Every week we like to share a story to bring one of our guest’s experiences to life for our community. This week has been especially challenging for all of us in Nevada County with concerns surrounding the Jones Fire and our guests are no exception. We have emergency evaluation plans in place but in addition to fire concerns, we’re still running our shelter 24/7 as all of our guests shelter in place. Before the pandemic, our Outreach Dorm used to welcome new guests in need each night, but because of health concerns around COVID-19, we’ve had to adjust our intake process to keep everyone safe. Instead of welcoming new guests each night, we quarantine one group of people at time in complete isolation to reduce the risk about illness. Once the isolation period is completed, guests are then moved upstairs to Onward Dorm. It just so happened that the isolation period ended this week, and the timing was very much needed with the fire, as we had several people seeking shelter from the smoke and extreme heat A woman, who I’ll refer to as Marybeth, came to our door this week overheated and near dehydration. On top of this, Marybeth has been through unspeakable trauma… We were able to provide her with shade, water, and cool rags on her neck. After her intake assessment, she ate ravenously and slept for twelve hours. When she woke up, Marybeth was able to receive clean clothes, a shower, and breakfast. We are now able to wrap case management support around here to support her in meeting her personal, medical and social needs. We will support her in creating an employment and housing plan and we will work beside her as she journeys to self-sufficiency.
 
Normally at this time we also thank all the cook groups who came and cooked over the last week, but to keep our shelter safe amid COVID-19, 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 Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains, Mount Saint Mary Academy, Unity in the Gold Country Spiritual Center, Seasoned with Love, Choppers, The Home Team and Abundant Life Community Church for all their recent 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…
 
• Earplugs
• New pillows
• New blankets
• Men’s pants, *only size 32-34
• Men’s gym shorts
• Men’s & Women’s shorts and tank tops
• Adult coloring books
• Colored pens and pencils
• Any crafts that can be done by one person
• Deodorant
• Hand sanitizer
• Body soap
• Shampoo and conditioner, regular sizes
• Bleach
• Bottled water
• Guitar picks
 
Anyone who has upgraded their personal assist devices, and have old ones just lying in their dresser drawer, please consider donating these gently used items:
 
• Diabetes test kits (Glucose meter & test strips)
• Hearing aids, any condition
• Eyeglasses, any kind
 
We will be delighted to have these items for repurposing to any shelter guests with those specific needs.
 
Please drop off urgent items 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 certainty. In the words of Utah Phillips, “If we all stick together, we’ll get what we need.”
Thank you!

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