Weekly News – 4/20/18

April 20, 2018

Over the last week, seven people have moved out of the shelter into another living situation: one woman, three men and a small family–father, mother and 18-month-old! We are especially thrilled for one gentleman who has been homeless for years. He suffers from mental illness with acute paranoia and extreme cancer treatment over the years has taken a toll on his internal organs, causing multiple health issues. Our case manager, Fred, worked on a plan with his local family, who are taking over his care. Many times Hospitality House stands in the gap between crisis and stability, providing a pathway so that, in the words of Utah Phillips, “No one falls through the cracks.” All of those formerly homeless guests will be invited to the monthly post-housing luncheon. The housing case manager hosted this post-housing luncheon last week to provide budgeting, social support and education for former guests out living on their own.

A special thank you to the students at Alta Sierra Elementary for doing a toilet paper drive for the shelter. The students collected over a hundred rolls of TP and hundreds of granola bars for Hospitality House.

On another note: Bread & Roses Thrift Store needs your costume jewelry donations! We are doing a jewelry drive, so as you are doing your spring cleaning, bring us the jewelry treasures that just aren’t YOU anymore. We also accept furniture, except mattresses and pillows. You can drop off donations behind Bread & Roses, Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5pm. All sales at Bread & Roses Thrift benefit Hospitality House, so your quality donations help the shelter! And so do your purchases. Come in to the store at the corner of East Main and Hughes, We have a great stock of lightweight sweaters and shirts, shoes and items to decorate your home. Bread & Roses Thrift is open Tuesday-Saturday from noon-6 p.m. On those Saturdays, we need volunteers at Bread & Roses Thrift. Grab a friend or teenage grandchild and help sort clothes on Saturday! Drop by or email sue@hhshelter.org

Every night of the week a different team prepares dinner for the guests at the shelter. If you have been wanting to serve with a group of friends or a club, we need a dinner group to cook the third Monday of the month. If you are interested in creating or joining a dinner group, please call 615.0852. This week we are so thankful to Twin Cities Church, Unity, the Nightcrawlers, Mary Liebke’s team plus Abundant Life Church and the Universal Unitarians for bringing the ingredients and cooking up a wonderful dinners for 54 people. As we move into spring and summer temperatures, the “overflow” dining room sleeping quarters are closed, bringing the total beds available back down to 54 from 69.

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter for THIS week . . . 
– Handwarmers for our street clients
– A used but working iPad 
– lightweight blankets
– Mens pants, sizes 30-36
– Art supplies, specifically a set of new journals, and used canvases and acrylic paints and brushes for a therapeutic art class. 
Drop off your donations at Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way.
Hospitality House is a community shelter and the county’s own Telestream high-tech company helps their own. They sponsored a whole week in March at Hospitality House, providing shelter and care during that rainy month. Thank you Telestream!

And finally, mark your calendars for a jazz concert on May 9, benefitting Hospitality House: Jerry Grant and the NUJAZZ ALTERNATIVE VIRTUAL ORCHESTRA: blending rock, classical, jazz and electronic elements into an eclectic style. With Special Guests:
Motoshi Kosako – Harpist-Lyrical improvisation 
Tumble -,African influenced trance jazz
Gary Regina – world jazz, multi-instrumentalist looper
Sands Hall – folk/ jazz/ Americana, singer/songwriter/actor/director/writer
with Maggie McKaig & Randy McKean
The Jerry Grant and the NUJAZZ ALTERNATIVE VIRTUAL ORCHESTRA show is May 9, at the Nevada Theater. Get your tickets at BriarPatch!

