I’m Nicole Lescher and I’m a Case Manager at Hospitality House, setting goals with clients to help them transition from homelessness to housing.

Every week I like to share a story so our community can get a better understanding of the lives of our guests, their successes and hardships. One of our guests, who I’ll just call Becky, was housed last week. I have had the privilege of working with her since she arrived at the shelter earlier this year after fleeing an unsafe living situation. Having a safe place to land at the end of the day, she has been able to work on her goals, including stabilizing both her mental and physical health, increased savings and continued education. Becky’s future is bright, but to get there, it wasn’t easy. Many of our guests are on a fixed income from Social Security which impacts their ability to find affordable housing in Nevada County due to the high rental market. To be able to afford housing, some guests, like Becky, apply for federal assistance or Housing Choice Vouchers (formerly called Section 8). Housing Choice Vouchers are granted through the Regional Housing Authority. After someone is granted a Housing Choice Voucher, they have the task of finding a landlord who is willing to accept the voucher. The old stereotype of Section 8 Vouchers is that the government becomes involved with the landlord, but this is a myth that I hope to dispel today and share with the community how beneficial it is for landlords and tenants to accept Housing Choice Vouchers. When a voucher holding individual finds a room or apartment to rent, a brief inspection is done by the Regional Housing Authority to ensure that it is up to standard. Once approved, the individual can move in and the Regional Housing Authority covers around 2/3rds of the rent. This makes it possible for low income individuals to have affordable and sustainable housing. If anyone listening has a room for rent and is open to hearing more about Housing Choice Vouchers and how you can help someone in need, please call me and I would be more than happy to talk to you. Becky has been housed for a week now and reports she is doing great!

Save the date! The countdown to the 14th Annual Night of Giving is here! Night of Giving is our hometown holiday Christmas party and musical benefit for our shelter, featuring nearly 30 of Nevada County’s favorite performers. Last year, nearly 800 people came, and we hope we can count on you to come this year, too!

When: Saturday, Dec. 21
Where: Miner’s Foundry
Time: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Tickets go on sale today at 5 p.m.! See hhshelter.org for details and a big thank you to Coldwell Banker for sponsoring Night of Giving again this year.

This past week, we were blessed by many caring individuals and I’d like to give a big thank you to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Nevada City United Methodist Church, Rookies, Sierra Pines Methodist Church, Jazzercise, The Home Team and Crossroads for coming out to cook. To everyone who donated our most needed items last week, thank you as well!

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter for this week…

  • Women’s sleep pants, sizes M & L
  • Women’s jeans, sizes 10-12
  • Women’s sneakers, sizes 8-10
  • Women’s sneakers, sizes 8-10
  • Men’s boxers, sizes M & L
  • Men’s jeans, sizes 34-38
  • Men’s sweatpants, M & L
  • Men’s t-shirts, sizes L & XL
  • Blankets
  • Raingear
  • Hairbrushes
  • Cough drops
  • Antacids tablets
  • Motrin
  • Triple antibiotic ointment

Please drop off urgent items to Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way. If we all stick together, we’ll get what we need. Thank you!