Homeless Connect Event

Each January, communities throughout the United States conduct a Point-in-Time (PIT) count to tally the number of individuals experiencing homelessness on a single night in their area. This year, January 24th is that night, and Nevada County is holding an event on the 25th to bring folks in, give them the opportunity to connect to services, and interview them for the count.

The Homeless Connect event will be held on Thursday, January 25th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Salvation Army office in Grass Valley. Attendees will receive a free hot meal and can connect to a variety of services, such as health information, flu shots, Veteran’s services, and legal assistance.

Trained interviewers will conduct a confidential 15-minute survey with each individual who is experiencing homelessness. Those who take the survey will receive a gift for their participation.

Free transportation to the event will be provided from the following bus stops:

  • Nevada City Public Parking Lot (Rock Crusher)
  • First Baptist Church
  • Nevada City Veterans Building
  • Memorial Park
  • Tinloy Transit Center
  • Kmart Shopping Center
  • SPIRIT Peer Empowerment Center

If someone you know is without shelter, camping out, or living in a vehicle, please let them know about this important event. The information collected at the Homeless Connect event will help bring additional funding and resources into our county to serve people experiencing homelessness.

Details

What: Homeless Connect Event

When: Thursday, January 25th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Where: Salvation Army, 10725 Alta Street, Grass Valley

Coordinated Entry for Homelessness Launches January 23rd

 

January 23rd is the official launch date of Nevada County’s “Coordinated Entry” system for people experiencing homelessness. Coordinated Entry is a process that ensures that all people experiencing a housing crisis have fair and equal access to services. The process does two important things:

  1. It builds a centralized list of people in our community who need housing assistance to ensure that that those who need services the most receive them first.
  2. It allows participating housing providers to access the list and contact individuals who may be eligible for their services as housing resources become available.

In Nevada County, 211 is the access point for Coordinated Entry. Anyone experiencing a housing crisis can call 2-1-1 (or 877-847-0499) and speak with a call specialist who will walk them through the Coordinated Entry questions and provide referrals for shelter, food, healthcare, and other services to meet their needs. 211 then enters the data into HUD’s Housing Management Information System (HMIS), which can be accessed only by designated organizations that provide housing services.

Getting to this point took years of discussion and planning. The process was led by the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras (HRCS), a coalition of housing and shelter providers, consumers, advocates, and government representatives who work together to shape planning and decision-making around the issue of homelessness. HRCS coordinates the Placer-Nevada Counties Continuum of Care, a joint effort to end homelessness in our two counties.

Ultimately, Coordinated Entry could provide a big-picture view of the needs of those experiencing homelessness in Nevada County and allow service providers to apply for HUD funding to improve services in our community.

Accessing Coordinated Entry

Nevada County
Call 211 Connecting Point at 2-1-1 or 877-847-0499. Provides referrals to emergency shelter as well as additional resources, including food, healthcare, transportation, legal assistance, and more. Callers can choose to be included on a centralized housing assistance list.

Placer County
Call the Homeless Resource Helpline at 833-3PLACER (833-375-2237). Provides referrals to emergency shelter. Callers can choose to be included on a centralized housing assistance list.

Schedule Your Free Tax Assistance Appointment

Need some help filing your taxes this year? The AARP Tax Aide volunteers are gearing up to provide preparation services and electronic filing of both Federal and California tax returns for folks with low and middle income. This service is free for Nevada County residents of all ages.

If you bought health insurance through Covered California and received Premium Tax Credits, you must file a return. Let AARP help! The Tax Aide group can handle most common personal tax returns, including those that have salary, interest, dividends, itemized deductions, pension, IRA withdrawals, capital gains, or stock transactions.

Tax appointments are available every Monday between February 5th and April 9th. Appointments are required. To schedule your appointment, call 211 (just dial 2-1-1 or 877-847-0499) and press 4.

Ages & Stages: Social-Emotional Development at 2 Months

Raising a little person is beautiful, fun, and (sometimes) terrifying. It’s also pretty predictable.

Researchers have been studying the stages of child development for years and are able to provide a fairly detailed roadmap of what’s ahead developmentally. Each month, we will share with you some practical information on what to expect from your new baby and some activities you can do together to encourage her healthy development.

