Back to: News
May 5, 2011
Follow News

Hospitality House wants community involved, invested in Utah's Place


Hospitality House has yet to find a new location to build "Utah's Place," its new shelter for the homeless.

But that's not stopping the nonprofit organization from forging ahead with plans to fund it once the new site is found.

On May 14, Hospitality House is slated to host its "Build A Shelter Day" at the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Grass Valley, with hopes of building on the $1 million state grant the program has already received.

The fact that the grant remains available for Hospitality House, after plans for a Golden Gate Terrace location were nixed April 21, is a positive development, Maple says.

"We still have the $1 million to buy a building and that's the big piece for all of this," Maple said of the grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

"When we lost the building, we wondered whether we'd lose the grant. We didn't. And that's great news."

Last month, Golden Gate Terrace property owners turned down a request to amend a covenant, conditions and restriction - or CC&R - document restricting the light-industrial-zoned properties to be used for residential purposes.

That will mean Hospitality House will head into its Build A Shelter Day program without knowing where it plans to build a shelter. But, Maple said, now that it's clear that the funding remains available, Hospitality House appears to have more site options available, along with additional time to evaluate them.

"I know it's going to sound funny, but the only thing that's changed is we don't have a building," she said. "Basically, it's the only thing that's changed right now.

"We're being proactive and we've actually got some really good prospects lined up. And one of those will work for us."

Maple would not reveal the location of the prospective sites, as some of the buildings are currently not listed for sale, she said.

But, she added, the list does include even larger facilities than originally planned, which could help provide respite car bedding for people recently released from the hospital who need continued bed rest.

Hospitality House, a nonprofit organization that currently provides shelter through a rotation of cooperating community churches, is looking for a building from 5,000 to 7,000 square feet to convert to a 54-plus bed shelter.

If the building selected is in good condition, Maple said, expected costs to renovate will be in the $600,000 to $800,000 range. The costs, she said, are projected based on ADA, health, safety and fire requirements and square footage of the building.

"We know the costs are going to be around the same, as long as the building doesn't need things like a new roof," she said. "The (Nevada County) Contractors Association has been so supportive."

To meet those costs, Hospitality House hopes the community will come together on Build A Shelter Day to show its support and make the shelter a reality.

Maple encourages businesses, community organizations and groups to participate by putting together their own fundraising drive. Whether it's a car wash, a pancake breakfast or a percentage of sales at a business, the idea is to work together throughout the community toward the goal of giving homeless people a permanent place to go.

Organizations participating will receive four Build A Shelter Day T-shirts, with the option to buy more, she said.

"It's a grassroots effort, really trying to get the community involved in a big way," Maple said. "We want everybody involved and invested in the shelter."

To that end, Hospitality House is offering naming rights to nearly everything imaginable inside the new Utah's Place. For a donation, naming rights can be obtained for beds, rooms, lockers and even microwaves.

"We wanted to create enough opportunities for people that they can participate at whatever level they can afford," she said, noting donations can also be made through volunteer labor and materials.

Folks on hand at the Holiday Inn Express will get the chance to bid on silent auction items, as well as enjoy live music and carnival games.

The top silent auction item is an autographed guitar from the band Daughtry, for which Maple's brother, Josh Paul, a Nevada Union High School grad, plays bass.

The carnival will be complete with a dunk tank manned by community leaders like The Union Publisher Jeff Ackerman, while regular updates will be announced on other Build A Shelter Day fundraising efforts around town through a dedicated phone line.

Visit www.Hospitality HouseShelter.org for more information on Hospitality House or Build A Shelter Day.

To contact City Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail bhamilton@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4249.


Stories you may be interested in

The Union Updated May 6, 2011 12:10AM Published May 5, 2011 10:59PM Copyright 2011 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.