My name is Sydnie Day and I’m the Supervising Case Manager at Hospitality House’s emergency homeless shelter, Utah’s Place. My role is to oversee our shelter case management team and make sure guests are getting customized support plans designed to get them back into permanent housing as efficiently and effectively as possible. Most shelter guests are served by the case management team that I supervise, but I have retained a couple of clients with whom I’ve built a solid rapport, having worked with them on and off for years. One of those few guests is someone who I’ll refer to as Kristina.

Kristina has been struggling with severe alcoholism for many years, resulting in her chronic homeless state and complete isolation from her family. She has been involved with Hospitality House since 2011, when it was still a nomadic shelter, moving from church to church each evening. For at least a decade Kristina was unmotivated to sober up. She had adjusted to the stress and unpredictability of not knowing where she would sleep each night or when she would eat next.

However, as often happens with an unconventional lifestyle, clients will grow increasingly intolerant of the discomforts of homelessness as they age. Kristina is a prime example. Over the years she has become more and more driven to secure a safe and comfortable place for herself. As such, around the new year Kristina fully embraced case management, she took on responsibilities by becoming a caretaker at the shelter, and took the initiative to sober up. Six months later, Kristina has a full-time job and is signing the lease for her very own apartment this Monday.

We will miss her friendly greetings and enthusiastic involvement in classes offered at the shelter, but we are excited for her new life. I will continue serving as her case manager for years to come, doing everything I can to support her goals of staying successfully housed, employed and sober.

Thanks to people like you, Hospitality House is able to remain committed to guests through all phases of their recovery and remain a constant source of hope and guidance for those working their way back to permanent housing. If you’d like to be a part of the magic of second chances like Kristina’s, please consider joining our Hearts & Hands Club where giving as little as $10 per month can add up to big impact over the year. To learn more, click here.

Now I’d like to send a special shout out of thanks to this weeks volunteers who have generously offered time and energy to guests of Hospitality House. This week Hilary Dart and Kathy Perkins grocery shopped for the shelter; Bill Blount and George Dunstan provided spiritual support at Sierra Guest Home; and Robin Kinnard cooked in the kitchen with our culinary specialist. A special thanks also to our partners for providing ongoing food and/or financial support: SPD Markets, BriarPatch Food Co-op, Telestream, Interfaith Food Ministry, the Bishop Store (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nevada City) and Food Bank of Nevada County. To everyone who donated our most needed items last week, thank you as well! We are incredibly grateful to all of you who give your time, energy and compassion to those who need it most.

Here is the shelter’s wish list of the week:

  • Twin-size blankets & sheet sets 
  • NEW pillows (we are unable to accept used)
  • Men’s and women’s casual shoes (all sizes)
  • Men’s and women’s t-shirts & shorts (all sizes)
  • Bath towels (in good condition)
  • Bottled water

DONATION HOURS AND DROPOFF LOCATION: Donations from our needs list above and all unexpired/store-bought foods are accepted at Utah’s Place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30am – 3:30pm and Saturdays from 10am – 2pm. Our shelter is located at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945. We greatly appreciate the community’s help at such times of uncertainty. In the words of Utah Phillips, “If we all stick together, we’ll get what we need.” Thank you!

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