I’m Danna and I’m the Medical Case Manager for Hospitality House. I connect our guests with medical services as well as handle their medical insurance needs. I also help guests who own animals connect with our Pet Program, which provides full care for animals.

For this week’s news, I would like to touch on a client who had experienced many roadblocks when it came to gaining financial freedom for himself. Mark has received shelter off and on at Hospitality House through the years and reached housing with our help about six months ago. This is specialty housing in an environment that continues to have case management support. Mark used to work in construction but due to several serious car accidents throughout his life, he became homeless in part due to his inability to do manual labor for extended periods of time, thus losing employment opportunities. Many clients who receive Social Security benefits for unemployment and disability are established with a payee service, which is what Mark had. This allows a third party to have access to his funds for budgeting purposes in hopes that this will better allow the client to stretch their benefits for the entire month. The payee service is carried out in a way that is in the best interest of the client, but Mark was now ready to manage his own finances. This prompted us to look into the process one must take to remove a payee from one’s account. This includes a signed Social Security form from Mark’s primary care doctor stating that they believe he is of sound mind and is responsible enough to manage his own finances. I was able to schedule a cognitive assessment with a doctor at Western Sierra Medical in Auburn who felt more than confident that Mark could do without the payee. I also personally wrote Mark a letter dictating my vote of confidence as his medical case manager who has worked with him for about two years now. Both these documents were then submitted to Social Security and within two days he received the call granting him control of his finances. This was a huge win for Mark, and he has repeatedly expressed his gratitude for all the help Hospitality House has offered him now and over the years. Hopefully this gives him a boost of confidence along with a sense of control and he continues to make smart choices to ensure a better future for himself and continued housing.

If you haven’t heard, Empty Bowl is back this year 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 Wolf Creek Co-Housing, Telestream, The Gourmet Squad, Blessed Sisters, Elevation 2477, The Home Team, Sierra Pines United Methodist Church 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
· Alka seltzer
· Travel bags/backpacks
· Headphones/earbuds
· Brushes/combs/hair ties
· Toilet paper
· Paper towels
· Men and Women’s winter gloves
· Men and Women’s undershirts
· Women’s underwear, sizes S, M, and L
· 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!

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