My name is Nicole Woodruff. I’m the mental health case manager at Hospitality House. My job is to assist guests who have mental illnesses with getting treatment and counseling. I as well help our guests with qualifying for social services benefits and eventually getting them into independent housing. At Hospitality House, we make every effort to guide our guests in their transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency and housing.

I want to share with you all a quick story regarding one of our shelter guests, who I will call Max. Max has a minor criminal record and has also struggled with substance use. He’s successfully completed drug rehabilitation and has recovered and is now with us at the Hospitality House. I am one of Max’s case managers and have been driving him to see rentals, helping him make doctor’s appointments, and advising him on services. Max has some severe health issues and has to walk with a cane. Hospitality House has helped Max get to all of his doctor’s appointments, get on disability, receive CalFresh, and get a housing choice voucher to help him afford to rent on his own. Max is a survivor and is doing everything he can to clear up some of his barriers to finding housing. He is currently working hard at paying off debt to fix his credit score and just started medication to help him quit smoking. Both of these things will make him a better candidate for a rental. He tirelessly looks for housing daily and continues to call and meet up with landlords, always properly introducing himself and bringing his application and the fee ready to go. He attends Project Heart weekly, a recovery support group, to continue his growth and confide in other peers. We are proud of all the hard work he puts forth and impressed with how he invests in himself. If you know of any open housing and would like to meet with him, please call me, Nicole at 916-436-6781.

Tune in tomorrow for the 15th annual Night of Giving, a virtual evening of musical entertainment and merriment to raise awareness and support for our homeless community. Tune in from home from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at hhshelter.org, Facebook or Public Access Television: Comcast Channel 11 or Suddenlink Channel 16. Thank you, Coldwell Banker, Caseywood and MWA, for sponsoring this year’s event. We appreciate you! For event details and how to watch, please see our website at hhshelter.org.

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 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 Alta Sierra Latter Day Church, Twin Cities Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, Mountain Stream Meditation Center, Choppers, The Home Team, and Abundant Life Community Church 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)
• *New pillows
• Blankets, twin size
• Bottled water
• Ibuprofen
• Hand sanitizer
• Nail care
• Alka seltzer
• Towels
• Toilet paper
• Personal Wipes
• Poligrip and Polident
• Razors
• Triple antibiotic ointment
• Travel bags
• Hand and foot warmers
• Cough drops
• Foot care products for athlete’s foot
• Brushes and combs
• Men and Women sweatpants, sizes M, L, XL and 2XL

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!

Don't miss our virtual shelter tour on Sunday, Jan. 31!