My name is Fred Skeen. I’m an RN case manager at Hospitality House. My job is to assist guests with qualifying for social services benefits, arranging medical care referrals, and eventually getting them into independent housing. We make every effort to guide our guests in their transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency and housing.

We are currently sheltering a gentleman who I will call Dominic. He is 62 years old and has been a lifelong resident of Nevada County. He worked for 30 years in a variety of jobs mostly up in the North San Juan Ridge area. He was living on his property until last September, when the Nevada County Code Enforcement agency red-tagged his property for lack of water, sewer and a collection of abandoned vehicles. This forced Dominic to come down into Grass Valley for medical and housing services.

Dominic had a worsening abdominal hernia as well as underlying chronic upper respiratory condition to the extent that he had to be hospitalized. In more recent months we have been able to offer wraparound case management services to help Dominic navigate through his complex specialty medical care needs that involved referrals to a primary care provider, cardiologist, pulmonologist, orthopedic consult and then to a long-awaited general surgeon consult to repair the hernia. I’m delighted to report that Dominic is now healed from his medical procedures and is well on his way to a full recovery.

Our focus now is in assisting him with a transitional housing plan option while he addresses the property issues up in North San Juan. He is in the process of negotiation for soils testing and having a well put in on the land the county had red-tagged last year. His dream is to be able to build his home on this land. We have also assisted Dominic in successfully applying for Social Security benefits.

We are currently looking for rental options for Dominic. Dominic needs and deserves a small space to rent and call his temporary home. He is agreeable to renting a room anywhere between the Grass Valley to North San Juan Ridge areas until he can return to his property. If you can offer Dominic a room to rent, please call me directly: Fred Skeen, RN, Case Manager at (530) 559-5411 or email me at

Right now, as many of you know, we are wrapping up our popular artist- and restaurant-driven benefit, Empty Bowl. If you are a current ticketholder, you have access to our Empty Bowl Art Extravaganza tomorrow night, which is an exclusive opportunity for ticketholders to come together to shop bowls, participate in an auction and raffle, listen to live music by Mark Vieaux and enjoy a no-host happy hour from 4-6 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church. If you are a ticketholder and have questions, just call (530) 615-0852 or email We look forward to seeing you there!

I’d like to thank our artist community for donating hundreds of artisan bowls to make the event possible. I’d also like to thank our eight host restaurants for donating meals to fill every bowl with sustenance. A special shoutout this week to Alexander’s Station Steakhouse, who is hosting Empty Bowl tonight only for a multi-course, fine dining experience. A big thank you also to and Whitewater Naturopathic Medicine for being return sponsors again this year.

And while I’m giving thanks, 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 and to Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains for cooking last Friday night for all of our guests. 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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