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 Jeff. I have been working with Jeff for seven months and was referred to Hospitality House by another client of ours that thought that our services might help him as well. Jeff grew up living with his mother and grandparents. He witnessed a lot of fighting and abuse between his grandparents and with his mother. He started using drugs when he was in 11th grade. Fortunately, he graduated from high school but upon turning 18 years old, he was caught for his first crime and went to jail. Thereafter, Jeff was in and out of jail and prison for years before realizing he wanted a different life. Upon his last release, he focused on getting his life together, staying sober, and seeking out medical treatment. He has been sober for over a year now and has been staying focused on his goals. Jeff said, “My life has been more successful than it has ever been and of course, nothing is perfect, I’m still struggling. I am grateful for what I have and to have every day sober and healthy.” Jeff continues to work hard towards achieving a life of self-sufficiency, and we are glad to tell you that with consistent guidance and resources provided to him he has purchased his own car, is now working full time, and is housed. These stories of success inspire me to continue to help more people in need and make me realize that together and with care people can sooner or later, achieve their goals.

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. Our newly on-board Chef Sandro and Chef Assistant Gina are safely cooking all meals instead. We’d like to thank Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Nevada City United Methodist Church, Sierra Pines United Methodist Church, Kitchen KutUps, The Home Team and Repeat Offenders, SPD Markets and BriarPatch Food Co-op for all their help. To everyone who donated our most needed items last week, thank you as well!

Now, on to the needs of the shelter for this week are:

• PPE masks and gloves
• Blankets and sheets, twin size
• New Pillows
• Bottled water
• Bras, all sizes
• Women’s underwear, sizes S, M, and L
• Men’s underwear/boxers, sizes M, L, and XL
• Shampoo and conditioner, travel size
• Men’s and Women’s deodorant
• Travel bags, duffel bags and backpacks

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!

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