I’m Elida, 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 tell you a story about a man we will call Charles.

Charles worked in carpentry and construction for a number of years, and following a divorce, he rented a room in a house with a few other individuals. One night, his roommates ambushed him, beat him with a hammer, took his paycheck, and left. A neighbor called the police and Charles was rushed to the hospital where doctors performed surgery on his brain and put a plate in his head. While his attackers were eventually arrested, Charles only received a few hundred of the thousands he was owed in restitution payment and was left with a traumatic brain injury and related difficulties.

After this instance, Charles found it difficult to trust anyone, and nearly impossible to leave his home unarmed out of fear of being attacked again. Subsequently, he made the decision to carry protection and eventually he was charged for carrying a firearm. Because of his difficult history, the judge sentenced him to probation instead of prison time. Though Charles had a home during the time of his conviction, he was forced to move out when the property management learned of his parole and the possibility of property searches.

Now homeless, Charles was referred to me by the Nevada County Probation Department. Since I began working with him, Charles’s commitment to staying sober and out of trouble has been steadfast. I have been working with his parole officer to find housing suitable for his needs and have connected him with Spirit Peer Empowerment Center and FREED. Charles collects Social Security and will soon began receiving a stipend from the Carpenters Union. His dependable income makes him a favorable tenant, and thankfully we have a lead on a home for Charles!  It is very likely he will be housed in the next month or two.

If you’d like to help Charles and others move back into housing in the new year, consider a tax-deductible donation today. Today is your last day to receive a break on your 2021 tax return for charitable giving! Give at hhshelter.org now for greater impact in the new year.

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 cooking groups are supporting our meals by donating financial support and food, and Chef Gina is safely cooking all meals instead. We’d like to thank Wolf Creek Co-Housing, Telestream, The Gourmet Squad, Meals by Heels, Elevation 2477, First Baptist Church Nevada City, BriarPatch Food Co-Op, and SPD Markets for all their recent help.

To everyone who donated our most needed items last week, thank you as well! Here is a list of items currently needed at the shelter:

  • Waterproof rain gear – URGENT NEED
  • Hand warmers – URGENT NEED
  • Rain ponchos – URGENT NEED
  • Twin-size blankets
  • Pillows (new only)
  • PPE masks (paper disposable or neck gators)
  • Toilet paper
  • Bottled water
  • Travel bags/ duffle bags/ backpacks
  • Plastic utensils
  • Paper plates/ bowls
  • Disposable cups
  • Hairbrushes
  • Gloves
  • Beanies
  • Leggings
  • Warm boots (men’s and women’s)
  • Women’s long sleeve shirts size M to XXL
  • Women’s shoes size 8 and up
  • Sweatpants (men’s and women’s)
  • Depends (men’s and women’s) size S to XXL
  • Men’s pants size 34×32, 32×32, and 30×32
  • Men’s shirts and jackets size XXL

For increased safety and to streamline our donation process, donations are no longer being accepted at our shelter. Please drop off your items Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm at our admin office, located at 488 Crown Point Circle, Suite 100, Grass Valley, Ca 95945 (the admin office is closed on all major holidays, including today). 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!

Due to increased COVID-19 cases and a construction project at Utah’s Place, donations of goods are temporarily suspended to protect the people we serve and the greater community.>