Weekly News: Nicole Lescher Shares Insights on Housing Obstacles the Homeless Face

November 30, 2018

As reported on KVMR, Nov. 30, 2018:

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

Housing Hurdles
My name is Nicole Lescher and as a case manager, I work with folks from all walks of life. I love sharing stories so today I wanted to tell you about Sarah. After her father passed years ago, Sarah went from housing to homelessness. Without anywhere to go, no income or rental history, Sarah turned to us as a last resort….That was two years ago.

Since then, Sarah’s been working and saving up her money to find a rental. She currently works three jobs saving for rent and a deposit. A few months ago, she began applying for rentals around town. It’s been exciting time for her and for us! In the excitement of getting her first rental, she bought items for her future apartment. Pink dish towels to hang on the oven; lavender soap for guests to use in the bathroom; new bedding for her own personal bed outside of the shelter…but all of these items now sit in a storage unit she’s paying for. Why is this? Because she keeps getting passed by during the rental process. As most people know, the rental climate in Nevada County is very competitive right now; there is a shortage of available housing and unfortunately, Sarah is competing with others who have long-time rental history.

Our community is well aware of the struggle people face finding housing, but I don’t know if everyone realizes how hard it is for people who are homeless to get into housing. Yesterday I met a man who is working with our case management team to rent two of the rooms in his home to people currently in our shelter. This man is our hero because he’s opening his doors to people in need. We feel privileged he wants to help us and it is our hope we’ll find even more people in the community who are in a position to do the same.

I tell ya, if I can get Sarah housed before Christmas, that would be the best Christmas present!  She deserves a home—everyone does. She’s certainly earned it and has the work ethic to sustain it. If anyone listening right now has a spare room they may want to rent, or a house or apartment, anything—go ahead and call us. In fact, call me directly! Ready for my number? 530-228-9127. I know as a community we can come together to get more people like Sarah into housing.

Giving Tuesday
On the subject of housing and needing a place to stay, earlier this week was Giving Tuesday and what a Giving Tuesday it was! We had a goal to sponsor all 69 beds in our shelter for $50 each, and you incredible people stepped up and sponsored every bed, and then some! In total, you gave us 82 bed sponsorships. Thank you to everyone who made this possible. And while Giving Tuesday may be over, bed sponsorships are always welcome and needed.

Bread & Roses
With the holidays upon us, if you need any gift ideas, stop by our thrift stop, Bread & Roses, and score 50% off everything this Saturday–that’s tomorrow! Don’t miss this one-day-only sale. The store is open from 12 to 6 p.m. for all your holiday needs.

Volunteers
I’d also like to take a moment to thank everyone who came and fed all 69 of our guests each night this past week. A big thank you to Telestream, St. Patrick’s Church, Mt. Stream Meditation, Peace Lutheran, our culinary students, First Baptist and Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains. Thank you ALL so much!

Night of Giving
As we look ahead, we anxiously await our annual Night of Giving on Dec. 22. If you’ve never been, it’s a night not to miss. People who sponsor our event like Chip Arenchild of InterWest Insurance Services, Inc. and our friends at Whitewater Naturopathic, and Caliber Collision are a large reason this event is made possible. This year over 45 local bands will perform at Miners Foundry in an effort to raise money for our shelter. Everyone performing and working is volunteering their time to help us. Tickets are on sale now for $20 on our website, hhshelter.org, or they can be purchased at the BriarPatch Coop and Bread & Roses Thrift Store.

Needs of the Week – 11/30/2018
And to everyone who dropped off needed items last week—thank you! Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, were down to the nitty gritty needs of the shelter for this week…

  • Men’s jeans, sizes 28 – 34 waist
  • Men’s t-shirts, sizes s – 2X
  • Men’s sweatpants, all sizes
  • Men’s work boots
  • Women’s jeans, sizes 8 – 14
  • Women’s sweatpants, all sizes
  • Women’s winter boots, sizes 8 – 11
  • Long Johns
  • Any rain gear
  • Warm gloves
  • Nail clippers
  • Small microwave-safe food containers with lids. These will go to any individuals who are unable to stay but are hungry.

Drop off your donations at Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way. And don’t forget—I’d still love to connect with any community member who may have an interest in becoming a landlord. As always, thank you all for sticking together so that we all get what we need.

 

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