My name is Geoff, and I’m the Shelter Operations Manager at Utah’s Place, our homeless shelter. I help make sure everything at Utah’s Place runs smoothly and continues to provide a safe and welcoming environment for Nevada County residents experiencing homelessness.

Today, I’d like to share a story about a senior woman, who I’ll refer to as Roberta. Roberta has been at our shelter for some time now with her little dog, Zucchini, who is a favorite in our Pet Program. Roberta has past substance usage and sales and is subsequently frequently passed by on apartment opportunities, despite her several years of sobriety and successful recovery treatment. She is deeply ashamed and regretful of her past, which has not only affected her housing options but her self-esteem.

Roberta was at the point of feeling like she would never have a home again for her and Zucchini, but I am happy to share we found a landlord who is compassionate and who understands her past will stay in the past and is giving her a second chance to live independently with Zucchini.

This month, Roberta will get the keys to her new home, thanks to community supporters like you who never stopped believing in her ability to move forward and overcome obstacles. And if you had a chance to give toward our May Match challenge for double the impact, we thank you. While donations are no longer being matched now, every gift continues to help change a life. Learn more about our shelter operations at

Save the date! Our next camp cleanup is right around the corner on Thursday, June 9. We’ve joined forces with the South Yuba River Citizens League, County of Nevada, Nevada County Waste Management, Grass Valley Police Department, Common Spirit Health (Dignity Health) and BriarPatch Food Co-op to offer a community-wide camp cleanup. We’ll clean and beautify abandoned homeless camps in the area as well as mitigate for fire, but we need your help to ensure the cleanup is a success. To register, please email or call us at 530-615-0852. Learn more about the camp cleanup at

Right now, I’d like to give a shoutout to our kitchen crew volunteers, who are finally back in the kitchen after a two-year hiatus. For this past week, we’d like to thank Telestream for cooking up their famous lasagna and garlic bread with all the fixings and Hilary Dart for helping us grocery shop week after week. We are actively looking for more folks who’d like to either form their own group to cook or individuals who would like to come in and lend a helping hand to Chef Brian. If you have an interest in learning more about these opportunities, please call us at (530) 615-0852 or email A big thank you also to our food partners, SPD Markets, BriarPatch Food Co-Op, IFM, the Bishop Store (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nevada City) and Nevada County Food Bank for donating food and produce on an ongoing basis.

We also want to thank all of our community members who have been giving financially in place of donating goods during construction at Utah’s Place. However, we do have a need for the following select items:

  • Tampons (not pads)
  • Depends / adult diapers
  • NEW Pillows (must be new)
  • Twin-sized bedding, including blankets, sheets, pillowcases, and quilts

To increase safety during construction, donations are no longer being accepted at our shelter. Please drop off your items Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm at our admin office, located at 488 Crown Point Circle, Suite 100, Grass Valley, Ca 95945 (the admin office is closed on all major holidays and weekends). 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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