Last lunch at Pioneer Park for the Season: Warm clothing, hot lunch, and friendship!
Many of you have inquired about the progress of our land purchase for our community village, and I'd like to catch you up on the latest. 

Sierra Roots approached the owners of a 4½ acre lot in Nevada City. The land would be a perfect parcel on which to build our proposed supportive community of small homes around a beautiful community center. It is properly zoned, and large enough for us to situate up to 36-40 cottages with a Community Center, fruit trees, vegetables, flowers and space for a variety of potential cottage industries. You can imagine how excited and involved all of us, including potential residents, are already.

The owners are asking $800,000 in cash. The property is owned by a family foundation in Los Altos, California. We offered to lease the land with an option to buy at full price within two years to give us time to raise the money. Our offer was not accepted, but the owners will let us know if anyone else is looking to buy the land. And so, we need to raise $800,000 as soon as possible. We feel strongly that this land is perfect for our project, though we will continue to consider other parcels. 

It is urgent that we find a way to purchase land and begin building the small cottages for the the poorest of our people who are desperate for a place to live and, in many cases, sick. Everyone should have a place to call home and a place to feel safe. 

That is what Sierra Roots is all about. It's not enough to provide food and clothes, tents and tarps. We need, as a community, to step up and make a difference in the lives of these people. We can't help all who need it, but we can help many of those in need, and be a model of what can be done to address the dilemma faced by those without a home.

We all need to work together to succeed in this endeavor. We believe there is enough heart and generosity in our community to do this and we are willing to do the work to make it happen. Those of you who share our vision, and would like to support our dream to help those most in need, come join us. 

If you would like to contribute, or help us raise the money to make this dream a reality, please contact Janice O'Brien at 265-5403 as soon as you can. Thank you and bless us all.


Sierra Roots received  donations from the following organizations in August: 

Saint Patrick Catholic Church - $1799.40
Knights of Columbus Golf Tournament - $3774.00
Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains - $755.92

 We have used this money to put 15 people up in motels who were being released from the hospital but were not strong enough to endure the homeless situation. Sierra Roots spent over $8000.00 this summer to help people who had nowhere to go to recover from major illness.

Sierra Roots,  a n organization that serves Nevada County's chronically h o meless population, is working on a devel opment proposal that could provide 40  permanent housing units for people  who are currently homeless.

Janice O'Brien, the organization's president, said Sierra Roots is in the process of negotiating with landowners to buy a property in Nevada City. It may soon begin a capital campaign to help fund the purchase. Gr ants would provide additional funding. 

The development, O'Brien said, would contain tiny-house units under 300 square feet in size, which would each include a sleeping area, shower, kitchenette and sitting area. A community center - which would include computers, a dining area, and space for entertainment and classes - would be open to residents and visitors.
"It's not just housing," O'Brien said. "It's also a supportive community for up to 40 people."

~Susan M. Davis, Project Development Team leader

Today, it was sheer JOY to facilitate our 3rd
Sierra Roots, Project Development Team Design Charrette. Charrette is the co-creative process of designing, in this case designing a community, where all stakeholders are invited
to participate and are given voice. At today's Charrette there were 8 or 9 of our homeless friends participating, along with Sierra Roots volunteers and Board Members.

It is the "Sociocrative" model, where all voices are of equal value and everyone contributes brilliant and creative ideas, and all are engaged in the process of Co-Creation.

a note from Sierra Roots volunteer
Dianne Weichel

Thank you for the kind words today!  That means a lot to me.  I love working with the homeless; they are a kind and thankful group of human beings. I never thought I would end up volunteering with the homeless but I have found my niche.  

These people are kind and thoughtful and I had one lady tell me thank you for treating her like a human being. This shocked me and I told her as much, she was no less a human being and she should be treated with respect.

So I "Thank you" for allowing me to be a part of this group.


We are part of the group that recently completed 
Sierra Roots'
Alice and Keith JohnsonAdvocates for Vicky and 
Advocacy Train ing Program, which expanded our understanding and provided tools for effective advocacy work. It is refreshing to do this work through one-on-one meaningful conta ct rather than through a committee or other group process. 

We look forward to strengthening our relationships with Denny, Vicky, Joe, and the many folks who are asking for help, to support their well-being on many fronts: economic, housing, and health. 

~ Alice Johnson, Volunteer Advocate

Arlene Douglass Advocate for Joe
Joe is my Wit & Wisdom time for the days that I show up to be his nurse advocate. He's my Shakespeare; and, he shows me that even thought he shuffles when he walks he sure doesn't shuffle his mind & heart through life.  Thank you, Joe!

~ Arlene Douglass, Volunteer Advocate

The Co Passion Project Presents
A Place to Call Home: 
Stories Inspiring Transformation

"Story connect us to our humanity.
The Arts and Humanities communicate Story.
The result is cultural transformation."

FREE EVENT Reservations are required at

Thursday, November 16th
The Center for the Arts
314 W. Main Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945

4:00 - 6:00 pm ~  Gallery Show and Artist Reception at the Granucci Gallery
Visit with the artists, discuss their ideas, and view and purchase artwork. There will be a silent auction, experiential exhibits and light refreshments served.

7:00 - 9:00 pm  ~ Main Event on the Center Stage
Enjoy an innovative and engaging stage event that brings alive the stories captured from more than 30 people touched by homelessness.

November 17th - November 30th
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Ongoing Gallery Show at the Granucci Gallery ~ A 2018 calendar with Dee Anne Dinelli's photographs and 365 compassionate actions will be available for $20 at the event.

Self taught musician Brad plays classical cello at the park

Sierra Roots' Thursday hot lunch will be moving to the First Baptist Church starting on October 5th. Goodbye Pioneer Park for now! Lunch is served at 11:30 AM. Gently used clothing and shoes are available.

Pizza is available on Mondays at the parking lot off Commercial Street.

Next Monthly Volunteer Meeting: 
October 12, Thursday, at 1 PM
First Methodist Church ~ 433 Broad Street, Nevada City *  530 264-5113

     Our monthly meetings are intended for those who are just becoming acquainted with Sierra Roots and want to learn more about the various volunteer opportunities,  as well as for those already involved so everyone is up to date, informed and involved in discussion and planning.

     Not everyone is aware of the many ways Sierra Roots engages and builds community with our homeless friends while we continue to look for land for our Village.  For example, Sierra Roots operates an emergency weather shelter, serves meals twice weekly, and provides advocacy services, to homeless individuals. You can learn about these and other volunteer opportunities at our monthly meetings.

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