As reported on KVMR, March 1:

Hospitality House is the only emergency homeless shelter in Nevada County, with 69 beds for homeless men, women and children.

I’m Rob Barker and I’m a Community Liaison at Hospitality House. Part of my job involves walking through homeless camps and the streets where I offer those in need support, such as food, blankets, and transportation to medical appointments or the grocery store. I do this to build trust so we can hopefully get more people connected to services and into housing. 

After building trust with one man on the street over the last couple of months, he referred me to a young woman who he thought needed help. When I approached her, she was sitting on the street corner, visibly distraught. For the sake of this story, I’ll call her Samantha, and when Samantha told me her name, I recognized it immediately. You see, I work closely with our entire team and community partners to identify and help as many people as possible, so while I hadn’t personally met Samantha, I already knew she was homeless and struggling with addiction. Samantha shared with me that was distressed because she had prearranged a visit with her child at nearby location, but simply had no means to get there, so I called Susanne on our team, who drives our homeless access transportation van, made possible by United Way of Nevada County and County of Nevada.

In short, when Susanne arrived, Samantha’s face immediately lit up. Come to find out, Samantha already knew Susanne from years past, unrelated to her homelessness, and immediately felt comfortable and reassured to travel with us. She began crying happy tears and said my being there was an act of God. She thanked us profusely, and I’m happy to share that Samantha was able to visit with her child as a result.  

This story is our first step to help Samantha. Now that we have gained her trust, she’ll be more inclined to accept our help in the future, which we hope will eventually lead to her sobriety and housing.

People like you listening right now make what we do possible and if you’d like to support us further, we warmly invite you to make a gift to those in need by going hhshelter.org right now. Another way to help others like Samantha is shop at our thrift store, Bread & Roses. 100% of every sale goes toward our effort to get more people connected to housing and services. And tomorrow we are giving you 50% off our entire store! Yes, you heard that right—50% off tomorrow, March 2 from 12-6pm! No exclusions! Shop for a great deal and support our homeless community in the process.

Another great way to help our homeless community is to join us for Empty Bowl on March 23. This event is a wonderful benefit for our shelter made possible by generous artists who donate handcrafted bowls and local chefs who fill those bowls with hearty soup. Tickets are $25 and include soup, bread, a bowl of your choosing to keep, and most of all, a chance to personally hear from the very people you’re supporting. We want to give a big thank you to SPD Markets for their loyal sponsorship every year to help make this event possible. Tickets can be purchased on our website at hhshelter.org, at BriarPatch Co-Op, and at Bread & Roses. And if you’re a local artist, we still need handmade bowls, and warmly welcome your involvement. Call our Empty Bowl team at 530-615-0852 if you can help.

On the subject of soup and bowls, I’d like to acknowledge our cook groups. Long hours and love go into every meal prepared and we’d like to personally thank the groups who helped feed our 69 hungry friends this week: Telestream, St. Patrick’s Church, John Biheimer’s group, Peace Lutheran Church, the Home Team, Seventh-Day Adventist Church and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. From all of us at Hospitality House, we thank you!

To everyone who dropped off needed items last week—we thank you as well! Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter for this week…

  • Men’s boxers, sizes M and L
  • Men’s Jeans, sizes 30/30, 32/34 and 34/34 – URGENT
  • Women’s pants, sizes 8 and 10
  • Men’s boots, sizes 9 – 12
  • Women’s boots, sizes 7- 10
  • Long Johns, sizes M, L and XL
  • Heavy large men’s coats
  • Rain Gear
  • Handwarmers
  • Gloves and blankets
  • Heavy sweaters

In an effort to streamline donations for those in need, we kindly ask that all donations now be dropped off at the backdoor of Bread & Roses, our thrift shop, located at 840 E Main Street, directly next door to Sierra Cinemas. Bread & Roses is equipped with a team of wonderful volunteers who sort every donation upon arrival—both for the store and for the shelter, including the shelter’s most urgent needs. When you arrive, simply tell the greeter where you’d like your donation allocated, but remember, a donation to Bread & Roses is also a donation in support of Hospitality House with every sale supporting those in need. And if we stick together, we’ll get what we need.