I’m Jennifer Thomas, the Case Manager Supervisor; I work with both our homeless clients and our local landlords to facilitate mutually beneficial leases and cooperative relationships. This week I’d like to share a story in which both the gentleman who found housing and his current landlord awe me.

The gentleman who recently found housing is a five-generation native of Nevada County. As you can imagine, his love of this land and pride in our community both run deep. Let’s call him Nick. Nick is an impressive local historian with astounding survival skills. He has learning disabilities and was placed in special education classes and learned trade schooling but was not able to develop his literacy skills. He internalized his disabilities, although he is extremely talented in his skills, his low self-worth inhibited him developing a career path. He camped for decades, and as he says, “did the best to stay out of everyone’s way;” our Outreach team has been able to slowly build trust with him and assist him in re-integrating into the community. Coming off the mountain months ago and working with Hospitality House and our community partners has helped him overcome his barriers to safety and stability. Sheltering in place at Utah’s Place was quite the contrast to camping out, it was challenging, but he found his way, helping tend the garden, diligently completing his chores and volunteering to clean up the street, showing kindness to others suffering and any other help he could offer.

Due to a local professional landlord with a heart of gold, Nick recently moved into a home with a group of other gentlemen, all of them are on a fixed retirement income, yet together, they each live with dignity and comradery. We are so proud to be a part of Nick’s journey and empower the progress he has made to reach permanent housing! If anyone listening right now might have an interest in helping individuals by renting a room, studio, apartment or house, I invite you to call me today. Also, we encourage landlords that are curious about options such as accepting Housing Choice Vouchers or co-living programs to reach out as well. Please call me, Jennifer, directly for more information at 530.615.6454.

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 Dignity Health – Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital 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 Dignity Health – Sierra Memorial Nevada Hospital, Nevada City United Methodist Church, Interfaith Food Ministries, Saint Patrick’s Rookies, Jazzercise, The Home Team and Repeat Offenders 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, “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!

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