My name is Levi Bryant and I am the Data and Information Technology Manager at Hospitality House. I am primarily responsible for data management, tracking each and every individual served as well as the services the individual received from our agency, such as food, clothing, case management, shelter, transportation, etc. Having comprehensive data helps Hospitality House secure grants and contracts and helps us better understand the complexities of homelessness and patterns in homelessness.
When it comes to patterns in homelessness, one area I’d like to touch on is the importance of street outreach. Hospitality House has a robust street outreach team that works in a variety of capacities. In addition to having staff helping people on the streets and in camps get connected to shelter and services, we also have a partnership with the Grass Valley Police Department where one of our case managers responds to all homeless-related calls for service with Officer Brown. The duo also conducts street outreach to build stronger relationships between local law enforcement and the homeless community.
These types of programs are in place because our data showcases it’s an absolute need. As an example, our outreach program has served 666 unique homeless people on the streets in the last 8 months, ranging in age from just 2 years old all the way up to 88 years old. That’s 666 people found on the streets, with no home or shelter, and often no resources to turn their life around. To help build trust with these individuals and help them take steps toward housing, we have provided a whopping 5,237 services to them. Of all the services provided, the number one need of folks unsheltered was clothing, such as warm jackets and socks (886 clothing services total made up 17% of total services). I touch upon this specifically because we provide hundreds of services but for those without a home, their main need and desire is just having warm clothes to survive.
Second to clothing, those on the streets most often accept case management services (692 services total, making up 13% of total services). This tells us that not only are people trying to survive by staying warm, but many on the streets are actively accepting case management services, which are designed to help people return to housing. This is important to note because often the stigma associated with homelessness is that people choose to live on the streets, but our data shows that homeless Nevada County residents are accepting help and services to rebuild their lives.
Help with transportation and food are the next most requested areas of need, but our services extend well beyond that to include items such as shelter access, motel aid, rental assistance, crisis intervention and prevention, counseling, medical care, referrals for substance use disorder treatment, on top of helping people apply for numerous benefits they may qualify for, such as Housing Choice Vouchers, Medical, Social Security, and more.
Providing outreach services is a critical component of Hospitality House’s work. It’s most often the starting point of helping a person onto a path that leads to housing. It’s also critical during times of extreme weather. Trying to survive in the snow and in blizzard conditions is a deadly gamble, which is why during times like now, our teams work together with other agencies to get as many people off the streets as possible into temporary warming shelters and our own shelter, Utah’s Place. If you have a passion for helping people, Hospitality House is looking for an Outreach Case Manager, and we invite you to apply here.
At the end of the day, our goal is helping people back into permanent housing, and if you’d like to further these efforts, now is a great time to get involved. In celebration of International Women’s Day, Lauren Maddux, co-founder of The Event Helper, has generously offered to match all donations to Hospitality House up to $10,000 now through March 15. That means your donation of $50 becomes $100 and doubles our ability to shelter, feed, and support those working their way back to housing. To take advantage of this incredible opportunity to positively impact your community, donate on our website or Facebook page, call (530) 615-0852, or send a check to 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945.
As always, we remain grateful to everyone who furthers our cause. This week we’d like to say thank you to Larry Gruver for his help with the administrative department; Marna Duncan for her help grocery shopping; and to the Repeat Offenders who cooked up their ever-popular ground beef marinara pasta with veggies, salad and garlic bread. Delicious! If you’d like to volunteer, individually or with a group, we welcome you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 615-0852.
Now down to the shelter’s wish list of the week:
- Twin-size blankets
- Men’s and women’s sweatpants (all sizes)
- Men’s winter coats, jackets and hoodies (all sizes)
- Bottled water
- New pillows (we are unable to accept used)
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 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!