Weekly News – 4/13/18

April 13, 2018

You may remember that every January, the County of Nevada attempts to count the number of homeless people in Nevada County and invite them to access services. Various organizations counted their guests on the night of January 24th, 2018 – including Hospitality House, the Sierra Roots Warming Center, the Truckee Warming Center, and Booth Family Center. Included in the Count are: Unsheltered Homeless – people living outside, in cars, or other places not meant for human habitation and Sheltered Homeless – people living in emergency shelters, motels paid for by an agency and transitional housing for the homeless. Not included in the Count: those temporarily living with family or friends (doubled up or couch surfing), those living in permanent supportive housing or Rapid Rehousing, and those in institutions – such as jails, foster care, or hospitals. The 2018 Point In Time results demonstrated a 27% decrease as compared to 2017. Various factors can affect these results since they are performed on a single night – such as weather (this year the count was performed on a cold and snowy day), location of the event, etc. 35% have a serious mental illness and 24% are families experiencing homelessness.

One of those homeless guests is Richard. He has been a client of Hospitality House off and on since 2016. He has had great difficulty in maintaining employment, working as a day laborer usually. 
He suffers from depression and we helped connect him with Behavioral Health. He was a special education student most of his school years. More recently he did complete the Hospitality House culinary job training program and a Job Readiness Workshop at One Stop Career Center. Most importantly; I assisted him in filling out an application for the Alta Regional Center which will involve aptitude testing and career assessment that (hopefully) may lead to an “On the Job” training program.

On another note: Bread & Roses Thrift Store is now open! All sales benefit Hospitality House. Come in to the store at the corner of East Main and Hughes, We have a great stock of hats, spring skirts, dresses and items to decorate your home. The store is open Tuesday-Saturday from noon-6 p.m. Everything you donate is sorted and the clothing that is needed by our homeless guests is taken back to the shelter so that our homeless guests get it for free. If there are items they still need, our case managers write a FREE clothing voucher, and our homeless guests shop for FREE at Bread & Roses. So our homeless guests don’t pay for clothes they need—thanks to your donations! You can drop off donations to Bread & Roses Thrift, around the back of Sierra Cinemas, Tuesday-Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

The patience, flexibility, and dedication of our wonderful Bread & Roses volunteers made the store remodel possible. You showed up every day to sort clothes, deconstruct and reconstruct. One particular gentleman worked many hours on construction projects, arriving 2-3 times per week to assist. Thank you Tom! More volunteers are needed to help keep the store looking beautiful. Reach out to Sue at 615.0805 or sue@hhshelter.org

Every night of the week a different team prepares dinner for the guests at the shelter. That really ends up being a cast of thousands of generous souls! This week we are so thankful to Trinity Church, Veritas Church, the Kitchen Kutups, Latter Day Saints, and Grass Valley Charter for bringing the ingredients and cooking up a wonderful dinners for 80 people. And thanks to BriarPatch, SPD and the local farmers that help out with discounts on ingredients for those dinner groups.

Last week many of you brought in deodorant and other items—thank you!

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter for THIS week . . . 
– Handwarmers for our street clients
– Shoelaces
– Backpacks, any size
– A used but working iPad 
– Towels
– Protein bars for lunches
– Art supplies, specifically used canvases and acrylic paints and brushes for a therapeutic art class
Drop off your donations at Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way.

And finally, mark your calendars for a album release concert on May 9, benefitting Hospitality House: Jerry Grant and the NUJAZZ ALTERNATIVE VIRTUAL ORCHESTRA: blending rock, classical, jazz and electronic elements into an eclectic style. With Special Guests:
Motoshi Kosako – Harpist-Lyrical improvisation 
Tumble -African influenced trance jazz
Featuring: Bill Douglass, Robert Heirendt, Sean Kerrigan, Randy McKean
Gary Regina – world jazz, multi-instrumentalist looper
Sands Hall – folk/ jazz/ Americana, singer/songwriter/actor/director/writer
with Maggie McKaig & Randy McKean
Show is May 9 at the Nevada Theater. Tickets at BriarPatch Food Co-op.

Weekly News – 4/6/18

April 6, 2018

With the nice weather this last week, the people sleeping in the dining room has dropped to around 10, down from 15, in addition to the 54 beds upstairs. The County of Nevada and City of Grass Valley funding has been crucial this winter and goes exclusively toward providing these extra beds in the dining room.

