My name is Celeste LaPedus, and I’m an Outreach Case Manager at Hospitality House. I specialize in building rapport with individuals experiencing homelessness and encouraging them to engage in case management services.

This week I’d like to share a story with you about a man who I’ll refer to as Jerry. Jerry has struggled with severe alcoholism for years and has been intermittently homeless as a result. I met Jerry on the street and encouraged services at our shelter, which he accepted.

Up until recently, he was doing exceptionally well in our shelter and made it a year clean and sober. He was following through with his case management plan and he even became a caretaker of the shelter, and was on the road to recovery. Everyone at Hospitality House was happy and rooting for Jerry.

Unfortunately, overcoming addiction isn’t easy; it can take time with many bumps along the way. In Jerry’s case, he relapsed four months ago, left the shelter and went on a major drinking binge. His drinking led to multiple street fights and hospitalizations from related injuries.

In short, Jerry hit rock bottom again.

I have been working with him daily just talking and building rapport and two weeks ago he told me he was ready for help again because he’s afraid he is going to die on the streets. We were able to place him in a motel where he is maintaining his sobriety and following his case plans again. He also has a new primary care physician, and we are working closely with our friends at FREED for housing solutions.

While Jerry still has a long way to go in his recovery, we will always be here for him and will never give up because sobriety is possible. If you are reading this and stand by our efforts to help people reach recovery, please consider a donation today. Any and all amounts make a difference in one’s livelihood.

Another way to help is to partake in our annual artist and restaurant-driven benefit, Empty Bowl. Tickets are on sale now and are subject to sellout. Visit our website at or to secure your tickets before they’re gone. I’d like to thank our artist community for donating hundreds of artisan bowls to make the event possible—a few returning artists include Chic Lotz, Dik Hotchkiss and Karl Miller, among many more. I’d also like to thank our eight host restaurants for donating meals to fill every bowl with sustenance. A special shoutout this week to Three Forks Bakery and Brewing Co. and Tofanelli’s Gold Country Bistro, two of our featured restaurants. A big thank you also to Nevada County Association of Realtors and SPD Markets for being return sponsors again this year.

And while I’m giving thanks, I’d like to touch briefly on our volunteers. A big thank you to our volunteer food shopper, Hilary Dart, for helping us with shopping needs every Tuesday and thank the Repeat Offenders, who cooked and served ground beef marinara pasta, vegetables, salad, garlic bread and dessert for all our guests last night. 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:

  • Men’s shorts, t-shirts and underwear (underwear must be new)
  • Depends / adult diapers
  • Bottled water
  • Towels

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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