I’m Danna and I’m the Outreach Case Manager for Hospitality House, setting goals with clients out on the streets and in the forest to help them find safe shelter to transition from homelessness to housing.

I began working with a guest at the beginning of the year who has been through many unfortunate events that have contributed to his current state of homelessness. This guest, who I’ll refer to as Mike, originally reached out to me to be considered for shelter at Hospitality House, in hopes of receiving shelter not only for himself, but his pet. Having been homeless for over three years, Mike was in great need of a support system and case management services, and with the opening of our new pet program on January 1, we were able to bring him and his pet indoors for the first time. Mike is in his 60s and suffers from several serious medical conditions as well as several physical disabilities that make everyday life difficult and limits his ability to find employment and stable housing. He lost his home due to the housing crisis and could not keep up his business due to this and the severity of his medical conditions. As one of the medical case managers at the shelter, I personally assisted him when applying for Medi-cal and I have been prioritizing the acquisition of medical referrals to address his current issues. He had been sheltering with us for about three months in our Outreach Dorm before the COVID-19 outbreak, but was already considered highly vulnerable. Due to his vulnerability, he was one of the first on our list to be housed in a hotel so that his chance of exposure could be lessened dramatically. While there, he continues to receive meals, supplies, and medical case managing by myself and other staff members. It is my hope that as our world is upended by COVID-19, that we will increase medical progress while continuing to explore permanent housing options that would meet Mike’s needs and allow him a sense of stability.

As we touch upon COVID-19, if you haven’t heard, Hospitality House staff implemented its emergency action plan last month for pandemic flu prevention to lessen the likelihood of illness. Staff continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak, along with safety measures and best practices set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Service.

Hospitality House is now operating its emergency shelter and programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week at four locations: Utah’s Place and three motels with the likelihood of taking increased safety measures in the coming days. Individuals are receiving onsite supervision, case management, hygiene necessities, food, and a place to stay throughout the day and evening. Hospitality House has become an around the clock operation. The Homeless Outreach and Medical Engagement team aka HOME, a collaborative partnership between Hospitality House, Nevada County of Nevada Behavioral Health, Turning Point Community Programs and AMI Housing, is helping with food delivery to motels as well as Hospitality House’s Homeless Access Transportation (HAT) van, a service made possible by County of Nevada, CA and United Way of Nevada County. To learn more about our safety protocols around COVID-19 and ways to have an immediate impact in your community today, visit hhshelter.org.

Normally at this time we 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 Telestream, Saint Patricks Church, Sidekicks, Twin Cities Church, Meals by Heals, Choppers, Seasoned with Love and Crossroads Christian Church for all their recent help. A big thank you also the Oaks Clubhouse in Lake Wildwood for helping us provide meals on weekends too. 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…

• Tylenol (not ibuprofen)
• Gloves
• Sanitizer
• Mask
• Adult coloring books
• Colored pens and pencils
• Any crafts that can be done by one person
• Deodorant
• Bleach
• Hand sanitizer soap
• Shampoo

In addition to these urgently needed items, we are also actively collecting needed items to slow the spread of COVID-19. A few of these items include n95 masks, hand sanitizer Airborn, disinfectant soap, disinfectant wipes, and disposable cleaning gloves. Please visit our website at hhshelter.org to see the full list. Please drop off urgent items to Utah’s Place, located in Brunswick Basin, past the DMV, at 1262 Sutton Way. 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. If we all stick together, we’ll all get what we need. Thank you!

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