My name is Maylee Melo and I’m an outreach case manager for Hospitality House. That means that I go out into the community to connect with those who are living outside on the streets to services. I assist them with customized case management, housing vouchers and sometimes, being the only support system they have.One guest I’d like to share about is a man whom I’ll refer to as Kevin.
Kevin first arrived at our shelter last November after being referred by Alta California Regional Center. He had been living in his car before his arrival and with no family for support. At a young age, he was forced to live in the forest, isolated and deprived of basic needs such as water and food. He had suffered intense childhood trauma, leaving him with severe PTSD and with an undiagnosed autism spectrum disorder, he felt isolated to the point he couldn’t trust anyone.
At one point, he decided to make a life for himself and once he became of age, he left to serve in the Army, obtaining the position of Radio Equipment Repairer. He took joy in what he did and even turned to jujutsu as a hobby, but his symptoms began to hinder his ability to communicate and build a relationship with others. He was faced with bullying and a hostile environment, leaving him no choice but to follow orders and leave.
I began working with Kevin as soon as he arrived at the shelter in November, building his case management plan with the hopes of getting him housed and treated. He understood the goals we set for him, and he soon realized we understood him and his past. With each step forward toward his goals, his confidence grew.
“There’s light at the end of the tunnel,” I would say to him to keep him motivated.
As of May 2023, Kevin has been housed, more communicative than ever and contemplating revisiting jujutsu as a hobby again. As his case manager, I hope to continue providing him with the services needed to remain housed and self-sufficient.
Thanks to people like you, Hospitality House is able to remain committed to guests through all phases of their recovery and remain a constant source of hope and guidance for those working their way back to permanent housing. If you’d like to be a part of the magic of second chances like Kevin’s, please consider joining our Hearts & Hands Club where giving as little as $10 per month can add up to a big impact over the year. To learn more please go to: or call 530-615-0852.
At this time, I’d also like to thank all our volunteers who came out this past week to help in varying capacities. A special thanks also to our partners for providing ongoing food and/or financial support: SPD Markets @BriarPatch Food Co-op , @Telestream, @Interfaith Food Ministry, the Bishop Store (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nevada City) and Food Bank of Nevada County. To everyone who donated our most needed items last week, thank you as well! We are incredibly grateful to all of you who give your time, energy and compassion to those who need it most.
Now down to the shelter’s wish list for the week:
• NEW pillows (we are unable to accept used ones)
• Twin-size blankets (no other sizes, please)
• Towels
• Men’s and women’s summer clothing (No long sleeves or winter clothing, please)
• Toiletries-razors and toothbrushes
• Men’s and women’s athletic shoes
• Bottled water
DONATION HOURS AND DROPOFF LOCATION: Donations from our needs list above and all unexpired/store-bought foods are accepted at Utah’s Place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30am – 3:30pm and Saturdays from 10am – 2pm. Our shelter is located at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945. 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!

What will your legacy inspire? Find out how you can create lasting impact today>