I’m Jennifer Thomas and I’m the ARGP Housing Specialist, my main priority is to help homeless individuals transition back into housing and I’m always looking for creative and permanent housing solutions.

Every week we like to share a story so our community can get a better understanding of the lives of our guests, their successes, and their hardships. Over the past month, we have had the opportunity to work with a client who I’ll call Johnny. Johnny has been a guest at the shelter since mid-2019. Johnny is highly intelligent and a man of many talents, including singing, acting and playing the piano. He graduated and obtained his bachelor’s degree at 24-years old, yet he struggled with addiction. This impacted his ability to function and keep up with employment, rent and his personal needs. While at the shelter, he has been connected to primary care, specialists, substance and mental health support. This month we helped him apply for Unemployment Benefits, which he received this week. Johnny also applies to multiple jobs per week and is eagerly waiting to hear back from prospect employers to begin working. He is ready to grow and live a full and meaningful life, which makes working with him a joy. It is really a pleasure to work with someone who is so diligently making positive changes in their life. Once Johnny can find a full-time job, we will then help him find a room rental in the community where he can continue to further his education, achieve self-sufficiency and integrate more into our community.

Great news! The Pet Program is open! On New Year’s Day we opened our doors to homeless pet owners and their pets. Both will receive shelter and services at Hospitality House without the need for pet separation in exchange for assistance such as food, licensing, veterinary care, spay and neuter, wellness checks, flea and tick treatment, rabies vaccinations, medications and even medical operations if needed. This ensures that homeless pet owners stay together with their loved one(s) at the shelter so they can benefit from the shelter’s programming and transition back into housing, which is our ultimate goal for all of our guests.

To commemorate the program, the Grass Valley Chamber & Visitors Center will host an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 12 p.m. at the shelter, Utah’s Place, located at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945. The entire community is invited to see the pet program first-hand, ask questions, and enjoy coffee and cookies made by homeless students in the Hospitality House Serves culinary cooking program

This past week, we were blessed by many caring individuals and I’d like to give a big thank you to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Nevada City United Methodist Church, Interfaith Food Ministry, Sierra Pines Methodist Church, Jazzercise, The Home Team and Repeat Offenders for coming out to cook. 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…

  • Gloves
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • White bread
  • Granola bars
  • Long johns, all sizes
  • Eyewash

Please drop off urgent items to Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way. For all other donations that may benefit a homeless guest or the shelter in general, please take them to the backdoor of Bread & Roses, our thrift shop, located at 840 E. Main Street, directly next door to Sierra Cinemas. Guests at our shelter are given shopping vouchers for the store to buy what they need, so your donation directly helps them. All other items are sold with 100% of the sales supporting the shelter’s operations.  If we all stick together, we’ll get what we need. Thank you!