Social-Emotional Development

Your child is developing many different skills as she grows, including communication skills, motor skills, social skills, and problem-solving skills. Today we’re focusing on your infant’s social-emotional development.

Social-emotional development is all about your child’s ability to experience and express feelings. Social-emotional strengths are the foundation for all other learning and development to occur throughout your child’s life.

What to Expect at 2 Months

  • Your baby is really smiling at you and others now
  • Your baby may use different cries to tell you when she is hungry, uncomfortable, or sick
  • Your baby “talks” to you with noises and gurgles
  • Your baby likes to be with people and is becoming more interactive with you
  • Your baby likes to play with her fingers, hands, feet, and toes
  • Sometimes your baby will be fussy only because he wants your attention
  • Your baby can recognize familiar people by their voices

Tips for 2 Months

Use a positive tone with your baby to let her know that you love and care for her. Making your child feel safe, secure, nurtured, and loved will help her grow and learn.

Social-Emotional Activities to Try with Your 2-Month Old

More activities to try with your 2-month old. Click on the image to download a PDF of the activity sheet.
  • It is never too early to read books to your baby. Choose simple board books at first and talk about the pictures. Cuddle up close.
  • Take your time when you are giving your baby a bath or changing his diapers. Gently massage his feet and/or belly. Talk to the baby or sing during these one-on-one times.
  • Talk to your baby about what she is doing, seeing, hearing, and feeling. Say, “I am changing your diaper. You will like being nice and dry.”
  • Spend time holding your baby and use this time to show her things around the house or yard. Name things and let the baby touch safe, simple objects (like plastic cups or big wooden spoons).
  • Find more activities here.

Remember, you are the most important person in your child’s life!

To learn more about your child’s developmental stages, give us a call at 211 (just dial 211 from any local phone) or check out the Ages & Stages Questionnaires online

Source: ASQ:SE-2 User’s Guide, Squires, Bricker, & Twombly

Schools Support Children Experiencing Homelessness

Take a moment to think about homelessness in Nevada County. What image comes to mind? If you are not seeing children, then you are not seeing the whole picture.

The face of homelessness is changing. California’s housing crisis has displaced many working families, meaning more and more children are living in cars, campgrounds, and shelters or couch-surfing with family and friends. This instability impacts children’s lives in many ways, including their education.

Kids experiencing homelessness may not have the resources to buy school supplies, appropriate clothing, or other basic necessities. The McKinney-Vento Homelessness Education Assistance Act is a federal law that provides for supports and services to fill some of these gaps and ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities.

According to the McKinney-Vento Act, a family is considered homeless if they:

  • Lack a regular, fixed, and adequate nighttime residence
  • Live in a shelter, motel, or hotel
  • Live in an unsheltered residence, such as a car or park
  • Share housing (doubled-up or couch-surfing) due to economic hardship
  • Live in campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Are an unaccompanied child or youth (i.e. not in the physical custody of their parents or guardians)

Students experiencing homelessness in Nevada County can get help through their school with clothing, school supplies, bus passes, field trip fees, testing fees, counseling, academic support, enrollment, and access to community services. Each school district has an appointed Homeless Education Liaison who helps homeless students and families access these supports and services.

If your child needs support, the first step is to share information with your school’s Homeless Liaison, school counselor, or a trusted teacher or school staff member.

Recent data shows that 338 students in Nevada County qualified for McKinney-Vento last year, and it’s likely that even more were eligible. Our community has a lot of work to do to support children experiencing homelessness. McKinney-Vento is a first step in making sure kids have what they need to get the most out of their education.

Homeless Students’ Rights Under McKinney-Vento

School Stability
To remain enrolled in, and be transported to, a student’s School of Origin when feasible, even if a
student moves outside of the district. (‘School of Origin’ means the school last attended when
permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled).

Immediate Enrollment
To be enrolled immediately (even without medical or school records) in the neighborhood school.

Food Provision
To receive FREE breakfast and/or lunch in schools that serve both.

Assistance with Barriers
To have barriers addressed so that they can participate in athletics, field trips, and after school
activities (this could include having certain school fees waived). Parents or guardians should contact
school staff for help.

Academic Support
To ask for academic support if a student is struggling with classwork. Parents or guardians should
contact school staff for assistance.

Transportation Assistance
To ask for transportation support if a student is at risk of missing school. Parents or guardians should
contact school staff for assistance. Homeless Liaisons can work with parents to problem-solve
transportation challenges.

