Sierra Roots has Cold Weather Shelter Success 

Thanks to the generous and incredible response to the call for volunteers to help with opening the Cold Weather Shelter, Sierra Roots was able to open the shelter at Seaman's Lodge in Nevada City seven days over the Christmas vacation and  eleven days over the NewYear's vacation. We averaged 28 guests each night.  One night we had 42 people staying out of the rain, snow and cold. 

Since each night requires 12 volunteers to serve four shifts - two overnight shifts when Monitors need to stay awake and alert to help anyone in need - this required the help of a total of 216 volunteers. We serve a hot meal in the evening and also in the morning before the guests leave by  8:00 a.m. 

After the call for help by the Union article, Janice O'Brien received 85 calls from people who wanted to volunteer and help. With very quick and on-the- spot training, we were able to schedule the four shifts for each night and with the approval of City Hall, Seaman's Lodge was opened and available for the  much needed shelter during the December and January storms.

Volunteers from the community also brought food, games, movies and warm jackets, blankets and sleeping bags for the quests. This was an enormous outpouring of good will and generosity from the community at large. Sierra Roots thanks all those who stepped up to help and even those who weren't called on because of illness and family needs at this time. There will be more detailed training of all volunteers before we need to open again.

Our criteria for opening is that the weather  be in the low 30's and raining, snowing or very stormy and windy. When a storm is predicted, we request that Seaman's Lodge be made available for us to open the shelter without question.

After each closing of the shelter when it gets dry and warmer, we wash and dry all 38 - 40 sleeping bags and blankets to be ready for the next opening. This is very labor intensive for our volunteers and we are so very thankful that so many of the community have offered to help Sierra Roots set up, monitor, feed and clean up afterwards each night we are open. Thank you, dear community. We know you care about those of us who are without shelter during our very cold and stormy nights. 

Our Friend Ron

I am sad to say that our friend Ron passed away January 16th.  Ron was a faceless and unknown homeless man who lived in the cemetery on Bennett St. in Grass Valley. He lived under a tarp as he did not want a tent that might draw attention to him.
He was recently told he had just a few weeks to live and was happy to go back under his tarp and die.  He was a friend of Sierra Roots and Divine Spark. I met Ron several times at different homeless functions despite the fact he did not have a pet. 
Ron took full responsibility for his situation and often said, "I drank myself to death." He asked for nothing, wanted nothing and was humbled, grateful, stilled, by your generosity.

Our community put aside judgment, dislike, name calling, and turning our backs and rallied, together, to see Ron died with dignity.  You gathered financial resources and saw he was safe in a warm motel. He then was transferred to a rest home where he received the help he needed to send his spirit to the heavens.
We are a light in a dark world and have shown the entire world that we can come together and epitomize the word "community.  We are the love and we are one.  Thank you Nevada County for making Ron's transition a warm and safe one surrounded by the love of all of our community.
Ron, may the light of a thousand stars guide you to heaven and may you look down upon us and remind us to always be kind.   Read More:

Patti Galle, of Nevada County Pets of the Homeless, raised over $3500 for Ron's care by postings on Nevada County Peeps, a social media Facebook group.
Tell Me Please:
Tell me, please: How can I sleep this night amid torrents of rain and blasts of wind? My bed is warm and dry, my shelter, secure but I have made an error. I learned their names during those nights of the "emergency warming shelter." 
Tonight, however, there is no shelter to be had for those of the "chronically homeless," the criteria are not met and, if they were, would there be enough volunteers and enough donated food still available at a moments notice? Until I began to learn their names, I could safely put these questions from my awareness whenever it was convenient to do so. 
But, as I said, I made an error - I did learn names and they are now real to me and their agony is no longer an abstraction ... it is real to me and I begin to consider how close I might be to being among them.
Danita D. Sorenson, Ph.D.
Published in The Union on January 14,2017. 
Danita is a board member for Sierra Roots

New Nevada County Homeless Services Pocket Guide

Nevada County has published a Homeless Services pocket guide which has contact information for people who need assistance. These handy guides are available at the Grass Valley Police Station, Hospitality House, and Streicher House.

Stepping Up for Homeless People: Leo's Gift

Dee:  this is my littlest boy, Leo.  He has the biggest heart.  When he got $40 as a gift for Christmas he immediately wanted to give it to someone in need.  We live near downtown NC and he sees people without homes regularly.  I told him I would pitch in for whatever he couldn't cover.  Can you help us?

His mom brought Leo and his sister to Streicher House right before Christmas, with a plate of warm home made chocolate chip cookies. They looked around, I introduced them to everyone there, we fed them spaghetti and Leo recognized someone he'd met before, in another context.

Leo got out his savings which were in an envelope, and very quietly gave it to his new friend. I watched this gesture from a little boy with the kindest heart. My Christmas began with this sweet video ~ Dee Dinelli, editor

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches!

Sierra Roots is grateful to the group of Fourth Graders (who wish to remain anonymous) that prepare and deliver the BEST PBJ's to our hungry friends, along with personalized drawings, notes, and messages of hope. We hear that these sandwiches are highly prized!

Here's some thank you notes from grateful recipients!


Next Monthly Volunteer Meeting  Thursday,  
February 9th, Thursday,  at 1 PM
First Methodist Church ~ 433 Broad Street, Nevada City

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 and for those already involved to keep you all 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.  We'll talk about some of the lesser known volunteer opportunities at this meeting also.

Special Request from all current volunteers:   In  order to update our records, we need current mailing addresses.   This can be provided at the meeting, or, if you cannot attend, please forward the information to Danita Sorenson , Volunteer Coordinator at:

New email for donating to Sierra Roots: 

We have a second domain name now,
Check it out! It will take you right to the Donation page on our website!
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