The Hospitality House case managers work with our guests on obstacles that seem insurmountable to them. In the last few weeks, Fred helped one of our guests get a birth certificate for her 18-month-old so that she could finish completing her taxes. He worked with another young man with learning disabilities to complete his application for the local Alta Regional Center job training program.

I am going to share the story of former guest Miner Matt, in his own words: “You are out in the woods and you are mining for gold and everything is happy and then the winter comes and you are starving and you can’t mine and I remember the days we had to sleep under the bridge in the rain and the snow, I was cold. I lived here long enough I remember the days nobody gave you a sandwich or nothing and they didn’t even realize there was a homeless problem and just hid in the woods. Little by little I came to Hospitality House and I was real leery with all the rules and everything but went in to get fed and get away from all the alcoholism out on the streets. This place had an ability to give a person an opportunity to quit drinking, to sober up, to get cleaned up, to get warmed up . . .” After nine months at the shelter, Miner Matt is 9 months sober and saved enough to mov into a house with roommates yesterday!

Drumroll, please. . . Bread & Roses Thrift Store is now open! Come in to the store at the corner of East Main and Hughes, next to Big A Drive-In and check out the clothes, jewelry and houseware we have been saving for you during the reorganization. And the other good news: Tomorrow is the 50% off sale! In fact, the first Saturday of every month is 50% off at Bread & Roses Thrift, which is open Tuesday-Saturday from noon-6 p.m. You can drop off donations to Bread & Roses Thrift, around the back of Sierra Cinemas, Tuesday-Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

Every night of the week a different team prepares dinner for the guests at the shelter. That really ends up being a cast of thousands of generous souls! This week we are so thankful to the St. Patrick’s Parish, the Jazzercise group, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Crossroads Church and the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance for bringing the ingredients and cooking up a wonderful dinners for 80 people. And thanks to BriarPatch, SPD and the local farmers that help out with discounts on ingredients for those dinner groups.

Last week many of you brought in sheets and protein bars and other items after the show—thank you! Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter for THIS week . . . 
– Backpacks, any size
– Deodorant
– Mens pants, 32-40
– Mens belts
– Mens underwear
– Towels
– Blankets 
– Gas cards for those guests with vehicles, that need gas money to get to jobs or medical appointments
– Gift cards or movie cards that can be used for housing clients or as thank yous for to guests doing special chores
– Protein bars for lunches
– Art supplies

Drop off your donations at Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way.

In closing, I want to read an excerpt from on editorial written by Jeffrey Wanzer-Dupra on April 2: “When you work with people who bear their suffering for lack of walls and roofs to conceal it, you find, inevitably, that your own suffering, your own vulnerabilities, are in course so revealed. A human flame is clearly being burned between us. . . . If you have the courage to listen, we are being asked to do what we can, when we can do it. You can stand back at great distance and such words seem quite small. Or you can take a step, right up close, so close that you can feel the flame, and see how big they can be.”

2018 Homeless Point-in-Time Count Shows Decline

April 6, 2018

“The number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Nevada County decreased slightly in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to County results from the annual point-in-time count published today by the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras (HRCS). HRCS is the lead agency in the region’s Homeless Continuum of Care, composed of numerous local government and nonprofit agency partners.

A total of 272 individuals experiencing homelessness were counted across the County, from Grass Valley to the Town of Truckee. The count, the first conducted since the Board of Supervisors established homelessness as one of its top priorities, surveyed both unsheltered and sheltered individuals and was conducted by volunteers and County staff on the night of January 24th, 2018. By comparison, 371 individuals experiencing homelessness were identified in the 2017 count.

Of the adults who responded to detailed survey questions, 44 percent were chronicallyhomeless. 35 percent reported having a serious mental illness, and 22 percent had a substance use disorder. Furthermore, 66 percent stay in Nevada County because they are originally from the area or want to be close to family, and 54 percent of survey respondents lived in Nevada County for five years or longer prior to becominghomeless.

