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The Current

Hospitality House helps Bruins give back to the community

Madison Templeton, a senior and a volunteer at homeless shelters, is a hard working Bruin. Photo by Bella Ferrari

Hospitality House is a community effort to help homeless Nevada County residents get back on their feet. It provides emergency shelter and a sober environment for up to 54 men, women, and children who come daily to Utah’s Place, the facility located in Grass Valley.

The 2017 annual report, located on the Hospitality House website, presents some amazing and impressive statistics. Over the past year, Hospitality House has served over 38,000 meals and raised over 230,000 dollars for their cause.

Debbie McDonald, the Development Director of Hospitality House, explained how Bruins can help in the community effort.

Bear River students can help by running a toilet paper drive, a sock drive, or by gathering a team to volunteer once a week [or] month at our thrift store, Bread & Roses,” she said.

Bread & Roses always needs help to receive, sort, hang, clean, steam, stock, and sell all of their merchandise.

Utah’s Place has been up and running since 2005, fueled by the belief that all people, housed and unhoused, are deserving of compassion.

The program offers nourishing meals, medical services, a housing program, and life skills and job training classes. Hospitality House also encourages job hunting, apartment hunting, volunteerism, and personal integrity.

Junior Matthew Whiting said that he has volunteered to help out with the Hospitality House in the past.

“I helped prepare the meals for their dinner,” he said. “I volunteered through the LDS (Latter Day Saints) Church.”

Junior Lydia Fuller-Hall has volunteered there as well.

“I volunteered for Hospitality House through a program called Music in the Mountains, and it was absolutely wonderful,” she said. “I helped with hall monitoring, and I helped in the kitchen.”

The mission of Hospitality House is to bring homeless Nevada County residents into a circle of community that offers shelter, sustenance, medical care, advocacy, opportunity, dignity, and hope as they are assisted in the transition from homelessness to housing.

Bear River helps students serve their community through clubs such as Key Club, Interact Club, and Leo Club.

“[I volunteer] with the Key Club [in service projects] such as the River Clean Up, and for other organizations,” said Fuller-Hall. “I love the ability to help others who aren’t as fortunate as I am.”

“I have volunteered in road cleanups, from Highway 49 to Bear River, through Leo Club. I have been in the club for two years now,” said Junior AJ Derise. “Volunteering is nice for helping the community, and it looks good for college.”

Some Bruins said that they have volunteered on their own.

“I have helped the Battered Women’s Shelter in Grass Valley,” said Whiting. “I tore out an old carpet, and then I moved a bunch of things in their house. After I help, I enjoy seeing happy faces on people who are less fortunate than me.”

“I have volunteered at homeless shelters,” said Senior Madison Templeton. “We would go serve them food, talk to them, and get to know them. I really like volunteering, I wish I could do it more … It makes you feel good inside.”

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Hospitality House helps Bruins give back to the community