Hospitality House to raise funds for Utah’s Place |

Hospitality House to raise funds for Utah’s Place

Hospitality House today formally launched a fundraising campaign to renovate its recently acquired building at 1262 Sutton Way in Grass Valley.

The $450,000 campaign will enable Hospitality House to offer year-round emergency overnight shelter to up to 54 homeless men, women, and children in Nevada County. The 6500-square-foot building is named Utah’s Place, in honor of folk singer and storyteller Utah Phillips, who cofounded the shelter in 2005.

Hospitality House received a $1 million-dollar grant in 2010 to purchase a permanent location to house its ever-growing number of guests. The Sutton Way building requires extensive electrical, heating/air conditioning, sewer, and plumbing work as well as health and safety renovations and restructuring to accommodate separate dormitories for men and women and a separate family room. The renovation will also include a required commercial kitchen.

“We are thrilled finally to have come this close to fulfilling our long-held dream of a stable place to host our guests,” said Joanna Robinson, Hospitality House board president. “A centrally located, focused, residential shelter with adequate space will hugely enhance our ability to accomplish our purpose of getting people off the streets and into appropriate housing.”

Currently the shelter follows a nomadic model requiring expensive daily busing of guests from the shelter’s Grass Valley Welcome Center to one of several local churches that host the shelter on a rotating basis in their various facilities. The Welcome Center has become too small to accommodate the number of homeless people who go there every day to receive services.

Utah’s Place will improve the shelter program in several ways:

• Eliminate costly transportation and staffing arrangements required to maintain the nomadic model.

• Increase the maximum number of guests the shelter can serve.

• Provide a reliably calm, healing environment in one stable environment.

• Expand food preparation ability in an on-site commercial kitchen.

• Provide more space, comfort, and privacy for families.

• Comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.

• Provide on-site job search capabilities, life skills training, and other programs to help guests move out of homelessness.

The total cost for the project is $1,567,000, of which Hospitality House has secured two-thirds in grants and donations. The balance, totaling $450,000, must be raised before the renovation work begins in November, as required by the grant contract.

“Hospitality House provides an important opportunity for our local homeless population to reconnect with the greater community,” said Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier. “Offering heartfelt compassion and practical tools designed to alleviate the burden of homelessness, the shelter is a tremendous community asset deserving of our support.”

Before the public phase of the campaign could be launched Hospitality House spent months working with local architect Robert Wallis to complete plans that required input from State, City and County officials. When plans were approved, Hospitality House sought a general contractor and is pleased to announce that remodeling will be completed under the direction of Bill Litchfield, of Bill Litchfield Construction.

Local contractor Keoni Allen, working pro bono, has overseen all phases of planning for the renovation project, working closely with architect Robert Wallis, who is also donating much of his work. “We’ve been fortunate to have Keoni and Robert on our building committee,” said Executive Director Cindy Maple. “They’ve provided much needed guidance and support throughout this entire process.”

To participate in this project by donating funds, materials and equipment or by volunteering, please contact Joanna Robinson or Cindy Maple at (530) 271-7144, or visit the website at

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