Habitat for Humanity to Hold Application Meetings

The new year is bringing new home ownership opportunities for Nevada County residents with low income. Habitat for Humanity will soon be accepting applications for their Heritage Oaks neighborhood in Grass Valley.

Habitat for Humanity is hosting two Application Information Meetings for folks interested in applying. The meetings will be held at the United Methodist Church in Grass Valley on Wednesday, January 10th at 7:00 pm and Saturday, January 13th at 1:00 pm. Call 530-274-1951 to reserve your spot.

The benefits of partnering with Habitat for Humanity include:

Click on the image above to open a PDF of the flyer.
  • Affordable, no-profit, principal-only home loans
  • Energy-efficient homes with quality construction
  • A great neighborhood with easy access to schools, businesses, and services
  • Investment in a safe, stable asset for your family for generations to come

In order to qualify, families must:

  • Meet income requirements (see the flyer for information on the minimum and maximum annual gross income for your family size)
  • Have an income and the ability to pay for a habitat home
  • Be in need of better housing
  • Be willing to partner with Habitat, including putting in “sweat equity” hours
  • Live or work in Nevada County

All Habitat for Humanity homes are sold to the homeowner family at no profit and with a 0% interest mortgage. If you find yourself spending your entire paycheck on housing, this opportunity is for you.

Call 530-274-1951 form more information or to reserve your spot.

Details:

What: Habitat for Humanity Application Information Meeting

When: Wednesday, January 10th at 7:00 pm OR Saturday, January 13th at 1:00 pm

Where: Grass Valley United Methodist Church, Wesley Hall, 236 Church Street, Grass Valley

Cost: Free. Call 530-274-1951 to reserve your spot. Child care will be available (call to reserve).

 

5 Ways to Get Involved for #GivingTuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday, a great excuse for all of us to take a look around our world and decide how we can be of service. Giving is about more than writing a check—it’s about seeing a need for change and doing what you can to bring it about. Whether it’s our time, our money, or our great idea, we all have something to give.

This #GivingTuesday, we hope that you will support 211 in helping people connect to the services they need to live healthy, independent lives. Here are 5 great ways to give:

1. Donate Your Time
If what you have to give is time, we’ll take it! Your time and energy are very valuable to us. 211 is always looking for volunteers to help with outreach, satisfaction surveys, tax scheduling, and more. If you love meeting new people, learning new things, and helping people in your community connect, get in touch! Learn more about volunteering for 211 here and here.

2. Share Your Expertise
Do you have a superpower you want to share? Maybe you relish research, have a way with words, or are a real people person. Don’t keep all that talent to yourself. 211 needs your expertise. Let us know how you can help and we’ll gladly turn your expertise into action.

3. Make a Financial Contribution
There’s no way around it: money helps. Making a monthly donation, whether it’s for $5 or $500, lets us know that you support the work we’re doing in the community. Your monthly donation gives us the security we need to build this great program to meet the needs of more people in Nevada County. Donate here.

4. Like or Share
Social media is powerful. Use your power for good by liking 211 on Facebook and Instagram and invite your friends to do the same. It really helps!

5. Tell a Friend
If you like what 211 is doing, let someone else know about us. Tell your friends, your family, and your neighbors about 211 and help us spread the word. And remember, 211 is free, friendly, and available 24/7.

4 Great Reasons to Volunteer

Each year, 211 partners with AARP to set free Tax-Aide appointments for community members with low and middle income. Scheduling hundreds of tax appointments between January and April requires a great group of dedicated volunteers. Here are four reasons you might want to be one of them:

Get ‘er Done

Like all good things, tax season must come to an end. Tax appointment scheduling starts in early January and ends April 17th. Get all of your volunteering done in the cold and rainy months and feel great about hitting the road when the sun comes out.

Meet New Friends

We like to think we have a pretty great team of volunteers and staff around here. A trip to the watercooler might put you in the path of a rancher, a pilot, a winery owner, a singer who does a killer Bowie impression, an art historian, and many, many dog lovers. If you love talking to people, this job is for you.

Keep Your Skills Sharp

We answer calls and schedule appointments using web-based applications. If you can shop online, you can answer a 211 call. This is a great opportunity to keep up those skills and learn a few more along the way.

