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 Mark. Mark grew up in a home where arguments would take place every day. Mark also shared that he was physically and verbally abused as a child. He felt he had no supervision growing up and started experimenting with drugs at the age of 13, and by the age of 21 he was fully into drugs. He was later in and out of rehab, engaged in toxic relationships and intermittently arrested. Mark was referred to me by the Homeless Outreach and Medical Engagement (HOME) team back in September. At the time, Mark was living at a sober living facility. He was still struggling to maintain his sobriety, and while he was in the process of recovery, I would visit him every two weeks or talk to him over the phone. After several months, I was ablet to gain Mark’s trust and work with him. I felt privileged to work with Mark as he would openly talk to me about his struggles of drug addiction and how he was fighting with this illness every day of his life. Today, Mark has been sober for a year, stays very active, is employed, and housed! Mark has come a long way to find stability but his determination and support of partnering agencies has given him a second chance to a healthy and self-sufficient lifestyle. To learn more about Hospitality House, please visit hhshelter.org.

If you haven’t heard, Empty Bowl is back this September with a safe new format. Instead of a large gathering, patrons will visit a select restaurant to try a specialty dish and will keep an artisan bowl forever too (generously donated by local artists). Help people on their journey back to housing and support local businesses too. To become a featured restaurant or to sign your business up as a branded sponsor, please contact Kindy McCullough at 530-575-2027 or kmccullough@hhshelter.org. Additional details about Empty Bowl can be found at hhshelter.org/empty-bowl.

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 instead. We’d like to thank Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Nevada City United Methodist Church, IFM Impastas, St. Patrick’s Rookies, Jazzercise, the Home Team, Repeat Offender and BriarPatch Food Co-op 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)
• Blankets, twin size
• New pillows
• Silverware
• Bottled water
• Hand warmers
• Travel bags/backpacks/duffle bags
• Brushes/combs/hair ties
• Toilet paper
• Paper towels
• Men’s jeans, sizes 30-36
• Women’s jeans, size 4-12
• Men and Women’s shorts
• Men and Women’s undershirts
• Men and Women’s tank tops
• Women’s underwear, sizes S, M, and L
• Men’s pajama pants
• Women’s lounge wear, light weight
• Women’s casual summer dresses
• Men’s tennis shoes, sizes 10-12
• Women’s tennis shoes, sizes 7-9
• 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!

All donations are being DOUBLED right now by local community members. $1 becomes $2! Give today>