With the nice weather this last week, the people sleeping in the dining room has dropped to around 10, down from 15, in addition to the 54 beds upstairs. The County of Nevada and City of Grass Valley funding has been crucial this winter and goes exclusively toward providing these extra beds in the dining room.

The Hospitality House case managers work with our guests on obstacles that seem insurmountable to them. In the last few weeks, Fred helped one of our guests get a birth certificate for her 18-month-old so that she could finish completing her taxes. He worked with another young man with learning disabilities to complete his application for the local Alta Regional Center job training program.

I am going to share the story of former guest Miner Matt, in his own words: “You are out in the woods and you are mining for gold and everything is happy and then the winter comes and you are starving and you can’t mine and I remember the days we had to sleep under the bridge in the rain and the snow, I was cold. I lived here long enough I remember the days nobody gave you a sandwich or nothing and they didn’t even realize there was a homeless problem and just hid in the woods. Little by little I came to Hospitality House and I was real leery with all the rules and everything but went in to get fed and get away from all the alcoholism out on the streets. This place had an ability to give a person an opportunity to quit drinking, to sober up, to get cleaned up, to get warmed up . . .” After nine months at the shelter, Miner Matt is 9 months sober and saved enough to mov into a house with roommates yesterday!

Drumroll, please. . . Bread & Roses Thrift Store is now open! Come in to the store at the corner of East Main and Hughes, next to Big A Drive-In and check out the clothes, jewelry and houseware we have been saving for you during the reorganization. And the other good news: Tomorrow is the 50% off sale! In fact, the first Saturday of every month is 50% off at Bread & Roses Thrift, which is open Tuesday-Saturday from noon-6 p.m. You can drop off donations to Bread & Roses Thrift, around the back of Sierra Cinemas, Tuesday-Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

Every night of the week a different team prepares dinner for the guests at the shelter. That really ends up being a cast of thousands of generous souls! This week we are so thankful to the St. Patrick’s Parish, the Jazzercise group, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Crossroads Church and the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance for bringing the ingredients and cooking up a wonderful dinners for 80 people. And thanks to BriarPatch, SPD and the local farmers that help out with discounts on ingredients for those dinner groups.

Last week many of you brought in sheets and protein bars and other items after the show—thank you! Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter for THIS week . . . 
– Backpacks, any size
– Deodorant
– Mens pants, 32-40
– Mens belts
– Mens underwear
– Towels
– Blankets 
– Gas cards for those guests with vehicles, that need gas money to get to jobs or medical appointments
– Gift cards or movie cards that can be used for housing clients or as thank yous for to guests doing special chores
– Protein bars for lunches
– Art supplies

Drop off your donations at Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way.

In closing, I want to read an excerpt from on editorial written by Jeffrey Wanzer-Dupra on April 2: “When you work with people who bear their suffering for lack of walls and roofs to conceal it, you find, inevitably, that your own suffering, your own vulnerabilities, are in course so revealed. A human flame is clearly being burned between us. . . . If you have the courage to listen, we are being asked to do what we can, when we can do it. You can stand back at great distance and such words seem quite small. Or you can take a step, right up close, so close that you can feel the flame, and see how big they can be.”