I’m Jennifer Thomas and I’m the ARGP Housing Specialist. ARGP stands for Adult Re-Entry Grant Program, which, in the easiest of terms, means I help people with minor criminal offenses who are also struggling with homelessness.
This week I would like to share about someone I will call Johnathan. Johnathan was referred to me by his probation officer after serving his sentence. I met with him just two days after his release and he held back tears throughout our meeting. Listening to his voice shake, it seemed that the only thing harder than being in prison is getting out and feeling as if one has nothing and must recreate their life. His humility was matched by his gratitude and willingness to work in our program. I referred him to Alliance for Workforce Development at OneStop Business & Brighton Greens Resource Center. He went the next day and was able to create a professional resume to begin his job search with their assistance. He also became involved with Project H.E.A.R.T, an organization that provides a safe group of friends for those in recovery from life damaging issues and received a tremendous amount of support from them. Over the next couple of weeks, he had several job interviews. We began the housing hunt and looked at places around town.
He has now accepted a full-time job and moved into an apartment this past Sunday! Johnathan has never struggled with substance use nor did he have a history of criminal behavior. He made a regretful decision not to stop at a routine traffic. That mistake derailed his life, yet with the partnerships of Hospitality House, Alliance for Workforce Development and Project H.E.A.R.T, we were able to empower him to create a second chance for himself. This week we went to ReStart Ministries and he picked out furniture and set his apartment up with all he needs. It’s been a privilege to work together and witness Johnathan transform his life, although he is now well-employed and living in a lovely apartment, his humility and gratitude are just as evident as the day I met him.
Empty Bowl is next week, Saturday, March 14!
We sold out last year so get your tickets now! All sales and donations at the event will help people transition from homelessness to housing. You can purchase your tickets at hhshelter.org and BriarPatch Food Co-op. A big thank you to Northern California Mortgage Co. and MWA Architecture Engineering being sponsors this year.
This Sunday is also a big day for us. PLEASE give for International Women’s Day. Let’s Double our impact together! Donations to Hospitality House are being matched right now up to $7,500 through March 8 by caring community member and donor, Lauren Maddux, of The Event Helper, for International Women’s Day. Lauren is personally matching these donations because she believes in our organization and supports its female leadership. A $5 donation automatically will become $10! $10 means we can feed 10 people in crisis.
Donate online at hhshelter.org, or by mail at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Write “IWD” or “Women’s Day” in the check memo. Donations are being doubled today, tomorrow and Sunday only. Please help us meet this goal!
This past week, we were blessed by many caring individuals and I’d like to give a big thank you to Wolf Creek Co-Housing, Calvary Church, IFM Impastas, SPUMC, Jazzercise, The Home Team and Crossroads Church 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…
- Women’s jeans, sizes 8, 10, 12 and 14
- Women’s pajamas, all sizes
- Women’s tennis shoes and boots, sizes 9, 9 1/2 and 10
- Women’s and Men’s underwear, sizes small, medium and large
- Men’s jeans, sizes 34-38
- Men’s sweatshirts, size xl
- Men’s tennis shoes and boots, sizes 11-13
- Men’s belts, all sizes
- Hand sanitizer, big and personal sizes
- Shampoo and hair conditioner, full sizes
- Cough Drops
Please drop off urgent items to Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way. If we all stick together, we’ll all get what we need. Thank you!