Help Your Community Connect

Each year, 211 answers over 10,000 calls from Nevada County residents like yourself. 211 is a quick, easy starting point to connect to community resources for food, shelter, transportation, legal assistance, and more. Your work as a volunteer supports local people in living healthy, independent lives.

If any (or all) of these reasons appeal to you, get in touch. Check out our Opportunities page for more information or download an application here.

New Parent Resources: Car Seats

By now we all know that car seats save lives. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, car seat use reduces the risk of death in infants by 71% and in toddlers by 54%. Car seats are so important for child safety that they are now one of the very first tools new parents need to bring their babies home; hospitals cannot allow a newborn to leave in a car without a car seat.

Car seats are expensive and complicated. With some help, every family can get a car seat (and get it installed correctly) to make sure every trip in a car is a safe one.

Getting a Car Seat

A very good place to start is at one of the PARTNERS Family Resource Centers in our area. The FRC will see if you are qualified for a free car seat and help you get the best one for your child’s needs. Start with the Grass Valley Family Resource Center. They will get you headed in the right direction.

Grass Valley PARTNERS Family Resource Center
235 South Auburn Street
Grass Valley
530-273-4059

Installation Assistance

Car seats are great, but these simple superheroes need an assist from us to be truly effective. That means making sure your car seat is properly installed. (Three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly, diminishing their ability to prevent injury or death in a car accident).

There are a number of options to help you properly install your car seat for the best protection of your baby. All require you call for an appointment.

Nevada County Child Car Seat Inspector
Nevada County Highway Patrol
11363 McCourtney Road
Grass Valley, CA
530-477-4900

First 5 Nevada County
250 Sierra College Drive
Grass Valley, CA
530-274-5361

AAA Car Seat Installation Inspector (This is for all, not just AAA members!)
Kristen Engelstad
113 Dorsey Drive
Grass Valley, CA
530-271-2620

As your child grows, continue to keep her safe in the appropriate car seat. Check with the Nevada County Car Seat Inspector at 530-477-4900 for the latest information.

For more information on resources for families, see our Children & Youth resource page.

 

 

Navigate Your Transportation Options with 211

“How do you plan to get there?” We’ve recently started asking this question of many of our 211 callers. We serve a lot of folks who don’t have a car, no longer drive, or have never driven. Whatever the reason, we all still need a way to get where we’re going.

Cars are convenient, but they’re not the only option. Nevada County has public buses, paratransit services, taxi services, and even an Uber driver or two. How do you know which one will work best for you? Ask 211.

We’ll ask you some simple questions to help you narrow down your options and find the transportation choice that works best for you. Here’s how we’ll start:

Where are you now? Where are you going?
If we know your start and end points, we can help you narrow down the options. We’ll start by eliminating options that don’t go to those places.

Are you on a bus route?
We can help you find the nearest bus stop and check to see if your path there is safe and accessible.

When do you need to be there?
Your options will be different depending on the day and time you’re traveling. If you’re headed to an appointment during business hours you may be able to use the bus or paratransit system. If you are heading out at night, you may need to call a taxi.

If you are taking the bus, it’s smart to work backwards from your arrival time to make sure you board the bus with enough time to reach your destination. We’ll help you read the timetables to find the best route, bus stop, and boarding time.

Are you traveling to a medical appointment?
There’s a chance your health insurance will pay for transportation to your doctor’s office. We can help you check what your plan offers.

Are you a veteran, senior, or person with a disability?
There may be additional options based on your individual situation or needs. We’ll go through these with you to see if you qualify.

Do you use a wheelchair?
Let’s make sure your transportation options are accessible. All of the public buses have ramps and tie downs for wheelchairs, but only certain taxis have accessible vehicles.

What’s your goal?
Maybe you don’t want or need to leave the house. If what you really need is food delivery, a good book, or a visit from a friend, there may be services available to meet your needs.

Wherever you’re going, make 211 your first stop. For more information, give us a call by dialing 2-1-1- or check out the transportation resource page on our website.

Free Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic October 3rd

Come one, come all! The Nevada County Public Health Department (NCPHD) is conducting a FREE drive-thru flu shot clinic in Grass Valley for the public on Tuesday, October 3, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (or while supplies last) in the parking lot of Twin Cities Church at 11726 Rough and Ready Highway.

