My name is Sarah Kinney and I am a shelter and community advocate at Hospitality House, stationed at Utah’s Place, our homeless shelter. One of the biggest responsibilities of an advocate is meeting someone’s needs right on the spot. Advocates have routine encounters with people showing up at our doors in dire need. I personally enjoy providing immediate care and alleviating pain that people are going through. The smallest of help often makes the world of different, such as handing out a bag of food and providing a clean t-shirt. One person who I’ve enjoyed working with at the shelter is a man who I’ll refer to as Miguel.

Our team found Miguel on the streets living near downtown Grass Valley. We learned Miguel, like so many in the community, lost his job due to COVID-19 and was unable to keep up with his rent. He soon found himself without a home.

Miguel came to our shelter and received support from case management and advocates like me. One day I received a call from a local restaurant looking for able-bodied individuals who could work as dishwashers. Immediately, I thought of Miguel.

When he wasn’t job and apartment hunting, Miguel volunteered as a caretaker in our shelter and also helped cook in the kitchen, making hundreds of meals ever week. I knew he would do well in a kitchen setting and referred him.

Miguel interviewed with the owner and was given initially Friday and Saturday work. In time, his hours increased and he now works 30 hours a week. Miguel is currently saving up his money and is on several wait lists for apartments. If you have a room for rent or apartment that may be good fit for Miguel, please call us at 530- 271-7144.

Miguel may not be housed yet but we thank you for supporting our work to give Miguel and others the support needed to return to housing.

Save the date! Our next big event is Night of Giving, which returns Thursday, Dec. 15 at The Center for the Arts. After two years of virtual shows, this is the first in-person Night of Giving since 2019 and one you won’t want to miss! If you or your business might be interested in sponsoring Night of Giving, please email or call (530) 615-0852.

Right now I’d like to give a shoutout to our two volunteer food shoppers, Hilary Dart and Marna Duncan, for helping us with shopping needs each week. If you have an interest in volunteering, we have several opportunities available in our culinary department, including grocery shopping, cooking, food delivery and dish washing. Call us at (530) 615-0852 or email to learn about our opportunities. 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!

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the week:

  • Winter Clothing – Long-sleeve shirts for men and women; sweaters for men and women; weather-resistant coats/jackets only for men and women (sizes L, XL most needed); beanies for men and women; and men’s pants sizes 30-36 only. NO scarves; NO socks.
  • Twin-size blankets and towels
  • Hand/Feet warmers

NEW DONATION HOURS: To streamline our donation process, donations are no longer being accepted at our shelter (unless it’s food). Please drop off items from our needs list on Tuesday or Thursday, 830am – 5pm at our admin office, located at 488 Crown Point Circle, Suite 100, Grass Valley, Ca 95945 (admin is closed weekends and all major holidays). 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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