Over the past year, Nevada County and community partners like Hospitality House, Community Beyond Violence, Sierra Roots, 211 Connecting Point, SPIRIT Center and Salvation Army have made great strides increasing housing opportunities and outcomes for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Other drivers of the decline include an increase in local case management services, lowering unemployment rates at 3.9 percent, an expansion of beds, and an increase in collaboration and communication between community partners.

It’s important to note that despite the decline, point-in-time counts are not a comprehensive measure of an area’s homeless population, but rather snapshots from a single day that can be used to approximate broad trends. Typically, they are viewed as undercounts for a community’s yearly overall homeless population because many people may move in and out of homelessness throughout the year.”

For more info go to: https://www.mynevadacounty.com/2495/2018-Point-In-Time-Count

Weekly News – 3/30/18

April 2, 2018

With the crazy weather over the weekend, more people have been seeking shelter than we have beds for, even with the 15 overflow beds in the dining room. We are thankful there was a warming shelter that opened last weekend on those cold nights.

This is a story from a gentleman currently staying at the shelter:
“I was married for 37 years to a wonderful woman; she was my wife and 35 of those years she was totally disabled. She died in August and at that point I lost her, I lost my house, I lost everything and it was hard for me to accept that at the time. I used to drive for Telecare. This was a bus service to pick up the elderly and the disabled and I also worked for IHSS In-Home Health Services taking care of my wife. Because of an accident I had to quite my job there and because of her death, I lost IHHS so I became homeless and I found this place was was the only option I could find and I came here and I was scared I had never been in a situation like this and it really bothered me to have to rely on the people because I was always the one in charge. I was always the one that could give, that could help, that could be there for people and when I found myself in that position of needing, it was hard for me. When I came to the point to where I had to accept the fact that and I needed help, I came to Hospitality House and like I said I was scared at first but I swallowed my fear and went through with it and I found that the people weren’t that different than anyone on the street, anyone that’s homeless, anyone that was in a house. People don’t understand how close they are to homelessness until they realize that if they’re on a tight budget that they’re one paycheck away from being homeless themselves and that’s a hard point for people to understand but they should. Hospitality House has brought me to a point where I am now applying for apartments. I am looking for help in all kinds of ways that I never would have before it’s giving me the strength to ask for help.”

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter . . . 
– Backpacks, any size
– Mens pants, 32-40
– Mens belts
– Socks
– Towels
– Twin flat sheets
– Blankets 
– Gas cards for those guests with vehicles, that need gas money to get to jobs or medical appointments
– Protein bars for lunches
– Art supplies

Drop off your donations at Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way.

And to leave you with this quote from Charles Swindoll, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

Weekly News – 3/23/18

March 23, 2018

If you attended the evening session of Empty Bowl, you may have heard one of our homeless guests, Randi, speak. After working in nursing and being a “soccer mom” for years, she experienced a great amount of loss and it sent her into depression which turned to addiction. After years of struggle, she came to Hospitality House and our case managers helped her get into treatment. Because one has to be sober to stay at the shelter, that helped Randi maintain her sobriety when she got out of treatment. She moved out into housing and was there for a year until a bad roommate situation forced her into homelessness again. But she has been clean for three years and Randi is saving money again and is hopeful to find an affordable place to rent soon. Thank you to all of you out there that give hope to Randi and other people struggling.

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter . . . 
– Rain gear (ponchos with hoods) 
– Little silver emergency blankets
– Hand and foot warmers
– Protein bars for lunches
Drop off your donations at Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way.

Thank you to all of you who joined us at Empty Bowl last Saturday! About 650 people attended either the lunch or dinner seating and went home with a very special bowl thanks to all the talented potters and woodturners! By attending the event, you provided for 687 shelter beds. Thank you to skilled photographers Charlotte Peterson and Dee Anne Dinelli for taking portraits. You can download yours at marioncharlottephotgraphy.com. And thank you to Heather MacAdam and Dan Scanlan and Vadi for keeping us energized with music. 94 gallons of soup and 1000 baked goodies were stirred up by many home chefs and local restaurants. Thank you to all for standing in solidarity with those who are hungry and homeless.