The drive-thru clinic is for adults and children 3 years of age and older. (If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the next month, please see your primary care or prenatal care provider to get your annual flu vaccination). Participants will only be able to access
the parking lot using the westbound lane off of Rough and Ready Highway; no eastbound access will be allowed due to safety concerns.This is a drive-thru only event; all participants will be required to stay in their vehicles. Again, due to safety concerns, walkups and bicycles will not be permitted.

The purpose of the drive-thru event is twofold: to provide free flu shots to community members and to give NCPHD staff and community partners a chance to practice and evaluate response levels and preparedness in the event of a large communicable disease outbreak or public health emergency. If a significantly large communicable disease outbreak occurs, such as a pandemic, NCPHD will not want individuals to congregate in large spaces to receive prophylactic medicines. The drive-thru mechanism allows for county residents to receive medicine without ever leaving their car, thus protecting not only themselves, but friends, family and the community as a whole.

The Public Health Department is hoping for a large response from the community, not only to protect residents from the flu, but also to learn valuable lessons and enhance response efforts for future exercises. 

Public participation is essential to making this exercise a success, so please join in and help fight flu! 

For more information or questions please call 530-470-2658 or email public.health@co.nevada.ca.us.

Details

Click on the image above to open a PDF of the event flyer.

What: Free Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic

When: Tuesday, October 3rd, 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm (while supplies last)

Where: Twin Cities Church, 11726 Rough and Ready Highway, Grass Valley. Access the parking lot using the westbound lane off of Rough and Ready Highway; no eastbound access will be allowed due to safety concerns.

Cost: Free!

Get Empowered, Prepared, & Proactive About Falls

In 2014, over 1000 Nevada County seniors went to the emergency room due to a fall. According to the Falls Prevention Coalition of Nevada County, falls are the number one reason seniors are hospitalized due to injury.

We are at greater risk of falling as we age, but there are simple steps seniors can take to reduce the chances of a fall.

On September 27th, the Falls Prevention Coalition is hosting its 10th annual community event to bring seniors, their family members, and caregivers together to share information, resources, and ideas for staying strong, safe, and independent.

The event, which will take place at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Grass Valley from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, will feature keynote speaker Leslie Kernisan, MD, MPH on “How to Spot Risky Meds, Partner with Your Doctors and Personalize Your Fall Prevention Plan!”

The Coalition has planned a fun, interactive day that will include a resource fair, music by the Forever Young Senior Chorus, and a buffet lunch. Optional breakout sessions on exercise planning and community support services will be available from 1:30 to 2:30.

To register for the event, call 530-271-0255. Registration ends September 22nd.

Details

Click the image above to open a PDF of the flyer.

What: Falls Prevention Coalition 

When: Wednesday, September 27, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, with optional breakout sessions from 1:30 to 2:30.

Where: Seventh Day Adventist Church

12889 Osborne Hill Road, Grass Valley (off Hwy 174, near Union Hill School)

Cost: Free. $10 suggested donation at the door.

Connecting Point Offers Free Classes for Caregivers

Providing care for a spouse or aging parent is hard work, both physically and emotionally. Caregivers are often so focused on the needs of others that they forget to care for themselves.

Reducing your stress and learning new tools can help both you and your loved one live a safer, more balanced life.

Connecting Point offers free classes taught by experts in the field to help caregivers sharpen their skills and reduce the stress of caregiving. Classes include:

Click on the image above to view a PDF of the full class schedule.

Safe Lifting & Transferring 
October 3, 2017
Learn practical skills to safely lift someone into and out of a car, chair, bed, or bathtub.

Practicing Peace 
Oct 5, 12, 19, & 26, 2017 or April 5, 12, 19, 26, 2018
Build your self-care toolbox with techniques to minimize the emotional and physical effects of stress.

Confident Dementia Caregiver 
November 1 & 2, 2017 or May 2 & 3, 2018
Gain a better understanding of the various types of dementia and how to care for someone with memory loss.

Disaster Preparedness 
November 14, 2017
Prepare yourself and your family-member for a natural or man-made disaster.

Self-Care & Stress Reduction 
February 13, 2017
Take responsibility for your self-care and identify sources of strength that can help you minimize stress.

Universal Precautions 
March 13, 2018
Get tips on how to protect yourself and your loved one from communicable diseases.

