My name is Sarah Kinney, and I am a Shelter & Community Case Manager for Hospitality House. My role is to work with shelter guests to create customized plans to get them back into permanent housing. There are many steps on the way to that goal, including securing income through a new job or government assistance, ensuring they have access to medical care, therapy or recovery resources, and applying for affordable housing options, to name a few. Each step prepares the guests to be more housing-ready and contributes to long-term success once permanently housed. One guest who was incredibly successful through this process, is someone who I’ll refer to as Zoey.

As a young twenty-something, Zoey has already developed grit and a survivor’s spirit. She’s endured horrible domestic abuse which led her to homelessness in the first place. However, Zoey is determined to succeed and not let her past traumas define her. When she first arrived at Hospitality House’s emergency homeless shelter, fleeing her abuser, Zoey was in need of a safe haven, compassion and hope. She found all three, and the healing that occurred as a result is nothing short of inspiring.

While it takes most guests some time to regain the confidence and motivation to get back on their feet, Zoey was driven to make use of this chance at a new start in life. She had secured a new job within a few short days of staying at the shelter, and within a month had launched her own construction business, with two new clients under contract. Zoey’s heart lies with helping others, which became abundantly evident as she spent her free time between her two jobs helping other guests gain employment and inspiring them to dream bigger and be their own best advocate.

Within two months of stepping foot on the threshold of the shelter, Zoey had moved into her new home, a room which she rents from a family who welcomes her dog to play freely with their own. She will continue to receive case management support and the family she has built at the shelter will remain her biggest fans, cheering her on at every new achievement. If you’d like to help people like Zoey get their lives back, please consider donating today. Thanks to the generosity of two very special donors, your gift of $50 today will be doubled to help twice as many men, women and children who are without homes. Please consider taking advantage of our May Match Challenge where all donations will be matched up to $30,000. It truly does take a village to care for each other.

On that note, our camp cleanup with Bear Yuba Land Trust was a great success yesterday with many partners working together toward one goal. Many thanks to the following groups for all their hard work and team spirit: Bear Yuba Land Trust, Hospitality House Homeless shelter guests, The Union, Yuba Harm Reduction Collective, South Yuba River Citizens League, FREED for Independent learning, Community Beyond Violence, BriarPatch Food Co-op, Nevada County Code Compliance, Nevada County Waste Management, Tour of Nevada City Bike Shop, Nevada County Enhanced Care Management, Twin Cities Church, Universalist Unitarian of the Mountains, and generous volunteers from the community.

Also a special thank you to Hospitality House’s amazing volunteers who were invaluable this week: Hilary Dart and Kathy Perkins helped by grocery shopping for the shelter. Bill Blount and George Dunstan provided spiritual support at Sierra Guest Home. 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! We are incredibly grateful to all of you who give your time, energy and compassion to those who need it most.

Now down to the shelter’s wish list of the week:

  • Twin-size blankets
  • New pillows (we are unable to accept used)
  • Men’s and women’s sweatpants (all sizes) and jeans (smaller sizes only for jeans)
  • Men’s and women’s winter coats, jackets and hoodies (all sizes)
  • Bottled water

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 at 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!

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