Car wash benefits homeless shelter |

Car wash benefits homeless shelter

Local elected officials and civic leaders will sop suds and scrub sedans to raise funds for the area’s largest homeless advocacy group and shelter.

Proceeds from Hospitality House’s “We Are Community” car wash Saturday will go toward its developing shelter, which will be called Utah’s Place in honor of the organization’s founder, Utah Phillips.

“Being part of this community, I want to do my part to raise funds to get a full-time shelter built for our community,” said Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster, who will be washing cars Saturday.

Since its 2005 inception, Hospitality House itself has been without a home and has coordinated a nomadic shelter model with the help of area churches that have provided a place for homeless people to sleep for nine months a year.

The organization does, however, have a day-hours welcome center where guests can seek services, wash clothes and tend to personal hygiene.

Located at 1262 Sutton Way, Utah’s Place represents a shift in Hospitality House’s caregiving tactics, allowing the organization to provide overnight sleeping quarters year-round for as many as 54 guests on its own at the 6,500-square-foot facility.

However, Hospitality House needs to raise $450,000 to complete the $1,567,000 in renovations needed at Utah’s Place.

The car wash is being organized and staffed by guests of the Hospitality House program.

“It’s kind of a big deal for us because this is a way for our guests to contribute to the fundraising, and they are very excited,” said Cindy Maple, Hospitality House’s executive director. “Many of them have been asking to be involved with the developing shelter.”

Working alongside the Hospitality House’s guests, workers and Chief Foster will be Grass Valley Mayor Jan Arbuckle, City Councilwoman Lisa Swarthout and City Council candidate and former executive director of the Grass Valley Downtown Association Howard Levine.

“It shows that we are all a community,” Maple said of the support. “We can work side by side to make something positive happen in the community. I am really touched and excited by this event.”

While there is no set cost for the wash, Maple said all donations will be gladly accepted.

Advance wash tickets can be purchased from the Hospitality House Welcome Center, located at 230 South Church St. in Grass Valley. Go online at for details on other events.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call (530) 477-4236.

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