These interactive classes are designed specifically for caregivers. Get the tools you need to save you time and energy and the self-care you need to save your life.

All classes are free and open to the public. Please RSVP to reserve your spot. For more information or to RSVP for classes, call Karen Bellanti at 530-274-5601 or register online.

 

Snap Survey: Transportation

Take 60 seconds and tell us how you get around Nevada County.

Seniors Break Down the Walls to Connect

In a world as connected as ours, there’s no good reason for seniors to be isolated. Even if you go days without seeing another person or have trouble leaving the house, you can still find the comfort of human connection over the phone. Now you can connect from the comfort of your own home with Senior Center Without Walls.

This innovative program lets you meet new people, learn, and explore the world without leaving your living room. Senior Center Without Walls offers over 70 regularly scheduled telephone and web groups each week for adults 60 and over.

Play games, discuss books and poetry, take a writing workshop, talk philosophy or religion, join a support group, exercise, or call in to request your favorite song. The opportunities are endless and all classes are free for seniors.

See the course catalog for full descriptions of current classes. You can register at any time throughout the session and join any of the groups offered.

Register by phone at 1-877-797-7299 or complete the registration form and email it to SCWW@jtm-esc.org or mail it to Senior Center Without Walls, 881 Turk Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.

Once your registration is received, SCWW will send you everything you need to get started. If you have questions about the program or would like more information, call 1-877-797-7299.

There’s a whole world waiting out there for you.

Ready to Grow Program Helps Kids & Parents Thrive

Raising kids can be the best of times and the worst of times. Along with the joy of parenthood comes all kinds of questions, worries, and challenges that most of us aren’t fully prepared for. Some of us turn to family for help, while others take to the internet for (sometimes questionable) information.

But there are dozens of programs and services right here in our community to help parents give their kids everything they need to thrive.

When you don’t know what to expect, who to ask, or where to go for answers, start with 211.

211’s Ready to Grow program, a partnership with First 5 Nevada County, connects parents, guardians, and childcare providers to programs and services that support the health and well-being of children ages 0 to 5.

Through Ready to Grow, parents can connect to a wide range of resources, including lactation counseling, nutrition assistance, parenting classes, support groups, healthcare, childcare, playgroups, and more. Parents can also find tools to assess their children’s strengths and track their development.

211’s new Ready to Grow Specialist, Lorena Schoch, has been out in the community meeting with parents, child care providers, and organizations that serve families. She’s eager to get the word out about the program and start helping parents connect to resources.

“I’m excited to work with parents to help prepare children for a better future,” Lorena said. “As a parent and former teacher I completely believe that the first five years of life are the most important.”

If you or your organization serve parents and families, Lorena would love to meet and learn more about your work. To learn more about the Ready to Grow program or to set up a meeting with Lorena, call 2-1-1 or email Lorena Schoch at lorenas@connectingpoint.org.

‘Aging out Loud’ is What You Make of It

By Ann Guerra

I recently had the pleasure of helping two local women celebrate their 90th birthdays. If one attended the party and didn’t know these women, it would have been impossible to pick out who the 90 year olds were. Both loved dancing in their earlier years and both are participating in activities where they make a difference and stay connected to people with similar interests. These women age out loud!

This year, the federal Administration on Aging is highlighting the theme “Age Out Loud” in celebration of Older Americans Month. In Nevada County, where a good percentage of the population is over 60, we are loud by our very presence. The Older Americans Act defines a senior as someone who is 60 years or older. In Nevada County, 33% of us fall into this group. More surprising is the fact that the fastest growing segment of the senior population are people 80 and up. But what is the Administration on Aging, what impact does it have in Nevada County, and what does it mean to “age out loud”?

The Administration on Aging carries out the mandates of the Older Americans Act. Originally enacted in 1965, the Older Americans Act (OAA) supports a range of home and community-based services for seniors, such as meals-on-wheels and other nutrition programs, in-home services, transportation, legal services, elder abuse prevention, and caregiver support.

211’s Senior Assistance Line is a local program funded by the Older Americans Act. The Senior Assistance Line is designed to connect seniors to needed services and also to provide options when one is considering or facing a lifestyle change, whether due to choice, disability, or financial status.

