I’m Kelly Gallaugher, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Outreach Case Manager for Hospitality House. My job is to implement our California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) grant program in partnership with Grass Valley Police Department (GVPD), which began in Feb. 2021. The purpose of CalVIP is to support evidence-based violence reduction initiatives to the small segment of the population that are at highest risk of perpetrating or being victimized by violence.

Every day, I go out with Officer Brown of GVPD and we proactively engage our homeless population to see how we can best help. We connect with folks daily, offer them services, and we clean up camps and debris to mitigate for fire. Additionally, all homeless-related calls to GVPD for service are routed to Officer Brown and I for support.

Since we began the CalVIP program, there has been one woman in particular that we have been trying to help ongoingly, who I’ll refer to as Linda. Linda is in her 30s and severely mentally ill with cooccurring substance use disorder. Calls for service often come in reporting Linda walking around the Brunswick Basin barefoot and talking to herself. Two months ago, we found Linda unconscious on the side of the street. It appeared to be related to heat exhaustion and we feared she wasn’t going to make it. We called an ambulance and thankfully, she recovered in the hospital.

Officer Brown and I engage Linda at least once a week on the streets. She is incapable of sharing how she became homeless and if she has family; most of what she is able to share are delusions and it’s unclear how much of our engagement she remembers. In my 22-year-career as a social worker, Linda is one of the most severe cases I’ve seen.

This month, a small miracle happened. Linda was able to clearly ask for helping getting to the Nevada County Crisis Stabilization Unit (CCU), which is a welcoming place for people to go who are experiencing a mental health crisis. There you can stay up to 24 hours and receive psychiatric help. Linda trusted us enough to drive her there. Then last week, Linda took another step forward and stayed overnight in our Outreach Dorm at our shelter, Utah’s Place. It was only one night but these are big steps for Linda as she has been chronically homeless, mentally ill, and service-resistant for a number of years.

While I wish I could end this story update that Linda is now better and housed, the truth is, we have a long way to go but we appreciate people like you who stand by our efforts because we will never give up. We hope Linda can reach wellness and housing one day but it does take community support to get there. If you’d like to help further our efforts, please consider donating any amount today. Every dollar makes a difference.

Save the date! Night of Giving is back Thursday, Dec. 15 at The Center for the Arts. After two years of virtual shows, this is the first in-person Night of Giving since 2019 and one you won’t want to miss! Tickets are expected to go on sale Nov. 15. Visit hhshelter.org in early November to learn about special offerings, exclusive to Hospitality House supporters.

Right now I’d like to give a shoutout to our two volunteer food shoppers, Hilary Dart and Marna Duncan, for helping us with shopping needs each week. I’d also like to thank Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains for coming in to cook last Friday night and whipping up their homemade enchiladas and also Telestream who came in last Saturday and prepared their tasty lasagna. If you have an interest in volunteering, we have several opportunities available in our culinary department, including grocery shopping, cooking, food delivery and dish washing. Call us at (530) 615-0852 or email info@hhshelter.org to learn about our opportunities. 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!

Now down to the nitty gritty needs of the week:

  • Twin-size blankets
  • New pillows (we are unable to accept used)
  • Ponchos
  • Men’s shoes, sizes 10-14
  • Women’s shoes, sizes 8-10

NEW DONATION HOURS: To streamline our donation process, donations are no longer being accepted at our shelter (unless it’s food). Please drop off items from our needs list on Tuesday or Thursday, 830am – 5pm at our admin office, located at 488 Crown Point Circle, Suite 100, Grass Valley, Ca 95945 (admin is closed weekends and all major holidays). 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!

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