My name is Eric Lee and I am both a community advocate at Sierra Guest Home, our interim housing complex for seniors and those living with disabilities, and a new post-housing case manager at Brunswick Commons, where we help people formerly homeless maintain their housing and independence as needed.

One guest I’d like to share about is a woman who I’ll refer to as Janice. She is in her 50s and when she fell into homelessness, she turned to our shelter, Utah’s Place, for help. At Utah’s Place, Janice embraced case management and worked on her housing plan aggressively. It was clear to staff that Janice was highly motivated to move forward, and as such, we moved her to Sierra Guest Home about two months later where Janice had an opportunity to practice living independently again on a trial basis.

At Sierra Guest Home, I saw Janice nearly every day and watched her fall into a daily routine. She continued to look for permanent housing with the help of case managers and about three months into her stay at Sierra Guest Home, a major change in Janice occurred. As we help people of all abilities at Sierra Guest Home, Janice watched as partner agencies like Turning Point came in to help clients, such as with medication needs and medical care management. Seeing others receiving this type of care support triggered Janice into wanting to do the same. I remember her exclaiming, “I want to do that too!” and she made it happen.

She immediately began applying to local organizations who specialize in one-on-one treatment and care. In a matter of days, she landed multiple interviews and then secured full-time employment at Granite Wellness Centers, a partner agency.

In February of this past year, Janice moved into permanent housing with the help of Hospitality House. At first, she was very fearful of leaving but she did it. Today, Janice continues to help people at Granite Wellness Centers and continues to maintain her housing independently. She checks in frequently and I can tell you with confidence, she is happy.

At Hospitality House, our goal is to help as many people as possible return to housing and happiness. We are over the moon with Janice’s success but more people still need help. If you’d like to help others like Janice receive access to shelter, support services, case management and more, please consider a gift today. No gift is too small to create impact.

At this time, I’d also like to give a shoutout to all our volunteers who came out this past week to help in varying capacities. A big thank you to Hilary Dart and Kathy Perkins for grocery shopping for the shelter; to Bill Blount and George Dunstan who provided spiritual support at Sierra Guest Home; to the Ramblers for cooking up scrumptious sloppy joes and all the fixings for our guests; and to the Repeat Offenders who cooked up their famous ground beef marinara pasta and veggies for our guests, too. A special thanks also to our partners for providing ongoing food and/or financial support: SPD Markets, BriarPatch Food Co-op, Telestream, Interfaith Food Ministry, the Bishop Store (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nevada City) and Food Bank of Nevada County. To everyone who donated our most needed items last week, thank you as well! We are incredibly grateful to all of you who give your time, energy and compassion to those who need it most.

Now down to the shelter’s wish list of the week:

  • Twin-size sheet sets
  • New pillows (we are unable to accept used)
  • Men’s and women’s sweatpants (all sizes) and jeans (smaller sizes only for jeans)
  • Men’s and women’s t-shirts (all sizes)
  • New men’s and women’s underwear (we are only able to accept NEW – all sizes)
  • Bottled water

DONATION HOURS AND DROPOFF LOCATION: Donations from our needs list above and all unexpired/store-bought foods are accepted at Utah’s Place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30am – 3:30pm and Saturdays from 10am – 2pm. Our shelter is located at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945. 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!

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