Pauli Halstead: Nevada City community supports Streicher House
Streicher House, on Gold Flat Road in Nevada City, the new community day center, has taken another step and is now open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon.
Streicher House serves our local homeless population and also others in the community who are undernourished.
Now that we are open with the expanded hours, everyone has been so incredibly generous. Every day donations are pouring in. Just this week we had people bringing organic produce from their home gardens. One woman pulled in the driveway and brought a carload of canned goods, organic eggs, and clothing. Another brought a case of travel-size toothpaste. It’s just been a case of, “ask and you shall receive.”
Everyone who comes to Streicher House to see what we are doing is impressed by the beautifully painted house surrounded by attractive landscaping, the cheery interiors, a clothing room organized with warm clothing for the winter months, and a pantry packed with donations from the Nevada County Food Bank and Interfaith Food Ministry.
Recently we initiated the shower program, so in the afternoons from 1 to 3:30 p.m. people line up for showers and clean clothing. If they need something washed we do it for them. Just being able to clean up is a huge boost for people who normally have no access to showers. It’s been especially gratifying to see folks go about their day after having a substantial meal and a shower.
As we head into fall and winter, Streicher House will be a place where people can come during the day to keep warm, read books from our growing library, work on a computer, or play games. It’s a place for social interaction, which is especially important when you are living outside and trying to survive.
People are able to bring their dogs on the property. What we are in desperate need of are three to four dog houses (for dogs up to 100 pounds) and help with constructing an area that will be safe and secure against the weather while the pet owners are in the house. If you make dog houses, or can help us construct a kennel/dog area, please let us know!
Divine Spark and Streicher House partners with Nevada County Pets of the Homeless, which supplies quality pet food, pet toys, a spay and neuter program, and other support services for the animals. Together we provide a safe and warm place for pets of the homeless.
Also needed are an endless supply of T-shirts, socks, shower products, toiletries, toothbrushes and travel-size toothpaste, underwear, used jeans, warm sweaters and jackets, boots and sleeping bags. We give out one sleeping bag per person for the year. If anyone has these kinds of items in their garage that they are no longer using, please bring them over or call and we can pick up. Yard sales are a good way to find items and if you say you are donating to Streicher House many times you will get a better deal.
We now have about 15 dedicated volunteers who work a three-hour shift once a week. We would like at least five more volunteers. Our strategy is to have two volunteers per shift plus a manager on duty at all times, as Streicher House is a busy place, especially during lunchtime. We also have families with small children coming to the house.
Please contact me via phone at 530-264-6102 if you would like to volunteer or make a donation. We are grateful.
Pauli Halstead lives in Nevada County.
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