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.

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.

Weekly news – 3/2/18

March 2, 2018

Because of the cold weather, the 15 cots in the dining room have been full, in addition to the 54 beds in the dorms upstairs. This week we have added four daytime sessions so that guests can stay out of the wet and cold weather. On Monday the bus wasn’t even running in the morning because of the snow, so many of our homeless guests were left without transportation. You can help by sponsoring a bed for $48 (either once a month or one time) at hhshelter.org. Hospitality House can really use your help! We are thankful to Sierra Roots for opening a warming shelter with additional beds in the Seaman’s Lodge Wednesday, Thursday nights and tonight. 

This week I had the privilege of visiting two families that sheltered at Hospitality House and are now living in little cabins in Grass Valley. One mom (who moved out a few weeks ago) just secured a part-time job working at a well-respected elderly care facility and she and her 12-year-old son are learning to live together in a home again. She talked about how great it felt to hold that key in her hand and know that it unlocked her own home. The other father and son are both going to school and reported BOTH getting As and Bs. 

Two culinary students graduated this week, both securing food service employment in the last two weeks. 

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter . . . 
We still are short on:
– Lightweight, warm blankets
– Mens pants sizes 32/34/36
– Coffee
And we need 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.

Have you ever seen those raw edge wooden bowls that look like a tree magically transformed into a beautiful bowl? At the 12th Annual Empty Bowl March 17 event, you will get a chance to win some of those beautifully crafted wooden bowls at the silent auction. Get your $25 tickets now for Empty Bowl on March 17—lunch or dinner at hhshelter.org or at BriarPatch! We still need volunteers to help with making desserts–cookies or bars—for the March 17 event. If you can help, call 615.0852. Thanks to the generous folks at ACE Propane llc and Peters’ Drilling & Pump Service for sponsoring the Empty Bowl on March 17.

Weekly news – 2/23/18

February 27, 2018

Because of the cold weather, the 15 cots in the dining room have been full, in addition to the 54 beds in the dorms upstairs. We opened three hours early yesterday due to the snow so that our most vulnerable guests (gentleman in a motorized wheelchair, a woman with a walker and a family with four children) could come in out of the cold.

Our Shelter Monitor Supervisor, Heather, was encouraged this week by the progress of a couple of our guests. One former guest who has been on probation for 16 years for drug-related issues—since she was a teenager—was declared free and clear after completing years worth of classes and education. She is working full-time and has been sober for 18 months. Another gentleman in his 20s never learned to read and write. He struggled with substance abuse but is turning his life around. He has been sober for 18 months, just received his driving learners permit, graduated his 18-month recovery program, filed for custody of his daughter after completing about 20 parenting classes a week for months! We are celebrating as he creates a path to housing.

The culinary students had egg day yesterday, where they learn to do eggs six different ways. You have to go to our Facebook page to see the results—so great. When students join the program, the Hospitality House culinary instructor tells them they will experience blood, sweat and tears. And this week that was true! Tears from the onions, sweat from the heat of the stove, and knicks from chopping. But it all pays off as one of the current students secured her first food service job this week.

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter:
– Lightweight, warm blankets
– Deodorant
– Coffee
– Juice
– Razors
– Mens pants sizes 32/34/36
– Dog food for our friends at Pets for the Homeless
– gas cards, fast food cards, dollar store gift cards for our housing clients
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.

Artists all over the county and at Curious Forge Makerspace are throwing ceramic bowls and turning wooden bowls for the Hospitality House’ Empty Bowl on March 17. You get to choose one of these bowls (hundreds laid out on the table) and fill it with soup and then take it home with you. Ask your company to buy a table of 8 or go with your whole family or book a group. This event is about gathering in solidarity with those who are hungry and homeless. Get your $25 tickets now for Empty Bowl on March 17—lunch or dinner at hhshelter.org or at BriarPatch! Thanks to the capable folks at Northern California Mortgage- Katie Bianchi-Kreeger Broker Associate and to Port O Subs (go get a sandwich on Sutton Way or Gold Flat Rd) for generously sponsoring the event.

“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 – 2/9/18

February 16, 2018

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.

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