My name is Fred Skeen, and I’m a case manager at Hospitality House. My job is to assist guests with qualifying for social services benefits, medical care referrals, and eventually, housing. We want 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, that I will call John. John is a 59-year old gentleman with a complicated history of addiction issues, family rejection, and some prison time. Earlier this year, John had been living with extended family nearby. However, personalities clashed, and he ultimately became homeless about five months ago. We were able to bring John into the shelter and offer him wraparound case management services that included some of the following: medical case management, referrals to appropriate medical providers, Social Security benefits review, psychological counseling, and as well as…. healthier balanced meals. The dietary improvement was really important as John has insulin-dependent diabetes. John had not been managing his condition very well before sheltering. Over a brief period of time, we were able to help him focus on his condition, and John was able to develop better health habits that significantly improved his overall condition. His five months stay at Hospitality House has just come to an end as John just obtained housing. He reunited with family members, and he and his brother just purchased a mobile home locally that they will share. It has become a great success story of recovery, health, and then housing.

And on the subject of housing, we are seeking an ADA qualified home rental option for another guest who uses a wheelchair. If anyone listening knows of a suitable bedroom rental option that might accommodate a person who uses a wheelchair, please call me, Fred, directly at (530) 559-5411.
This month, Hospitality House’s Volunteer Spotlight goes to Kathy Dotson! For the last several years, Kathy has been gifting her graphic design talents to Hospitality House in a variety of capacities, but she’s most known for her beautiful posters and flyers that bring awareness and support to Hospitality House events, such as Night of Giving and Empty Bowl. Thank you, Kathy!

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 of the Mountains, Divine Light Spiritist, Unity in the Gold, Seasoned with Love, Peace Lutheran Church, The Home Team and Seventh Day Adventist 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…

• New pillows
• New blankets
• Adult coloring books
• Colored pens and pencils
• Any crafts that can be done by one person
• Deodorant
• Hand sanitizer
• Poligrip and Polident
• Body soap
• Shampoo and conditioner, regular sizes
• Bleach
• Bottled water
• Guitar picks
• Diabetes test kits (Glucose meter & test strips)

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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