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.

Something very meaningful is happening for us at the shelter today. One of our guests is leaving for good today, and making his way down to Port Charlotte, Florida. He is reuniting with his family after sheltering with us and going through years of recovery. I will call this man, Jack.  Jack is in his late 30s and suffers from mild schizophrenia. He was married but the couple started using substances, later divorced and both became homeless shortly after. Jack’s schizophrenia mixed with drugs made everything worst, and when you have a mental illness like schizophrenia you suffer from paranoia, and have trust issues, making it hard to establish relationships, and interferes with life.

Jack has been planning his move to Florida for over a year now and has finally been able get stable, and he is ready to take a leap of faith. We were able to get him a one-way bus ticket to what he will now call home. This is a milestone for him, he is tired of making mistakes and tired of being homeless, he has support in Florida, so the time has come. It’s a matter of becoming exhausted from a more dysfunctional than functional lifestyle and having a family to whom he wants to reconnect with. The most exciting part is that he is going to see his son who he hasn’t seen in years. Jack is traveling for three days and arriving there on Sunday just a day before his son’s birthday so he will be able to celebrate that special day with his dear son.

We are proud of Jack because most people who are homeless don’t reconnect or mend those relationships with their friends or family. Those connections don’t reestablish due to deep traumas and patterns that are hard to break. They just remain in their isolated lives, it’s hard to maintain relationships, keep jobs and accountability to be successful. Jack said to me “I think the best thing for me is to go to Florida and reconnect with my dad and my son. I may not live in the same house, but I need to go there.” That for us is a success story, of a guest who decides to reunite with his family and amend relationships.

Community News! Hospitality House has joined forces with County of Nevada, City of Grass Valley, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) and Grass Valley Police Department (GVPD) to offer the shelter’s most collective community cleanup effort to date. On Saturday, Oct. 12, all parties will clean and beautify private land and abandoned homeless camps in the Brunswick Basin as well as mitigate for fire with support from volunteers in the community.

During the cleanup on Oct. 12, it’s estimated that approximately 150 volunteers will be needed, and the entire community is invited to participate.

When: Saturday, Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: 900 Block of Plaza Drive

What to Bring: Work gloves; wear comfy clothes and closed-toed shoes

If you are interested in volunteering, you can call Leah at 530-615-0805 or email her at lfarkas@hhshelter.org.

This past week, we were blessed by many caring individuals who prepared meals and we are beyond grateful.  I’d like to give a big thank you to Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains, Divine Light Spiritist Center, Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church, Meals by Heels, Peace Lutheran Church, The Home Team and Seventh-Day Adventist Church. To everyone who donated our most needed items last week, thank you as well!

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter for this week…

Women’s sleep pants, sizes M & L

Women’s jeans, sizes 10-12

Women’s sneakers, sizes 8-10

Women’s sneakers, sizes 8-10

Men’s boxers, sizes M & L

Men’s jeans, sizes 34-38

Men’s sweatpants, M & L

Men’s t-shirts, sizes L & XL

Blankets

Rain-gear

Hairbrushes

Cough drops

Antacids tablets

Please drop off urgent items to Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way. For all other donations that may benefit a homeless guest or the shelter in general, please take them to the backdoor of Bread & Roses, our thrift shop, located at 840 E. Main Street, directly next door to Sierra Cinemas. Guests at our shelter are given shopping vouchers for the store to buy what they need, so your donation directly helps them. All other items are sold with 100% of the sales supporting the shelter’s operations.  If we all stick together, we’ll get what we need. Thank you!