My name is Seth Derrick, and I serve as an Outreach Case Manager for Hospitality House. I work as the front line to support individuals that are living outside to engage in services and take steps to end cycles of homelessness.

This week I’d like to share a short story about a man who I’ll refer to as Bart.

Bart was referred to me by Nevada County Behavioral Health as a client experiencing chronic homelessness. He by no means had it easy growing up. He spent most of his life in many group home settings due to behavioral issues as well as substance use. Substances played a large part in Bart’s life as a way of escaping some of his intense feelings and related trauma. Bart also had a significant fall when he was younger and has a traumatic brain injury which has made learning and decision making a little more difficult. Due to some of these struggles in his younger years, Bart has found himself struggling with chronic homelessness.

Bart has been trying to better his life and is gainfully employed. He had been attempting to use our shelter’s Outreach Dorm as a way to keep himself clean from substances as his only housing option was to stay with friends that used regularly. But with Outreach Dorm, there are no guarantees for bed availability and preferences are given to those most vulnerable. I wanted to support Bart in staying clean and sober, so I arranged for Bart to move into Onward Dorm where a long-term bed is guaranteed every night as long as the guest is following through in their housing case management and personal development plans.

Today, Bart is still in our shelter, maintaining his sobriety and employment. He continues to work with me and fellow case managers and is pursuing the next stage in his recovery and life. I hope to one day share that Bart has a home but until that day comes, we appreciate the community’s help in continuing our services.

I’d also like to thank our community for coming together for this year’s Empty Bowl. Because of artists, restaurants, ticketholders, donors and volunteers, we raised over $30,000 to help more men, women and children. If you missed Empty Bowl and would still like to help, please consider giving any amount. $1 is enough to help one person receive fuel and nourishment.

Our next big event is Night of Giving, which returns Thursday, Dec. 15 at The Center for the Arts. After two years of virtual shows, this is the first in-person Night of Giving since 2019 and one you won’t want to miss! If you or your business might be interested in sponsoring Night of Giving, please email or call (530) 615-0852.

Right now I’d like to give a shoutout to our two volunteer food shoppers, Hilary Dart and Marna Duncan, for helping us with shopping needs each week and to Telestream for cooking last Saturday night for all of our guests. If you have an interest in volunteering, we have several opportunities available in our culinary department, including grocery shopping, cooking, food delivery and dish washing. Call us at (530) 615-0852 or email to learn about our opportunities. A special thanks also to our partners for providing ongoing food and/or financial support: SPD Markets, BriarPatch Food Co-op, Telestream, Interfaith Food Ministry, the Bishop Store (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nevada City) and Food Bank of Nevada County. To everyone who donated our most needed items last week, thank you as well!

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the week:

  • Winter Clothing – Long-sleeve shirts for men and women; sweaters for men and women; weather-resistant coats/jackets only for men and women (sizes L, XL most needed); beanies for men and women; and men’s pants sizes 30-36 only. NO scarves; NO socks.
  • Twin-size blankets and towels
  • Hand/Feet warmers

NEW DONATION HOURS: To streamline our donation process, donations are no longer being accepted at our shelter (unless it’s food). Please drop off items from our needs list on Tuesday or Thursday, 830am – 5pm at our admin office, located at 488 Crown Point Circle, Suite 100, Grass Valley, Ca 95945 (admin is closed weekends and all major holidays). 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!





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