Utah’s Place Case Statement

Hospitality House with Image

The mission of Hospitality House is to provide the homeless with a compassionate place of rest, sustenance, dignity and hope.

Utah’s Place Campaign Case Statement

Grass Valley, California

Donations can be mailed to:

Hospitality House

PO Box 3223

Grass Valley, CA  95945

Federal Tax ID #202976148

All of us need the best in each other.
And if we can find it,
And if we can give it,
The rest will soon follow.
If we all stick together,
We’ll get what we need.

                    Utah Phillips


As with many wonderful projects, Hospitality House was a big idea hatched by a small number of people.  In the winter of 2004, a group of Nevada County residents, concerned by the growing number of homeless people in the community, decided to take action and provide them with shelter and food during the winter months. Today Hospitality House is the only emergency overnight shelter in Nevada County, providing over 45,000 meals and 15,228 bed nights to 384 guests in 2013.  On December 12, 2013, Hospitality House moved into Utah’s Place, a 6500 square foot 54-bed shelter.


Our guests are people who have fallen on hard times. Whether they are disabled, chronically ill, victims of abuse or family break-ups, or whether they have lost their businesses, their jobs and their savings in the recession, they come to us needing safe shelter, food, clean clothing and a place to shower. Some of our guests rely on Hospitality House as part of their addiction recovery program. Others arrive at our door with serious physical illnesses and disabilities knowing they will receive the medical care they need. Still others need access to job training or financial assistance. All need the safe, stable, welcoming environment of Hospitality House to help them regain their place in society.


Our goals are simple and direct:

  1. To provide a safe, stable, welcoming environment for Nevada County’s homeless and
  2. To help them get back on their feet.

To achieve these goals we have partnered with more than 100 local faith communities, organizations and agencies since 2005. The result is that annually more than 60 percent of our guests move into housing. To help ensure their successful independence, we continue to offer food, job search opportunities, and extensive, targeted help from our staff social workers for one year after our former guests have found a home.


Until now, we have operated using a nomadic shelter model, meaning that every night we bus from our Grass Valley Welcome Center, which is the daily point of intake for our guests, to alternating shelters in local churches. At our Welcome Center, our guests use shower and laundry facilities and receive case management, job and re-housing counseling, and medical attention. Our staff includes an executive director, two case managers, an administrative assistant, and lead and staff monitors. At least six volunteers help out each day.

When Hospitality House first opened its doors in November 2005 we hosted only seven people; now we more than 45 guests every day. A 2010 assessment clearly showed that our program has outgrown its nomadic model. The study highlighted various issues to be addressed:  the burden of increasing transportation expenses, the need for beds for the elderly, the Welcome Center’s small size, the inability to centralize food preparation, and the lack of meeting space.


Based on our assessment, we decided that a permanent facility was critical to our guests’ well being. In 2010 we applied for and were fortunate to receive a $1 million Emergency Housing and Assistance Program Capital Development Grant that allowed us to purchase a new home for Hospitality House.

In 2011, following an extensive search, we used the grant funds to purchase a 6,500-square-foot building centrally located in the Brunswick Basin in Grass Valley. We received a private short term loan to complete renovations on this building and it’s now operating as a year-round 54-bed shelter—an anchored, supportive environment where our guests will thrive as they work toward acquiring independent housing.

The building is named in honor of Utah Phillips, a founding member of our organization and a tireless activist for the homeless in our community.


Cost of Project  
Purchase of Buildig/Closing Costs $640,000
Cost of Renovation/Contingency $880,471
Consultants, Development Fees, Appraisal $  72,234
Project and Grant Administration $  37,000
Private Loan Interest $  18,945
Total              $1,648,650
Income Sources
EHAP CD Grant $1,000,000  (Acquired)
Funds Raised $ 352,118  (Acquired)
Principal Loan Balance (To Be Repaid 4/30/2015) $ 205,369
Additional Funds Needed to Raise (Interest on Loan/Construction Contingency $   91,163
Total Needed              $1,648,650
Total Raised to Date              $1,536,650
Total Needed to Complete Project               $  112,000


Studies have shown that the average person who is chronically homeless accesses more than $40,000 per year in public services. By providing early crisis intervention and individualized case management, Hospitality House benefits our community by reducing the number of people who wind up in jail (costing an average of $145.00 per night), reducing visits to the hospital emergency room (costing an average of $3000 per visit), reducing dependence on public assistance programs, and reducing calls for service from law enforcement.


Utah Phillips was an ardent advocate for the rights of homeless people.  Having once been homeless himself, he felt a great responsibility to help those in need. His dream has already inspired enormous work and generosity from our local community. To help fulfill Utah’s dream of a permanent shelter, please join us in carrying forward this important work. We believe the community will come together, and with every donation, small and large, we’ll get what we need to achieve our goals.


You may make your contribution in either of two ways:

1) By check, made out to Hospitality House, P.O. Box 3223, Grass Valley, CA 95945

2) By credit card at here


Hospitality House is truly a community effort. We are indebted to many individuals, businesses, agencies, and organizations for making our program possible. Notably, we are grateful to our local faith communities, who for the past seven years have shared their facilities for overnight accommodations, prepared food, and offered their steadfast compassion.


Abundant Life Community Church

Bahai’s of Nevada County

Calvary Bible Church

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Combie Bible Church

Congregation B’Nai Harim

Emmanuel Episcopal Church

First Baptist Church of Grass Valley

First Baptist Church of Nevada City

First Church of Christ Scientist

Grace Lutheran Church

Grass Valley Friends/Quaker Meeting

Grass Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church

Grass Valley United Methodist Church

Life Fellowship

Mountain Stream Meditation Center

Nevada City United Methodist Church

Peace Lutheran Church

St. Canice Catholic Church

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church

Salvation Army


Sierra Center for Spiritual Living

Sierra Pines United Methodist Church

Sierra Presbyterian Church

Trinity Episcopal Church

Twin Cities Church

Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains

Unity in the Gold Country

Veritas Church


A permanent building will allow us to offer expanded services to our guests in a more cost-effective way than our current nomadic model. The building will include:

  • Emergency Shelter: We will offer emergency shelter and support services for up to 36 men and 14 women a night, as well as a private family room for up to four family members. Our services will include three daily meals, shower and laundry facilities, and access to clothing, toiletries, and other needed items.
  • A Commercial Kitchen: We will expand our food preparation ability in a clean, safe environment, and thanks to a recent County Community Development Block Grant award, we will hire a kitchen manager/chef and implement a culinary/food services preparation employment training course for our guests.
  • Social Services: Three on-site caseworkers will counsel guests and offer referral services to other appropriate county services and community agencies, administer the Rapid Re-Housing program geared toward creating individualized housing plans, conducting housing searches, advocating with landlords, and assisting with short term rental assistance and other related move-in costs.
  • Job Search and Life Skills Programs: A computer-outfitted room will be devoted to job searching and life skills trainings, including career planning, work habits, communication, money management, and self-care.
  • Addiction Recovery Programs: Our new home will include space to hold on-site AA and NA meetings.
  • Medical Care: Utah’s Place will house a nurse’s station to provide TB screening, flu shots, and other medical attention.
  • Accessibility: Utah’s Place will be compliant with all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.