I am Molly, the Housing Case Manger at Hospitality House, the only emergency homeless shelter in Nevada County with 54 beds for men, women and children.

One of the struggles our homeless guests have is being able to afford housing. In California, the statewide average fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,386. To afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30 percent of its income on housing — a household must earn $4,619 monthly or $55,433 annually.

I work with our homeless guests on a Ready-to-Rent program, that helps equip participants with skills to re-enter the housing market. One of my students, we’ll call her Sharon, is sheltering as she escapes from a domestic violence situation. She has lived in an apartment once but was evicted because she had too much stuff. In the weekly Ready-to-Rent classes, she prepares a sheet that states what happened with the last living situation, what has changed, and what will happen going forward. She keeps exclaiming, “This is going to make such a difference!” since she was feeling totally overwhelmed with how to go about finding housing. She is also getting help on how to fill out rental applications.

Last week, the Hospitality House outreach case manager went up to North San Juan for his monthly visit. The town has a meal and giveaway for people struggling with homelessness in North San Juan and about 120 people showed up. Hospitality House is working with the county to find ways to better support people in North San Juan who are struggling with homelessness.

As you are doing your spring cleaning, bring Bread & Roses Thrift the spring and summer fashions from last year. You can drop off donations behind Bread & Roses, next to Sierra Cinemas, Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5pm. All sales at Bread & Roses Thrift benefit Hospitality House, so your quality donations help the shelter! And so do your purchases. There are new items put out every day. We received a poker table this week, have a new tool section and the sports wall is packed with gear for your summer adventures. Come in to Bread & Roses Thrift at the corner of East Main and Hughes.

This week we are so thankful to Mt. St. Mary’s School, St. Patrick’s Church, Mountain Stream Meditation, Peace Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Wolf Creek CoHousing team for bringing the ingredients and cooking up a wonderful dinners for 54 people this last week!

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter for THIS week . . . 
– deodorant 
– sturdy sandals
– lightweight blankets
– Mens pants, sizes 30-36
– Art supplies, specifically a set of new journals, and used canvases and acrylic paints and brushes for a therapeutic art class. 
Drop off your donations at Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way.

And finally, mark your calendars for a jazz concert on May 9, benefiting Hospitality House: Jerry Grant and the NUJAZZ ALTERNATIVE VIRTUAL ORCHESTRA: blending rock, classical, jazz and electronic elements into an eclectic style. With Special Guests:
Motoshi Kosako – Harpist-Lyrical improvisation 
Tumble -African influenced trance jazz
Gary Regina – world jazz, multi-instrumentalist looper
Sands Hall – folk/ jazz/ Americana, singer/songwriter/actor/director/writer
with Maggie McKaig & Randy McKean
The Jerry Grant and the NUJAZZ ALTERNATIVE VIRTUAL ORCHESTRA show is Wednesday, May 9, at the Nevada Theater, all benefiting Hospitality House. Get your tickets at BriarPatch!

Our administrative office is closed Nov. 26-27 for Thanksgiving. Emergency shelter and support remains available 24/7. Please call (530) 271-7144 for help.