I’m Chase Smiley, shelter manager at Hospitality House. I work specifically with homeless victims of crime which is a common occurrence for a lot of our homeless population.

I would like to share a story about a guest who I’ll refer to as John. John first came to us in the middle of September. He had a very disheveled appearance and a cast on his right hand. It was clear he was down on his luck and out of sorts. Over the next week John came to the shelter to receive food and water. Eventually he got a bed in our Outreach Dorm and stayed at the shelter. At first John had a very difficult time staying in the shelter with other guests. He would often get upset and was overwhelmed easily and ended up leaving, but a week later he returned to the shelter and was welcomed back with open arms. John was working through a lot of helpless and depressive feelings; however, day by day we could see the steady improvement in John’s behaviors, positively engaging with staff and other guests more often, taking more pride in his appearance, and a willingness to work with case management. John has really enjoyed being a part of our community and thriving in our positive culture. He is actively searching for permanent housing with the support of case management and hopes to be housed soon. It has been a pleasure to watch John make positive changes in his life here at the shelter and find a renewed sense of hope. We are so grateful for all the support we receive here at Hospitality House from donors, volunteers and from our community partners. If anyone has a home or room, they may want to rent, please call me, Chase at 530-615-6006. There is no obligation to rent to anyone when you call. We just appreciate you calling to learn more about how we work together with landlords.

We are a month away 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. Thank you to BriarPatch Food CoOp for signing on to be a sponsor again 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 Alta Sierra Latter-Day Church, Twin Cities Church, Unity in the Gold Country, Season with Love, Choppers, The Home Team and Abundant Life 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
• *New pillows
• Blankets, twin size
• Poligrip and Polident
• Triple antibiotic ointment
• Bottled water
• Razors
• Travel bags
• Women’s hair ties and brushes
• Men’s and Women’s sweatshirts, hoodies, and jackets
• Men’s and Women’s long sleeves
• Men’s and Women’s *new underwear
• Men’s and Women’s shoes
• Men’s pants

Please mail or 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, “We all need the best in each other. And if we can find it. And if we can give it. The rest will soon follow. If we all stick together, we’ll get what we need.” Thank you!