Hospitality House is a year-round emergency homeless shelter for the general homeless community in Nevada County, and since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve shifted into a 24/7 operation, working in partnership with multiple agencies around town in a collective effort to help as many people as possible in crisis.

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 Robert. Robert is now in his late 30s and was referred to us by Nevada County Behavior Health. Robert’s parents were alcohol and drug users, and Robert was taken to a foster home at the early age of three, where he continued to be in and out of multiple homes throughout his childhood. He had no structure and no guidance and started substance abuse at the age of 13. By the age of 18, he was in prison, and intermittently for the following 13 years. My personal experience has been very rewarding working with Robert. He is just very bubbly and very outgoing, but he does suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD due to prison terms that he has done. One memory that comes to mind is when I first met him, he was elaborating on his personal stories going back to prison and one of them was that he violated parole because he stole a burrito from a gas station mini mart. So, every time that we meet, I look at him, and I tell him, “Now you please stay away from the burrito section” and he laughs about it nonstop. Robert has received services through Hospitality House, from case management, counseling, and has been successfully housed with the ARGP program. Robert continues to work towards his goals; he aims for Social Security income; he treats his spine injuries through physical therapy from an accident; and attends mental health counseling. He also maintains his sobriety and housing. Robert has come a long way, with the support provided through Hospitality House and partnering agencies throughout his recovery. To learn more about Hospitality House, please visit hhshelter.org.

This week, we’d like to give a big thank you to everyone who donated toward our International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign, made possible by local businesswoman, Lauren Maddux, co-owner of The Event Helper. In honor of IWD, Lauren personally matched donations made to Hospitality House up to $5,000. With all of your help, we met our match challenge!

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 cook groups are supporting our meals by donating financial support and food, and Chef Chris is safely cooking all meals instead. We’d like to thank Dignity Health – Sierra Memorial Nevada Hospital, Nevada City United Methodist Church, IFM Impastas, Mountain Stream Meditation, Kitchen-Kutups, The Home Team, and Repeat Offenders for all their help. 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…

• PPE masks and gloves (please keep donating these)
• New pillows
• Twin size blankets
• Bottled water
• Hand warmers
• Alka seltzer
• Travel bags/backpacks
• Headphones/earbuds
• Brushes/combs/hair ties
• Toilet paper
• Paper towels
• Men and Women’s winter gloves
• Men’s jeans, sizes 30-36
• 8 oz paper coffee cups (please no lids or styrofoam/plastic cups)
• Women’s underwear, sizes S, M, and L (or 5,6,7 and 8)
• Men and Women’s sweatpants, sizes M, L, XL and 2XL
• Ensure/Boost drinks for a guest undergoing chemo and radiation treatments

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!

Provide critical services to struggling men, women and children. Give today>