I’m Elida, the ARGP Shelter Case Manager at Hospitality House. ARGP stands for Adult Re-Entry Grant Program, which means that 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.

Today I want to share a story with you about a family I have been helping these last nine months, who I’ll refer to as Derrick, Andrea and children, Annalisa and Isabella Gonzales. The Gonzales’ are a good example of the vast amount of community support that goes into helping just one individual or family.

To backtrack briefly, Derrick grew up exposed to drugs in his adolescence, and subsequently, fell into drug use and drug sales and this carried into adulthood with Andrea. Derrick has spent time incarcerated for drug-related charges, which also contributed to the family being evicted and ending up homeless. Fortunately, our local CPS office offered them services and worked with Derrick and Andrea to help them get clean; and instead of taking the children, they helped them into transitional housing through Common Goals where they were also connected with Nevada County Behavioral Health.

Andrea and Derrick both successfully completed treatment and while in transition, Nevada County Behavioral Health sought our help for permanent housing. In getting to know the family, I learned Derrick is a Veteran and had a broken-down car, which made it hard for him to secure employment. Through our Homeless Veterans Housing Program, a program launched by local Veterans in the community to help Veterans, we were able to get Derrick’s car fixed at no cost to him. Subsequently, Derrick and Andrea both ended up securing employment! Being a vet, the Nevada County Veterans Services Office also helped him qualify for a VASH voucher to help pay future rent. On top of this, our ARGP program came through to help with housing as well. Once we found a new home for the family, Hospitality House provided three months rent, plus the security deposit.

Today, the Gonzales family has been back in permanent housing for three months; mom and dad both continue to work and remain clean and sober. Their little girls, Annalisa and Isabella, are also doing great and love having their own rooms.

In some cases like this, it takes a team of partners and donors like you to create impact and we thank our community for all their help. Right now, we have only a few days left to create double the impact. Through May 31, donations to Hospitality House are being matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000. This means a $5 donation automatically becomes $10. Facebook donations count too! Learn more about this opportunity at hhshelter.org.

Save the date! We’ve joined forces with the South Yuba River Citizens League, County of Nevada, Nevada County Waste Management, Grass Valley Police Department, Common Spirit Health (Dignity Health) and BriarPatch Food Co-op to offer a community-wide camp cleanup on Thursday, June 9. We’ll clean and beautify abandoned homeless camps in the area as well as mitigate for fire, but we need your help to ensure the cleanup is a success. To register, please email info@hhshelter.org or call us at 530-615-0852. Learn more about the camp cleanup at hhshelter.org.

After a two-year hiatus, we are excited to have our volunteer cooks back in the kitchen. For this past week, we’d like to thank Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains for cooking up their family enchilada pie last Friday; Hilary Dart for helping with grocery shopping; and Roni Machado for cooking on the line with Chef Brian. We are actively looking for more folks who’d like to either form their own group to cook or individuals who would like to come in and lend a helping hand to Chef Brian. If you have an interest in learning more about these opportunities, please call us at (530) 615-0852 or email info@hhshelter.org. A big thank you also to our food partners, SPD Markets, BriarPatch Food Co-Op, IFM, the Bishop Store (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nevada City) and Nevada County Food Bank for donating food and produce on an ongoing basis.

We also want to thank all of our community members who have been giving financially in place of donating goods during construction at Utah’s Place. However, we do have a need for the following select items:

  • Tampons (not pads)
  • Depends / adult diapers
  • NEW Pillows (must be new)
  • Twin-sized bedding, including blankets, sheets, pillowcases, and quilts

To increase safety during construction, donations are no longer being accepted at our shelter. Please drop off your items Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm 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 and weekends). 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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