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Part of the solution: Wild Eye Pub hosts Thankful Thursdays to benefit Sierra Roots


Word on the streets and in the woods is that if you’re hungry, Sierra Roots will feed you. No questions, no paperwork, no preaching. Just be cool.

When the weather is so bad it could kill you, the word is Sierra Roots has “a hot (meal) and a cot” for the night. Same deal. Just be cool.

In other words, since 2011, Sierra Roots has been on the frontlines of the growing homeless crisis in Nevada County. In addition to cooking and serving food, Sierra Roots volunteers act as advocates for people who need help navigating “the system.”

Like any 501(c)3 nonprofit, Sierra Roots needs all the help it can get.

Like many successful businesses, the Wild Eye Pub wants to give back to the community that has given husband-and-wife co-owners Beth Moore and Dave Kuczora so much.

This Thursday, May 19, the Wild Eye, in cooperation with the No Place to Go (NPTG) Video Project, is staging its monthly Thankful Third Thursday benefit for Sierra Roots.

The popular musical duo Juliet Gobert and Bob Woods will kick off the evening followed by informational presentations by homeless advocates Sierra Roots, Nevada County Home Path and the NPTG Project. To liven things up, trivia quiz master Beth Whittlesey will present a Homeless Myth-Buster game.

Wild Eye Pub

Despite its racy name, the Wild Eye is a premier supper club. It features fine, organic, California cuisine and a full bar. The tastefully decorated main room features live music five nights a week (Thursday through Monday) with a spacious stage and plenty of room for dancing.

Moore is affectionately known as the fairy godmother of live, local music. A musician in her own right, she kept the music going even through the pandemic lockdown. She pioneered livestreaming over the internet of performers playing to an empty room. Then she and Dave opened a creekside restaurant in the pub’s back parking lot.

Moore also has earned a special place in the hearts of musicians for feeding them and making sure they get paid fairly and well.

A songwriters’ showcase

Volunteering to perform at this Thankful Thursday event was a no-brainer for Woods and Gobert. Not only do both singer/songwriters frequently volunteer for social justice causes, they recorded Gobert’s original song “No Place to Go” for the NPTG Project.

Additionally, Gobert will sing “This Is My House,” a poignant song she wrote when she was a forensic specialist for Nevada County Child Protective Services. “Most people think it’s about a little boy, but it’s really about a little girl I met in a homeless camp,” she said.

Aside from being a master guitarist and singer/songwriter in his own right, Woods is also a bona fide railroad engineer. “When I started railroading in 1990, there were no homeless people living along the tracks,” he said. “Now, there are almost cities,” he said.

“I’m all for people trying to help the problem with ideas like Sierra Roots,” Woods added.

Housing-ready intensive

Both Sierra Roots and NC Home Path are targeting chronically homeless people who are either not housing-ready or not interested in housing at all.

Sierra Roots learned the hard way in the winter of 2020-21 that Housing First doesn’t work with housing-unready people because of drugs, violence and property damage.

Using new grant money, Sierra Roots is experimenting with Camp Immersion where they select a few people at a time, put them up in motel rooms, and have dedicated case managers work with them daily on indoor life skills

Sierra Roots board members Nick Wilczek and Caryl Fairfull will present a progress report and lessons learned from the ongoing Camp Immersion program.

Home Path Revealed

It’s been long recognized by “social-worker boots on the ground” that some homeless folks have lived outside so long that it’s become their preferred lifestyle. Also, too many no- and low-income people have no choice but to live outside or in their cars because there is no affordable housing.

Although it was devised several months ago, Thursday will be the first time Home Path is presented for public consideration. The proposed sanctuary camp and resource center is designed to entice people out of the high fire-risk wildlands and away from the business districts by offering safety and bathrooms – the two things homeless people almost always say they want.

Home Path Outreach Director Katherine Doolittle and executive team member Pauli Halstead will describe the Home Path plan and seek community support.

Homeless Mythology

Most of what you think you know about homeless people is not true. For instance, most are not addicts or criminals. Furthermore, there are more of them than you know, because many do not look or act “homeless.”

The No Place to Go Video Project evolved as an independent project to support Home Path by humanizing our homeless residents. Highlights from videos recorded at Sierra Roots community meals will show that “there but for fortune go you or I.”

Rounding out the entertaining and information-packed evening will be a myth-busters game by NU teacher Beth Whittlesey. She will quiz the audience and award novelty prizes to correct answers to questions about homelessness.

According to a statement from the NPTG Project: “Homeless people are not the problem. They are the symptoms of the problem.

“Come to the Wild Eye Thursday night and be part of the solution.”

Tom Durkin is a freelance writer, editor and photographer in Nevada County. He may be contacted at tjdurkin3@gmail.com or http://www.tomdurkin-media.net


WHAT: Wild Eye Pub Thankful Thursday benefit for Sierra Roots

WHO: Juliet Gobert and Bob Woods, Home Path, No Place to Go and Myth-Busters

WHERE: Wild Eye Pub, 535 Mill St. Grass Valley

WHEN: 6 p.m., Thursday, May 19

ADMISSION: Suggested donation $20. Reservations requested, pay at the door or your table

MORE INFO: Call 530-446-6668; info@wildeyepub.com; facebook.com/wildeyepub/

Both accomplished singer/songwriters with multiple albums to their credits, Juliet Gobert and Bob Woods will each play some of their best songs at the Wild Eye's Thankful Thursday May 19.
Provided photo
"I've liked Juliet’s singing from the first song I heard her sing years ago and like her more now. She also writes good, honest songs like ‘No Place To Go,’" says Bob Woods. For her part, Juliet says, "Bob's been a great friend and mentor."
Photo by Tom Durkin
Although she won't be singing Thursday, Wild Eye Pub co-owner Beth Moore has her own band called Moore's Code.
Photo by Tom Durkin
Dave Kuczora and Beth Moore toast their guests at the Wild Eye's creekside venue.
Photo by Tom Durkin

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