SNMH practices Humankindness at Utah’s Place each month | TheUnion.com

SNMH practices Humankindness at Utah’s Place each month

Valerie Costa
Special to The Union

On the first Friday of every month, for more years than anyone involved can remember, the staff of Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital comes together to prepare and serve a meal to the residents of Utah's Place, the homeless shelter in Grass Valley.

Every department in SNMH takes part in this volunteer service, and every month about 20 members of the staff donate food, and six come together to cook a meal and serve the residents.

It is truly a project that the entire hospital participates in, and the people who are involved are not always the same each month; it depends on who is available and who feels called to participate.

"I think the best part is as we get to know the clients," said Linda Waring, Director of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Oncology. "We also become involved with some of them and get to celebrate new jobs and celebrate their transitions to moving out into their own housing. They're really great people"

In addition to being one of the core members of the Utah's Place volunteer team, Waring donates all of her used items to the Bread and Roses thrift store, which benefits the shelter.

"It's a great way to give to Utah's Place when you cannot donate your time," she said.

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Not only does this work benefit the Utah's Place, the SNMH employees who participate grow closer through the service to others. "It brings us together as a team to have something outside of work that we can be proud of, and that demonstrates humankindness," Waring said. "I have met people in the hospital I may not have had contact with had I not been involved with these dinners. The Hospital is pretty large and even after being here for 27 years I have met new people by joining this team."

About Utah's Place

Utah's Place was established by the late folk singer, statesman, and unique character Utah Phillips, who was an ardent advocate for labor and peace issues as well as for the rights of homeless people.

Because he was once homeless himself, Phillips felt a responsibility to help those in need. He had deep roots in Nevada City, where he married his wife, Joanna Robinson, in 1989.

The couple lived in Nevada City for 21 years, and Phillips spent the last years of his life building Hospitality House, a 54-guest shelter which includes a private room for families who are struggling with homelessness.

Phillips passed on May 23, 2008, but his spirit of compassionate activism and loving thy neighbor lives on in the shelter that was given his name after his death.

More than just a shelter, Utah's Place is a beacon of hope and a way to pull oneself out of a bad situation. The facility includes A Pathways to Housing room dedicated to services helping people to find homes, including caseworkers helping with individualized housing plans, one-time financial assistance (for rental costs and utilities), and connection to housing opportunities (open to all homeless people in the county).

It is equipped with computers for life skills classes including career planning, work habits, communication, money management, self-care, and homelessness recovery.

There is ample space for job-readiness workshops/skills offered by local service agencies and community members (resumes, interview skills, etc.), and a room where housing case managers meet with individuals and their families.

In addition, the facility boasts a commercial kitchen and food preparation job-training program for guests, space for on-site recovery support meetings, multiple showers, a laundry room, a medical office and designated space for mobile medical clinic, a 975-square-foot vegetable garden, and space for community members to offer art, music, and other participatory/instructional opportunities.

"Utah's place truly does great things; they offer help and not just a place to stay," Waring elaborated. "The vegetable garden is a favorite area of mine; it is great in the summer to be able to add fresh vegetables and herbs to our cooking."

To learn more about Utah's Place, visit hhshelter.org.

About Utah’s Place

Utah’s Place was established by the late folk singer, statesman, and unique character Utah Phillips, who was an ardent advocate for labor and peace issues as well as for the rights of homeless people. Because he was once homeless himself, Phillips felt a responsibility to help those in need. He had deep roots in Nevada City, where he married his wife, Joanna Robinson, in 1989. The couple lived in Nevada City for 21 years, and Phillips spent the last years of his life building Hospitality House, a 54-guest shelter which includes a private room for families who are struggling with homelessness. Phillips passed on May 23, 2008, but his spirit of compassionate activism and loving thy neighbor lives on in the shelter that was given his name after his death.

More than just a shelter, Utah’s Place is a beacon of hope and a way to pull oneself out of a bad situation. The facility includes A Pathways to Housing room dedicated to services helping people to find homes, including caseworkers helping with individualized housing plans, one-time financial assistance (for rental costs and utilities), and connection to housing opportunities (open to all homeless people in the county). It is equipped with computers for life skills classes including career planning, work habits, communication, money management, self-care, and homelessness recovery. There is ample space for job-readiness workshops/skills offered by local service agencies and community members (resumes, interview skills, etc.), and a room where housing case managers meet with individuals and their families.

In addition, the facility boasts a commercial kitchen and food preparation job-training program for guests, space for onsite recovery support meetings, multiple showers, a laundry room, a medical office and designated space for mobile medical clinic, a 975-square-foot vegetable garden, and space for community members to offer art, music, and other participatory/instructional opportunities.

“Utah’s place truly does great things; they offer help and not just a place to stay,” Waring elaborated.  “The vegetable garden is a favorite area of mine; it is great in the summer to be able to add fresh vegetables and herbs to our cooking.”

To learn more about Utah’s Place, visit hhshelter.org.

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