We at Hospitality House want to express our gratitude to this strong connected community, our firefighters, first responders and all of our neighbors who are showing up for each other every day. We continue to navigate the changing times of COVID realities and fire season, and we are so grateful the strong partnerships that make Nevada County home to us all.
I am Jennifer Thomas, a case manager and supervisor at Hospitality House and each week I like to share a story of a guest’s journey from their personal rock bottom to coming into our community of caring to overcome the barriers that prevent them from securing housing. We do our best to meet people where they are at, help them identify their greatest challenges, and link them to community resources. We provide the basic needs, but we also listen to their story, like Jamie.
Jamie is a woman who has never felt safe in her home. When I began working with her a year ago, I asked her to envision and describe a beautiful safe home to help me understand what she was hoping for. She answered, “I don’t know. I can’t imagine it. I’ve never in my life lived in a safe home.” It felt like a punch to the gut to realize I could never know the depth of trauma she had lived through, but I can be there for her and support her on her journey, and that’s what we do at Hospitality House.
Jamie and I worked together on her housing plan and this past week she secured a new apartment, but she needed some furnishings. Luckily, our good friends at Re-start Ministries in Auburn were there for us. Restart is a nonprofit that helps locals in need receive home furnishing at no cost. Wayne Worden, who runs Restart, may look like the tough Vietnam Vet that he is, but the sparkle in his eyes and kindness that he shows everyone reveals the joy he shares in what he does. I show up there often with many different people. We tell them to make a wish list, anything and everything you need and want to make your new place home.
This week I went with Jamie, and Wayne and I both enjoyed watching Jamie and seeing the gratitude on her face. She selected décor, kitchen supplies, towels and goods that we delivered to her home just yesterday. She is now in a safe beautiful home—one she couldn’t have even dreamed of last year.
We’d like to thank Wayne at Restart for always being there for our guests and helping each guest make their new house a home. Wayne has been fortunate to receive many donated home goods from our community, but right now what he really needs is volunteers. His favorite helpers are some of our guests who volunteer; he is grateful for the help with the heavy lifting and they are grateful for the hope and opportunity to serve, but Wayne could use more help. If you’re listening right now and don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty now and again, please call Wayne Worden to learn more about volunteering at 530-906-1020.
As we continue to help folks in our community together, we’d like to invite you to help further our efforts with our Fund the Freezer campaign. Our goal is to provide more meals to people housing insecure and hungry, but we need a larger freezer to do this. Please visit hhshelter.org to learn about the Fund the Freezer campaign. Every dollar counts!
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 Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Nevada City United Methodist Church, Interfaith Food Ministry, United Methodist Church of Sierra Pines, Kitchen Kutups, 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…
• New pillows
• New blankets
• Adult coloring books
• Colored pens and pencils
• Any crafts that can be done by one person
• Hand sanitizer
• Poligrip and Polident
• Body soap
• Shampoo and conditioner, regular sizes
• Bottled water
• Guitar picks
• 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 certainty. In the words of Utah Phillips, “If we all stick together, we’ll get what we need.”