Our Guests

Guest Stories

A message of hope and healing. This inspiring speech was given to our shelter guests by a former guest and housing client.



“In this world nothing is given to you, if you want something you need to go out and get it. Luckily there are phenomenal people and organizations who dedicate their lives to helping people achieve their full potential. My name is Adam (name changed) and this is my experience with struggle, addiction, and the help I got specifically from the Hospitality House.

Main Point 1:

Traumatic events that have happened and/or decisions we have made have all happened to us and brought us here to the Hospitality House in search for some sort of security, looking for some help whether it be food, shelter, help finding work, someone to tell us everything will be okay, or all of the above. In my life a fifteen year drug addiction had created a destruction no hurricane, tornado, fire, flood or earthquake could never match. I lost all help from my family and had no real friendships. I was in and out of jails, courtrooms, and rehabs. I had no control over my life. Every day was a fight for basic needs but drugs came before those further deteriorating my body, mind, and spirit. What I have learned is that it doesn’t matter how hard you fall as long as you dust yourself off and get back up.

Main Point 2:

I was desperate, alone, hopeless, and afraid. Even though I wasn’t currently in a jail cell, it felt just like one. Talking about my situation led to someone referring me to the Hospitality House, an unknown and mysterious place I had never heard of before. When I first came here it was such a relief to have a safe place to get grounded and I actually felt welcomed for the first time in who knows how long. My first week at the Hospitality House was basically spent recuperating and coming to terms with everything that had happened and what I had done to be in this situation of complete desperation. Which looking back, this was probably the hardest part of my journey from losing everything until now.

Main Point 3:

One of my main goals was to have my own residence. The Hospitality House had just started the Rapid Rehousing program. I immediately inquired about the requirements to be a part of this program. The main requirement was a source of income. I went to my old boss and got my construction job back. Once I could prove an income and fill out some paperwork was approved for funding. Once I was approved Tom went out looking very hard to find me a place of residence that would fit my needs, not an easy and quick thing to do. We found a place in Nevada City that fit my needs. I paid a low deposit and the Rapid Rehousing program covered my first month’s rent for me to allow for me to get back caught up after moving in. It seems just when everything is going according plan life throws a wrench in it.

Unexpectedly both my income sources ended and was in jeopardy of losing everything I worked so hard for again. I spent every hour I would have spent working, at the Career Center looking for job opportunities, filing out job applications, following up on previous applications I had turned in already. After a little while feelings of defeat and hopelessness started to set in once again, but I kept on not willing to give up. I had done this too many times before to know that it wouldn’t solve anything. From the hard work I had done and was still doing my parents out of the blue decided to take a chance on me once again and paid my rent for a month while I was looking for work. During this time my persistence paid off and I found a part time job at Staples which I love and got my financial aid reinstated to go back to college and finish my degree.

Life has its ups and downs and can change directions at the drop of a hat. If you make a mistake learn from it, if you fall pick yourself back up, and if you need help ask for it. Through my experience I have learned that as much as I would like, I can’t do everything on my own and there are numerous people in our community who dedicate their lives to helping others. Because of these people in particular the Hospitality House I have had the opportunity to learn and grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak with you tonight and no matter how hard things get never give up.”

More from our guests

“Hospitality House is a magnet for the type of homeless people who feel and want and pursue purpose in their lives.  It is for people who like and respect structure in their lives and understand the necessity of rules and of being personally flexible.”

“Hospitality House staff and monitors encourage job hunting, apartment hunting, volunteerism and personal uprightness.  I leave a better person than when I walked through the door, with respect for the rent dollar and for myself.  I leave knowing that I am worthy of being housed and I am a solid, stable, admirable person who does not quit.”

“At Hospitality House, no one quits.”

“Hospitality House helped me stop drinking. For that I am very thankful for & keeping food in my belly & a place to sleep. Thank you.”

“They allowed me to have my children with me & I am very grateful because I have my children 1/2 time or less. This has and will help me to continue my relationship with my kids that I love very much.”

“HH has helped in my recovery program here! You gave me a purpose every day to help make me a better person. I was loved back to health.”

“Hospitality House has been my lifeline and enabled me to obtain necessary resources to recover. I have made many strides since my arrival, none of which would’ve been possible w/out their support.”

“The staff is always there to lift you up and give you a positive outlook. The staff gives hope where there was hopelessness. If the staff doesn’t have the answer they will find it!”

“Being an all year facility would be of great help.”

“Before I first got here, I had no idea what I was going to do. I was scared. Now I’m confident about my future even though I still have a ways to go.”

“You’re providing me with medicine when sick, bus passes, etc. All involved go over and above their call of duty here. I am very satisfied with all of it.”

“You made me feel like I really mattered and when I most needed help, you listened. I owe you an enormous debt of gratitude.”

“The resources and help made it easy for me to make good use of time, not having to worry about food, shelter, laundry and showers. The staff is very friendly and helpful, but maybe a little soft on those with no respect for the program, or other people.”

“I have not been hungry for over a year, this has helped me to think clearly most of the time.”

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Giving Back

The guests of Hospitality House are a big part of the community and give back as much as possible. Collaborating with the Grass Valley Downtown Association the Hospitality House has been involved in the GVDA’s town clean up effort several times a year. It feels good to give back to the community. The guests have also helped in cleaning up Dorsey Drive and area homeless camps, have been a part of the G.R.E.A.T. academy summer program, and other projects around Nevada County. If you have a community project that you would like help on contact us at the shelter.

Music in the House

Some of our guests are talented artists, writers, poets – and musicians. Our late co-founder Utah Phillips, for whom our building Utah’s Place is named, was himself a renowned folk singer and songmaker who used to come to the shelter in the evenings to regale our guests with song. Many other fine musicians, too numerous to name, have followed Utah’s lead.

As part of our life skills and enrichment program, local singer, song writer, and guitar player Kelly Fleming gives guitar lessons to our guests. Kelly has been performing in Nevada County and around the country for many years.

Many musicians from Nevada County, and some from other places in the United States, have done benefits for Hospitality House. Notably, Mikail Graham’s annual Night of Giving has featured many hundreds of local performers over the years since 2006 when it began. This year the Night of Giving will return to the Miners Foundry on Spring Street in Nevada City on Saturday, Dember 20th. Nevada County is blessed with remarkable musical talent in all genres, and Hospitality House reflects that blessing abundantly.

Get in Touch

1262 Sutton Way
Grass Valley, CA 95945

Shelter Line: (530) 271-7144

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