In California, Agencies on Aging are the vehicle for delivering Older Americans Act services. Agency on Aging Area 4 (AAA4) serves Nevada County and six other Northern California counties. AAA4 is governed by a board made up of county supervisors and other appointees from each county. Nevada County seniors are represented on the governing board by Supervisor Heidi Hall and Andy Burton.

Seniors can contribute their input through our representatives on the board or, every few years, through town hall meetings and surveys conducted by AAA4. FREED’s minor home repair program and Gold Country LIFT’s Sunday transportation service are two great examples of programs being funded to meet local priorities and needs. The North Tahoe/Truckee Transit program is also funded as a result of local input.

But all of these programs are simply here to support us as we move forward in life. As my 90 year old friends demonstrate every day, aging out loud is what you decide it will be.

 

Ann Guerra is the Executive Director of Connecting Point, the home of 211 Nevada County.

Senior Stays Connected with Gold Country Stage

Margaret Burlew (with her bus pass around her neck) stands ready to board the Gold Country Stage.

When Margaret Burlew’s husband passed away in 2007, she found herself isolated, lonely, and no longer able to afford the gas to get around town in her car.

That’s when she headed back to the bus.

It wasn’t Margaret’s first time using public transportation to get around. She actually started riding the bus when she was eight years old. Each weekday, Margaret took the Grass Valley-Nevada City Bus Line—a private bus that ran between Grass Valley and Nevada City from 1922 to 1963—to school from her home at Mill Street and McCourtney Road. “The school bus wouldn’t stop there. They stopped on the top of the hill,” Margaret told me recently. The Grass Valley-Nevada City Bus Line, on the other hand, stopped right in front of her house. Back then, “it cost a quarter to ride to Nevada City,” Margaret recalls.

As an adult, Margaret moved to Southern California and learned to drive on the Ventura Freeway. Her bus-riding days were behind her. But when she found herself on her own in Nevada County, the bus made better financial sense. “It’s very affordable for seniors,” she said. Margaret’s monthly pass costs her $22.50 and takes her everywhere she wants to go, including to her health care at Western Sierra Medical Clinic. “They take you right up to the door,” she says. “Right up to the front door. What better service than that would you want?”

Margaret takes the Gold Country Stage every day, going to the post office, doing her shopping, and riding around and socializing with people. It’s her way of staying active as she ages. “I used to work in a convalescent hospital as a CNA, and they said ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it.’ You’ve got to keep going. After my husband died, all I did was stay home and cry. Every day I’d stay home and cry because I was lonely. Well, I’m still lonely, but I take the bus every day and that helps my loneliness.”

A huge advocate for our public transportation system, Margaret can tell you all of the interesting places you can get to by bus (ask her about her trip to Reno sometime). When I asked Margaret what her favorite destination is she said “I just like to ride. Period.”

Margaret’s knowledge of the Gold Country Stage bus system is extensive, but she wasn’t always an expert. “I needed a little help at first,” she said. “But now I can help others.” She added: “We’ve got lovely bus drivers. They’re very accommodating and very helpful to people.”

Talking to Margaret, you get the sense that she has always been fiercely independent. For her, the bus is a means of connecting to the community and to others. And it’s one she’s not going to give up anytime soon. “About two years ago, I had emergency surgery. I had a hernia. Oh, I was in such pain. They operated on me on Monday, I came home Tuesday, I went on the bus Wednesday, and I’ve been out ever since!”

 

Thank you to Margaret Munson of the Nevada County Historical Society for assistance with research on this article.

Books by Bus

The spring rain is making us all want to curl up with a good book. We are so lucky here in Nevada County to have a great network of libraries that bring us not just an excellent collection of free (!) books to read, but also a great assortment of digital tools, literacy services, a state of the art Tech Center, and more.

Most of our branch libraries are conveniently located close to a bus stop, making a visit to the library not only enriching, but easy. In celebration of our libraries, below is a quick guide to our library branches and the best way to get to them by bus.