Weekly News – 3/16/18

March 19, 2018

We opened up early yesterday when it started snowing in order to provide a place of refuge for our homeless guests.

This week our case manager Fred worked closely with a guest who is starting hospice care due to a severe respiratory illness. Being homeless and in the final stages of illness is a difficult situation, especially given that we do not have funding for a daytime program for someone who is ill to rest. If you know of someone that has a separate cottage that could offer it to this gentleman for a few months so that he could receive hospice care, please contact 615.0852 or email Debbie@hhshelter.org.

Recently I’ve been working with a client in collaboration with Turning Point and Behavioral Health. The client is an older gentleman who suffers from severe depressive episodes, (I know many people can relate to the effects of depression) and he lost his job due to one of these episodes. He also lost his housing, because he lived where he worked, so he came to Hospitality House for help. Because of his mental health issues, the county will care for him in one of their supported homes, and I’m working with him to develop a housing stability plan that will ensure he has a safe, supportive home for a long time to come.

By the time someone becomes homeless, they are probably struggling with multiple issues. In order to continue to improve the services we offer, our staff tries to learn from other effective programs. To that end, executive director Nancy Baglietto and one of our board members visited a progressive program in Petaluma that helps many people into permanent housing. Hospitality House continues to look at best practice ways to help reduce homelessness right here in Nevada County.

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter . . . 
– Rain gear (ponchos with hoods) 
– Little silver emergency blankets
– Gas cards (imagine having a car but not being able to use it)
– Here’s a big one—one of the men’s upstairs showers (45 men have access to two showers every night) is leaking into the offices downstairs because it wasn’t installed with the proper support. If you own a plumbing business or would like to sponsor this expensive emergency repair, please call 615.0852, or email Debbie@hhshelter.org.

Drop off your donations at Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way.

Thank you to all of you who are helping with the Empty Bowl and attending it this Saturday, March 17! Lunch is sold out, but dinner tickets are still available. With this weather, you will really enjoy a bowl of yummy Mushroom Miso, Stout Beer Cheese Soup or Chicken & Wild Rice made by local restaurants like Three Forks, Matteo’s Public, Fudenjuice, BriarPatch, Old Town Café, Ike’s Quarter Café and California Organics, in addition to newcomer businesses like Thirsty Barrel Taphouse & Grill and Blum n Bru Broth. There will be vegetarian and vegan options as well. Parking will be tight so carpool if you can, and more parking spots are available across the street at Lyman Gilmore School.

You’ll get a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to a nice dinner at The Stone House and you’ll enjoy music from guitarist Heather MacAdams and folk musician Dan Scanlan. So get your $25 dinner tickets now for Empty Bowl on March 17 at hhshelter.org or at BriarPatch! Thanks to the generous folks at Northern California Mortgage and the Nevada County Association of Realtors for sponsoring the Empty Bowl this Saturday.

“Filling bowls with soup & love at the Hospitality House Empty Bowl benefit in Grass Valley”

March 14, 2018

“Dozens of artists have created beautifully handcrafted bowls to fill with homemade soup for the Hospitality House Empty Bowl benefit, slated this year for Saturday.

Sharing a simple meal of soup and bread is an opportunity for our community to express its compassion for those who are homeless and hungry. Lunch is served at noon and dinner is served at 5 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, 828 West Main Street in Grass Valley.

Tickets cost $25 and are available at BriarPatch Community Co-Op, online at hhshelter.org, and at the door. Children under 12 will be admitted free (but will be eligible to receive a bowl only with a paid ticket).”

Continue reading – https://www.theunion.com/entertainment/filling-bowls-with-soup-love-at-the-hospitality-house-empty-bowl-benefit-in-grass-valley/

“Empty Bowl event to help homeless sells out in Grass Valley”

March 13, 2018

“The bowls were empty, but not for long.

