to volunteer or interview for staff positions, learning customer service, retail
merchandising and cashier skills.

“Love In Action: Hospitality House recognizes volunteers in memory of Utah Phillips”

November 28, 2017

“Hospitality House honored volunteers with the Utah Phillips “Love In Action” award earlier this month at the Hospitality House Volunteer Luncheon, according to a news release.

Carole and David Morris were awarded the Utah Phillips “Love In Action” award on Nov. 8 for their consistent volunteer help of 16 hours a month at Hospitality House, with even more time given for fundraisers and special events, like the Night of Giving on Dec. 16. Last year the couple stood in the rain outside SPD Markets asking for peanut butter and jelly donations on #GivingTuesday.”

Continue reading here – https://www.theunion.com/news/local-news/love-in-action-hospitality-house-recognizes-volunteers-in-memory-of-utah-phillips/

“Nevada County Board of Supervisors allocates money for Hospitality House”

November 1, 2017

“Hospitality House will get two new case managers, bringing the total number of them to three, after a Tuesday vote of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors.

The money, will pay Turning Point Community Programs, Inc., an additional $103,648 from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. The additional money will pay the salaries of case managers assigned to the Grass Valley homeless shelter, as well as expenses like cell phones, said Rebecca Slade, the county’s Behavioral Health director.

The Tuesday vote increases the year-long contract amount between the county and Turning Point to a total of $2,449,541.

The money comes from Mental Health Services Act and MediCal funds.

“Hospitality House provides a critical safety net,” Slade said. “Hospitality House is full every night.”

Read more here.

“Hospitality House cofounders Cindy Maple and Joanna Robinson honored with Lambert Award”

September 12, 2017

“Cindy Maple and Joanna Robinson — cofounders of Hospitality House — have been named the recipients of the 28th annual Col. William H. “Bill” Lambert Award.

The award, presented annually as part of Nevada City’s Constitution Day celebration, honors those who have provided outstanding contributions to the community.

Maple and Robinson were instrumental in the creation of a nomadic homeless shelter and the creation of Utah’s Place, the existing shelter on Sutton Way in Grass Valley.”

To read more, go to http://www.theunion.com/news/local-news/hospitality-house-cofounders-cindy-maple-and-joanna-robinson-honored-with-lambert-award/

The Union – Grass Valley council to discuss local homeless shelter

August 14, 2017

“The Grass Valley City Council has scheduled a special meeting for Monday to discuss adopting a resolution in support of Hospitality House’s program.

The meeting — scheduled for 5 p.m. — was called in response to a request made by the homeless shelter’s executive director, Nancy Baglietto, according to a staff report.

The shelter is applying for an “emergency solutions grant,” the report states, which requires the city to certify that it approves of the organization’s operations.

The resolution, which Baglietto is requesting that the council approve, will acknowledge the city’s support for the shelter and will note the city’s past approval of its program.

The special meeting is open to the public. The council will have a closed session meeting immediately following to discuss Grass Valley’s open City Manager position.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email mpera@theunion.com or call 530-477-4231.”


Reposted from The Union.

Ideas swirl about affordable housing in Nevada City

August 1, 2017

“Nevada City took the first step Thursday in its newest effort to create more affordable housing.

Community members gave comments, suggestions, and praise to city staff and planning commissioners during a discussion of the city’s proposed “Cottage Dwelling Development Ordinance,” which would regulate the development of small homes, at Thursday’s planning commission meeting.”

Read the rest of the article on the Union’s website – http://www.theunion.com/news/ideas-swirl-about-affordable-housing-in-nevada-city/

Building up the house: New director of Grass Valley homeless shelter discusses possible expansion

July 11, 2017

“Five weeks into her new role as executive director, Nancy Baglietto is working on big plans for the future of Hospitality House.

Hospitality House is the only year-round emergency homeless shelter in the county. After this winter’s extreme weather events, the Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency started a conversation about Hospitality House expanding into a larger, 24-hour-a-day facility. Michael Heggarty, the human services agency’s director, said the move would be beneficial to the county’s effort to reduce homelessness.

Baglietto agreed.”

To read more click here.