Weekly News: Always Staying Connected to Guests

February 22, 2019

As reported on KVRM, Feb. 21:

Hospitality House is the only emergency homeless shelter in Nevada County, with 69 beds for homeless men, women and children.

I’m Fred Skeen and I’m a case manager at Hospitality House, helping individuals in our shelter with their next steps to move from homelessness to housing. As a case manager, our relationships with guests don’t end after they’ve been housed. We stay involved in their lives for years following, regularly checking in with them and in many cases, their landlords. As an example, we helped house a woman I’ll call Marge approximately 4 years ago. Marge was someone you naturally wanted to see succeed and overcome the odds. She’s so sweet and everyone loves her, but she’s had quite the uphill battle. Years ago, she fell and split open her head, sustaining a serious brain injury that also became infected. This injury led to her becoming homeless, and on top of this, after recovering, she was hit by a car and almost died. She spent a year and half in a rehabilitation facility. Marge is truly someone who just needed a break and I was personally thrilled when we moved her into housing. 

Over the years, Marge has been doing good living on her own and we’ve also maintained regular communication with her landlord. However, this past fall, we learned that Marge’s health has been deteriorating to the point that her landlord reached out, very concerned, so we’ve been checking in with Marge more frequently. When we visited her last week, it became evident that Marge can’t be alone anymore. She is living with a brain injury and has signs of dementia, so at this point, for Margie’s safety, we invited her back into our shelter until we can find her a living environment more suitable for her needs.

In an ideal world, Marge would move into a shared living environment, such as a room rental, and as a senior citizen, she would do best living with those closer to her age who share her interests. If anyone listening right now has a room opening that might work for Marge, I hope you can give me a call directly at 530-559-5411. Landlords are our friends and when Marge moves, it can be on a trial basis to make sure it’s a good fit for all involved. I sincerely hope you can help Marge, but if you can’t, you can always help in other ways.

In one month, Empty Bowl is back on March 23! What’s Empty Bowl you ask? It’s a wonderful benefit for our shelter made possible by generous artists who donate handcrafted bowls and local chefs who fill those bowls with hearty soup. This event is a chance for the community to express its compassion for those struggling with homelessness. Tickets are $25 and include soup, bread, a bowl of your choosing to keep, and most of all, a chance to personally hear from the very people you’re supporting. We want to give a big thank you to the Nevada County Association of Realtors for their loyal sponsorship every year to help make this event possible. Tickets can be purchased on our website at hhshelter.org, at BriarPatch Co-Op, who is also one of our wonderful sponsors, and at our thrift store, Bread & Roses Thrift & More. 

If you’ve never been to Bread & Roses, I encourage you to stop by and shop today. 100% of every sale supports our shelter operations. And the store always has so many unique and interesting items, in addition to favorites, such as clothes, books, homewares, paintings and more. I was just there the other day and was amazed by the large children’s selection of clothes and games, so stop by today to shop or donate items you no longer need to support our operations.  

As we head into the weekend, I’d also like to take a moment to thank the many organizations who came and fed our hungry guests this week: Mount Saint Mary’s Academy, Unity in the Gold Country, Seasoned with Love, Choppers, the Home Team, Abundant Life Community Church, and Wolf Creek Lodge – Cohousing Association. From all of us at Hospitality House, we thank you!

To everyone who dropped off needed items last week—we thank you! Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter for this week…

  • Gloves
  • Hats
  • Chux for beds  
  • Adult pull ups, sizes small, medium and large

In an effort to streamline donations for those in need, we kindly ask that all donations now be dropped off at the backdoor of Bread & Roses, our thrift shop, located at 840 E Main Street, directly next door to Sierra Cinemas. Bread & Roses is equipped with a team of wonderful volunteers who sort every donation upon arrival—both for the store and for the shelter, including the shelter’s most urgent needs. When you arrive, simply tell the greeter where you’d like your donation allocated, but remember, a donation to Bread & Roses is also a donation in support of Hospitality House with every sale supporting those in need. And if we stick together, we’ll get what we need.

 

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