Hospitality House is a year-round emergency homeless shelter for the general homeless community in Nevada County, and since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve shifted into a 24/7 operation, working in partnership with multiple agencies around town in a collective effort to help as many people as possible in crisis.

I’m Elida, and I’m the ARGP Shelter Case Manager at Hospitality House. 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. My main priority is to help homeless individuals transition back into housing, and I’m always looking for creative and permanent housing solutions.

I want to share a story with you, a story about a client of mine who I will call Harry. Harry is a 55-year old man who arrived at Hospitality House four months ago. I intensively managed Harry’s case, and worked with him to qualify for housing assistance through our ARPG program. Harry’s life has been a struggle. Since he was a child all he can remember is unhappiness within his family. His father was always yelling at his mother and yelling at his siblings. In addition, they were constantly beaten by his father. Harry received the worst of his father’s brutality because he was always trying to protect his siblings. Furthermore, Harry elaborated that growing up in such a dysfunctional household was very confusing. Harry’s family would go to church, and people seemed happy, but Harry was not happy because he was physically abused before church. At a very young age Harry knew that violence was not right. He remembers going to the hospital having to tell the doctors that his injuries were from falling off his bike. His dad had broken his arms and his nose, but in Harry’s words, “I could not tell the truth!” By the time he was in his early 20s, he was a basketball player, so he always tried to take care of his health. But then, he ended up tearing his knee in half during a college basketball game and ended up having to sit out the season and watch the games in the stands. He started drinking to cope and overindulging during college basketball games that he watched. His drinking led to drinking and driving under the influence and subsequent incarnation. Prison was very difficult for Harry but when he was released, he knew he would never ever drink again. In an unfortunate turn of events, in 2018, his only child and son was killed by a drunk driver. “That almost destroyed me,” said Harry. He is still hurting terribly today but continues to maintain his sobriety. He is now housed, and Harry stated that he is very happy that Hospitality House was able to help him gain permanent housing through our ARPG program as well as Social Security income to help get his life back on track. Harry continues working with the Department of Rehab to find employment. Additionally, he is working with counselors and other partnering agencies in town for his own continued self-healing.
Donors in the community ensure people like Harry get their second chance at life. If you’d like to help further our efforts for Harry and others in our care, right now is the opportune time to give. Through May 21, local donors are matching all gifts to Hospitality House, up to $25,000. This means a donation of $5 will automatically become $10 and can help provide meals to 10 homeless persons in need. Learn more about this incredible opportunity at hhshelter.org and give today.

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. Our newly on-board Chef Sandro and Chef Assistant Gina are safely cooking all meals instead. We’d like to thank Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Twin Cities Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, Mountain Stream Meditation Center, Kitchen KutUps, the Home Team, Repeat Offender, SPD Markets and BriarPatch Food Co-op for all their 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…

• PPE masks and gloves (please keep donating these)
• Blankets, twin size
• New Pillows
• Bottled water
• Toilet paper
• Paper towels
• Shampoo and Conditioner, full sizes
• Men’s and Women’s t-shirts
• Men’s and Women’s tank tops, all sizes
• Men’s and Women’s shorts, all sizes
• Men’s underwear briefs, sizes S, M, L
• Women’s underwear, sizes S, M, and L
• Women’s jeans, sizes 5-8
• Women’s casual summer dresses
• Women’s tennis shoes, sizes 7-9
• Men’s tennis shoes, sizes 10-12

Please drop off urgent items or mail them 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 uncertainty. In the words of Utah Phillips, “If we all stick together, we’ll get what we need.” Thank you!

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