I’m Jennifer Thomas, the ARGP Housing Specialist, and as one of the case managers here at the shelter, I help guests connect to the resources needed to overcome their barriers to housing.
I’d like to share a story of a guest who I will call Billy. Billy has been here at the shelter for eleven months. He came here directly after treatment and he is celebrating one year of sobriety this weekend. During his time here, he has preserved his sobriety and improved his health, which he deeply needed because in the last few years, Billy has had six heart attacks. He was also diagnosed with COPD, which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. COPD and his alcoholism nearly led to his death, but today he has not only maintained his sobriety, he quit smoking cigarettes too! Billy set his goals and has stuck to them daily. As for his housing search, together we filled out ten applications for subsidized apartments in the area. Unfortunately, the waitlist can take three to four years at these places but on a fixed income he cannot afford fair market rate. He was recently approved for an apartment here in one of our senior apartment complexes and we will be reaching out to Re-start Ministries to help furnish his apartment. His dedication to improving his quality of life has inspired other guests as well as our staff here. We are very proud of Billy and thankful to all our donors who have helped him on his journey.
If you are listening right now and want to help, now is the time. Local community members have come forward to help Hospitality House during the pandemic by offering an incredible donation match opportunity. Through May 31, all monetary donations made to Hospitality House will be matched by these individuals, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000. This means a gift of $10 automatically becomes $20 and will give 20 people struggling with homelessness each a hot and healthy meal.
A $50 donation will help one person in crisis receive a night of emergency shelter with wraparound services, such as food, clothing, job training, mental health counseling, transportation to medical, and customized case management to return to stable housing, on top of supplies and the support needed to make it through the pandemic. But community members who make their $50 donation by May 31 will automatically have their gift doubled and help two people right now.
To help people in crisis during the pandemic, donations may be made online at hhshelter.org, or by mail at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Donations will be doubled through May 31.
Normally at this time we also thank all the cook groups who came and cooked over the last week, but to keep our shelter safe amid COVID-19, our cook groups are supporting our meals by donating financial support and food, and Chef Chris is safely cooking all meals instead. We’d like to thank Alta Sierra Latter-Day Saints, Twin Cities Church, Holy Trinity Church – Episcopal: Historic Faith for Modern People, Kut-Ups, The Home Team and Abundant Life Community Church, the Oaks Clubhouse, Interfaith Food Ministry and Grocery Outlet for all their recent 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…
• Tylenol (not ibuprofen)
• Adult coloring books
• Colored pens and pencils
• Any crafts that can be done by one person
• Liquid hand soap
• Shaving Cream
• Women’s underwear
• One special request: Guitar strings and guitar picks to help our guests play some music!
In addition to these urgently needed items, we are also actively collecting needed items to slow the spread of COVID-19. A few of these items include n95 masks, hand sanitizer, Airborn, disinfectant soap, disinfectant wipes, and disposable cleaning gloves. Please visit our website at hhshelter.org to see the full list. Please drop off urgent items to Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way. 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 certainty. In the words of Utah Phillips, “If we all stick together, we’ll get what we need.” Thank you!