Pro tips:

  • All Gold Country Stage lines meet at the Tinloy Transit Center in downtown Grass Valley. From there you can transfer to any route.
  • Let the driver know where you’re going. They are always happy to help you get to your destination.
  • Call 211 for help planning your trip. We’ll give you step-by-step instructions to get from your home to your library of choice.
Madelyn Helling Library
980 Helling Way, Nevada City, CA 95959
530-265-7050
 
Library Hours:
Monday: 11am – 7pm
Tuesday: 11am – 6pm
Wednesday: 11am – 6pm
Thursday: 11am-7pm
Friday: 11am – 6pm
Saturday: 11am – 5pm        
Sunday:  Closed
 
Gold Country Stage Route 1 stops in front of the library 25 minutes after each hour, beginning at 6:25 am on weekdays and 8:25 am on Saturdays. The last departure for the library is at 7:25 pm on weekdays and 4:25 pm on Saturdays.
 
Grass Valley Library- Royce Branch
207 Mill Street, Grass Valley CA 95945
530-273-4117
 
Library Hours:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10am – 6pm
Wednesday: 10am – 5pm
Thursday: 10am – 5pm
Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 4pm    
Sunday:  Closed
 
The closest bus stop to the Grass Valley branch is at Church & Neal Street, which is a short, safe walk from the library. Gold Country Stage Routes 2 and 3 both stop at Church & Neal Street. Route 2 stops at Church & Neal at 7:32 am, 9:32 am, 11:32 am, 2:32 pm, 4:32 pm, and 6:32 pm on weekdays and at at 7:32 am, 9:32 am, 11:32 am, and 2:32 pm on Saturdays.
 
Route 3 stops at Church & Neal 2 minutes after each hour from 7:02 am to 7:02 pm on weekdays and 8:02 am to 4:02 pm on Saturdays.
 
Penn Valley Station
11336 Pleasant Valley Road, Penn Valley CA 95936
530-432-5764
 
Library Hours:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 2pm – 6pm
Wednesday: 10am – 2pm
Thursday: 2pm – 6pm
Friday: 10am – 2pm
Saturday: 10am – 2pm    
Sunday:  Closed
 
Gold Country Stage Route 6 stops at the Wildwood Center, where the library is located, at the following times Monday through Friday:

6:53 am
9:24 am
12:24pm
2:39 pm
4:24 pm
6:24 pm
7:24 pm

And on Saturdays at:
 
10:35 am
12:35 pm
2:35 pm
4:35 pm
 
 
Truckee Library 
10031 Levon Avenue, Truckee CA 96161
530-582-7846
 
Monday: 10:30 am – 6 pm
Tuesday: 10:30 am – 6 pm
Wednesday: 10:30 am – 6pm
Thursday: 11am – 7pm
Friday: 10:30 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 2 pm
Sunday: Closed
 
The Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit (TART) Highway 89 Route stops at the Tahoe Forest Hospital, which is a short walk from the Truckee Branch Library. The bus arrives at Tahoe Forest Hospital at 3 minutes after the hour from 7:03 am to 3:03 pm, 4:23 pm, and 5:23 pm. The bus departs Tahoe Forest Hospital at 32 minutes after each hour from 7:32 am to 5:32 pm.
 
For information on public transportation in Truckee, please see the Town of Truckee website.
 
 
Additional Resources
  • The Nevada County Library system offers a great selection of events, activities, and classes. Check out the schedule here
  • Can’t make it to the library due to age, injury, illness, or disability? The Book Buddy program will bring the books to you. 
  • Get involved and help improve your library as a volunteer!
 

4 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

April 22nd is Earth Day. Here are a few ideas for how you can celebrate our home planet while helping to protect our air, soil, and waterways.

  1. Ditch your car. Gold Country Stage is offering free fares on all routes April 21st and 22nd. Find bus schedules and routes here or call 211 for help planning your trip. Funded through the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP).
  2. Volunteer for SYRCL’s Pioneer Park Cleanup. The South Yuba River Citizen’s League (SYRCL) is celebrating Earth Day by hosting a cleanup at Pioneer Park on April 22nd, from 9 am to 12 pm. Help keep our waterways clean by removing debris from Little Deer Creek. 
  3. Recycle your batteries and electronic waste. If you have curbside service, you can recycle your household batteries by placing them in a sealed plastic bag on top of your recycling cart on collection day. We also have several drop-off sites in Western Nevada County. See the full list here. You can also recycle anything that plugs in at the McCourtney Road Transfer Station.
  4. Gather together, get involved. Check out the Earth Day celebrations at Sierra College Nevada County Campus (April 20th) and the Village at Squaw Valley (April 22nd) to listen to live music, see demonstrations, and learn how you can help protect the Earth.