My name is Fred Skeen. I’m a case manager at Hospitality House. My job is to assist guests with qualifying for social services benefits, arranging medical care referrals, and eventually getting them into independent housing. We make every effort to guide our guests in their transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency and housing.

I want to share with you all a quick story regarding one of our shelter guests, that I will call Jacob. Jacob is a 59-year old gentleman with a complicated medical history, a history of addiction issues, as well as significant mental health issues. I have known Jacob for many years. Jacob has been predominantly a homeless person on the street. He has had three episodes of being housed in the past two years, but these episodes usually devolve due to mental health issues. There are several agencies working in concert to assist Jacob. Nevada County Behavioral Health, AMI Housing, the HOME team, and case managers at Hospitality House. Jacob had a recent stay at our local hospital for severe upper respiratory issues and was referred to Hospitality House into our Recuperative Care Program. This program allows Jacob to be indoors all day to get rest as he is now on oxygen therapy due to his severe COPD. We are now looking for a suitable ground level room to rent in the Grass Valley area. If anyone listening knows of a local one room rental, please call me Fred directly at 530-559-5411.

While it’s only October, we are already gearing up for our 15th annual Night of Giving, so save the date for Saturday, Dec. 19! Night of Giving returns this year as a virtual evening of musical entertainment and merriment to raise awareness and support for our homeless community and right now we’re looking for local businesses who’d like to help sponsor the event. Please contact our development team at 530-615-0852 or by email at info@hhshelter.org to get involved. Thank you to Telestream for signing on to be a sponsor this year. We appreciate you!
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 Unitarian Universalist of the Mountains, Mt. St. Mary Academy, Seasoned with Love, Unity in the Gold, Choppers, The Home Team and Seventh Day Adventist Church 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…

• PPE masks and gloves, (please keep donating these)
• Hand sanitizer
• Towels
• Women’s and Men’s *new underwear
• *New pillows
• Blankets, twin size
• Watercolor paper and small palettes
• Sweatshirts and hoodies
• Poligrip and Polident
• Men’s shoes size 10 and up
• Bottled water
• Guitar picks and guitar strings
• Blood pressure device (all in one unit or a separate B/P cuff & stethoscope pair)
• Diabetes test kits (Glucose meter & test strips)

Please drop off urgent items 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!