I’m Brook, ESG Outreach Supervisor at Hospitality House. I assist individuals and families quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness. I also help homeless individuals find the needed medical and financial resources to help them get back on their feet and into housing.

This week, I’d like to share a story about a man I’ll call Frank.

Frank had been homeless since 2017. In addition to being homeless, Frank is also living with cancer. When we first met him, Frank refused services. He’d lost the will to live. Yet the outreach staff persisted and spent years offering Frank rides, clothing, food, and water to build rapport with the goal of convincing him to engage in our services. Then, last week, after over three years of trying, we had a breakthrough. Frank was finally ready to accept our help!

Within a week of Frank calling us, we were able to schedule an appointment with a primary care doctor at Chapa-De Indian Health, set up his insurance with Medi-Cal, and submit his SSI application. We will continue to help Frank with transportation to and from his appointments, aid in his medical care, and help him secure reliable income and permanent housing. We are so happy to see Frank investing in his future and embracing his self-worth.

In addition to helping Frank this last week, I participated in Hospitality House’s efforts to help those experiencing homelessness during and because of the snowstorm. Hospitality House partnered with County of Nevada, Sierra Roots, volunteers, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, and 211 to bring individuals out of the storm and into warming shelters. Furthermore, outreach workers were able to go into the field and ensure that every person in need had ponchos, jackets, hats, hand and foot warmers, and dry socks—a big thank you to our donors who stepped forward with many of these needed items. A true community effort to help those most vulnerable to injury during the storm.

Normally at this time, we thank all the cook groups who came and cooked over the last week, but to keep our shelter safe, our cooking groups are supporting our meals by donating financial support and food, and Chef Gina is safely cooking all meals instead. We’d like to thank Repeat Offenders, Alta Sierra Latter Day Saints, Twin Cities Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, Mountain Stream Meditation Center, Jazzercise, Abundant Life Church, BriarPatch Food Co-Op, and SPD Markets for all their recent help. To everyone who donated our most needed items last week, thank you as well!

Due to increased COVID-19 cases and a construction project at Utah’s Place, donations of goods are temporarily suspended to protect the people we serve and the greater community. Thanks to the members of our community who gave so generously during the holidays, we are able to enter this pause in donations with well-stocked shelves. In place of donations of goods, we encourage those who are still interested in giving to consider making a financial contribution at hhshelter.org/donate. 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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