I’m Elida, and I’m the ARGP Shelter Case Manager at Hospitality House. ARGP stands for Adult Re-Entry Grant Program, which, in the easiest of terms, means I help people with minor criminal offenses who are also struggling with homelessness. My main priority is to help homeless individuals transition back into housing, and I’m always looking for creative and permanent housing solutions.

I want to share a story with you, a story about a client who I will call Laura. Laura reached out to Hospitality House seeking for help four months ago. Laura was born to a mother who suffered from mental illness and alcoholism. Her father, who was substance-free, decided to leave the relationship and take Laura to safe environment, hoping to prevent Laura from following in her mother’s footsteps. Laura’s dad became a single parent who worked a lot to support them, but Laura spent a lot of time alone at home through her childhood. When she became a teenager, she started smoking marijuana, drinking, and sneaking out and hanging out with an older crowd. She later learned about methamphetamine, coke, and Adderall, and soon started getting in trouble with the law and went to prison and lost custody of her two children. About five years ago there was a breaking point, and she didn’t look back. She went shelter to shelter, mental institution to mental institution, and slept on the streets to survive. She now has a full-time job, has her daughters back in her life, has a driver’s license, and a nice little car that runs well. She has saved money in the last two months and paid off loans. Laura has been receiving wraparound services with Hospitality House and with partnering agencies such as FREED and Community Beyond Violence. With the help of ARGP, she’ll have support from Hospitality House to sustain permanent housing.

“The last years have made me a strong person,” said Laura. “I wandered for those years and people would ask me, ‘why’ and honestly, I was just the way it was. I thank you for your time and am grateful,” said Laura. To learn more about Hospitality House, please visit hhshelter.org.

Thank you, Empty Bowl Supporters! Thank you for faithfully supporting Empty Bowl during these uncertain times and for making the 15th Annual Empty Bowl a success. We are beyond grateful for your acts of kindness and for standing in solidarity with our homeless community. Together, more people will have a chance at a home. Thank you, talented artisans, local restaurants, ticketholders, volunteers, donors, and business sponsors. We appreciate you and we are grateful to live in such a kindhearted community. If you participated in Empty Bowl, we invite you take a short survey to share your experience, available here: https://arcg.is/uizqq

Normally at this time, we thank all the cook groups who came and cooked over the last week, but to keep our shelter safe, our cooking groups are supporting our meals by donating financial support and food. Chef Gina is safely cooking all meals instead. We’d like to thank Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains, Telestream, The Gourmet Squad, Meals by Heals, Peace Lutheran Church, The Home Team and Seventh Day Adventist Church, and BriarPatch Food Co-Op and SPD Markets for all their recent help. To everyone who donated our most needed items last week, thank you as well!

And the needs of the shelter for this week are:            

Baby car seats, baby blankets, strollers and newborn diapers
Belts, all sizes
Blankets, twin size
Bottled water
Men’s and Women’s deodorant
Me’s and Women’s sweatpants, all sizes
Men’s and Women’s underwear, sizes M and L
Men’s pants, sizes 32-40
Men’s shoes, sizes 10 and up
Men’s t-shirts, sizes M, L and XL
New pillows
PPE masks (disposable or neck gators)
Shaving razors
Travel bags, duffle bags and backpacks
Women shirts, all sizes

Please drop off urgent items or mail them to Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way in Grass Valley. For a tax receipt, please ring the doorbell and wait for someone to come outside to assist you. 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!

Did you know just $5 a month can change a life?