Soon after the doors opened Saturday, a helping of soup prepared by area eateries and individuals offered some warmth and nourishment at the 12th Empty Bowl to benefit Hospitality House and the region’s homeless.

Over 90 gallons of soup made its way into Peace Lutheran Church in Grass Valley for a sold-out lunch and dinner, where people sat in solidarity with one another in recognition of the need to help address homelessness in Nevada County.

Testimonials from area homeless people praised Hospitality House and its efforts to get people back on their feet.”

Source – https://www.theunion.com/news/local-news/empty-bowl-event-to-help-homeless-sells-out-in-grass-valley/

Weekly News – 3/9/18

March 9, 2018

Thanks to all of you that sponsored a bed for a homeless woman on International Women’s Day yesterday!! 

I wanted to share a quick story of struggle and hope: A woman in her 60s has been staying at the shelter for a few months. She has a debilitating neurological condition in addition to a physical disability that requires her to use a walker. This winter weather has been especially tough on her. She landed in the hospital this week and through the help of Donna, a Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital social worker and our case manager, they secured a spot for her in a skilled nursing facility, where she can get the ongoing medical care that she needs. Our case manager, Fred, will spent half the day yesterday gathering her belongings and took her down to the facility in Auburn. We are thankful to the County of Nevada for hiring a case manager who started this week and will work out of Hospitality House, allowing us to work one-on-one with more people. 
If you are looking to meet a friend for a good coffee, healthy fresh juice or yummy soup, go to Valentina’s Organic Bistro and Bakery on the corner of Sutton Way and Brunswick. And be sure to thank Valentina for providing homemade lasagna and soup for 69 homeless guests Wednesday night at the shelter! Valentina truly believes in food that can be healing.

This week our housing case manager, Molly, is conducting two educational classes. It is the first week of the 5-week “Ready to Rent” certification program. Molly is working with 10 homeless people identified by multiple agencies in the county as the most vulnerable and teaching how to accept responsibility for past rental issues, repair credit, create a workable budget, develop a housing search plan, understand the application and rental process, and effectively communicate with their landlord. We also hosted our post-housing luncheon this week where formerly homeless guests who are in their own homes come to learn new skills and talk through ongoing struggles.

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter . . . 
We still are short on:
– Toilet paper (we use 448 roles of toilet paper every month; that breaks down to 16 a day and we are very low! It’s not one of those things you want to run out of.)
– Rain gear (ponchos with hoods)
– Used travel mugs (the ones with lids) or purchase disposable coffee cups with lids for these cold mornings when guests leave at 7:30am
– Cough syrup (non-alcoholic) and cough drops.
Drop off your donations at Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past A-1 Appliance, 1262 Sutton Way.
Call 615.0852 to find out more.

We also need bakers to make cookies or volunteer for Empty Bowl on March 17. For the 5pm seating, we need someone to update the whiteboard that shows which delicious soups are available (made by Sopa Thai, Old Town Café, Three Forks, California Organics and others). We also need two people to serve soup and two people to wash dishes, all arriving at 4:45pm. Sign up with sue@hhshelter.org or 615-0805.
The tickets for Empty Bowl are going quick! It is next Saturday, March 17. In addition to choosing a really cool bowl and the delicious soup that goes in it, you’ll get a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to a nice dinner at Bistro 221 and you’ll enjoy music from guitarist Heather MacAdam and folk musician Dan Scanlan. Get your $25 tickets now for Empty Bowl on March 17—lunch or dinner at hhshelter.org or at BriarPatch! You should see the bowls coming in from potters like Paul Carter and Candy Ekstrom—beautiful blue and green and hand-thrown–and big and small bowls hand-turned by the Steve Danner and the artisans at Gold Country Woodturners. Thanks to the generous folks at Telestream and SPD Markets for sponsoring the 12th Annual Empty Bowl on March 17. Get your tickets at hhshelter.org.

Sign Up for News!