I’m Kelly, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Outreach Supervisor for Hospitality House and the Grass Valley Police Department (GVPD). My job is to implement the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) grant program with the purpose of supporting evidence-based violence reduction initiatives and implementing de-escalating strategies for segments of the population that are highest at risk of perpetrating or being victimized by violence. As such, I work daily side by side GVPD’s Officer Brown and together we respond to homeless-related calls for service but also proactively engage those unhoused on the streets to build trust, address mental health and substance use disorder, all in an effort to reduce calls for service and help individuals receive the treatment and support they need.

I want to share a story with you, a story about a client who I will call Steve who Officer Brown and I have been helping. Steve is a veteran in his late 70s, who I first met in his vehicle. He had been living in his vehicle for several years and had developed physical issues after sleeping upright in his vehicle for so long. He initially declined any kind of assistance but was open to having conversations with me and Officer Brown from GVPD. He had previously purchased a trailer which was parked in town, but it was stolen, and Steve was unable to track it down. After daily communication with him we were able to establish some rapport. As housing opportunities arose, we were able to offer him housing, but he was still not comfortable with the whole process of filling out any paperwork. In the meantime, we continued to visit him to build that trust. It took us approximately two weeks before he was comfortable filling out the housing paperwork. We received a donation of a trailer, and we were able to place it in a beautiful and peaceful location, working with our HOME partners. Steve now sleeps in a bed and in a comfortable position for the first time in years and is grateful not only to have a home, but friends he can continue to look upon for help and guidance at both Hospitality House and GVPD. To learn more about Hospitality House, please visit hhshelter.org.

If you haven’t heard, Empty Bowl is back this September with a safe new format. Instead of a large gathering, patrons will visit a select restaurant to try a specialty dish and will keep an artisan bowl forever too (generously donated by local artists). Help people on their journey back to housing and support local businesses too. To become a featured restaurant or to sign your business up as a branded sponsor, please contact Kindy McCullough at 530-575-2027 or kmccullough@hhshelter.org. Additional details about Empty Bowl can be found at hhshelter.org/empty-bowl.

Normally at this time, we thank all the cook groups who came and cooked over the last week, but to keep our shelter safe, our cooking groups are supporting our meals by donating financial support and food. Our newly on-board Chef Sandro and Chef Assistant Gina are safely cooking all meals instead. We’d like to thank Wolf Creek Commons Cohousing, Telestream, The Gourmet Squad, Meals by Heels, Peace Lutheran Grass Valley, CA, The Home Team, and First Baptist Church, SPD Markets and BriarPatch Food Co-op for all their 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…

And the needs of the shelter for this week are:

•PPE masks and gloves (please keep donating these)
•Blankets, twin size
•New pillows
•Bottled water
•Hand warmers
•Toilet paper
•Paper towels
•Men’s T-shirts
•Men and Women’s tank tops
•Men and Women’s shorts, all sizes
•Women’s underwear, sizes S, M, and L
•Women’s and Men’s lounge wear, light weight
•Women’s casual summer dresses
•Women’s tennis shoes, sizes 7-9
•Men’s tennis shoes, sizes 10-12
•Ensure/Boost drinks for a guest undergoing chemo and radiation treatments

Please drop off urgent items or mail them 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 uncertainty. In the words of Utah Phillips, “If we all stick together, we’ll get what we need.” Thank you!

All donations are being DOUBLED right now by local community members. $1 becomes $2! Give today>