Hospitality House gets a boost from county funds | TheUnion.com

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Hospitality House gets a boost from county funds

Accustomed to living year-to-year on donations, the Hospitality House traveling homeless shelter will receive a $9,900 grant from the county this year to cover the costs of one of its most valued staffers.

County supervisors this week approved a temporary one-year contract with Hospitality House to assist in partially funding the shelter’s case manager, Terri Fransen.

The funding will allow Fransen to expand her part-time position from seasonal to year-round, covering the period when Hospitality House operates as a drop-in center during the summer.

The highly competitive grant comes from a county community initiative fund available to nonprofits, shelter director Cindy Maple said.

Fransen, 61, a former county social worker who recently started her second season with the shelter, helps homeless people get back on their feet.

“It feeds me,” Fransen said. “Every day, I get to see cool, miracle things go on.”

“It’s a part-time job, and she’s busy every minute she’s here,” Maple said.

Hospitality House runs its $265,000 operation in large part from community support and fundraisers.

On Wednesday, the Lion’s Club delivered two truckloads of water, food and toiletries.

A representative from Charlie Brown’s campaign for Congress called to arrange a day to make a donation.

Staff are seeking federal grants to help fund a year-round shelter, employment center and bigger welcome center with more bathrooms and a sick bay.

The nomadic shelter opened its doors for the season last week and, so far, has averaged 15 to 20 people per day, Maple said. A total of 30 different people, including women and children, have registered for shelter or assistance through Hospitality House since last week, Maple said.

“In another month or so, that’s going to dramatically change. Usually by November, we get packed,” Maple said. “When it gets colder, we definitely see the numbers go up.”

To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail lbrown@theunion.com or call

477-4231.