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: Your Baby at 4 Months

Hello, Parents!

Parenthood is a journey like no other. Your child is special and truly one of a kind, just like your experience as a parent.

During this journey, you may worry about your child’s growth, health, and behavior and wonder if you are doing all the “right” things to help her develop. Doubt is inevitable (welcome to parenting!), but no one knows your baby better than you. Trust yourself, and remember that it’s okay to reach out; there are all kinds of great resources in our community to help you along the way.

Here’s a quick list of what to expect from your 4-month old and a few activities to try with her.

What to Expect at 4 Months

  • Your baby is communicating with her whole body. She’s moving around, making noises, and crying when she needs something.
  • Your child smiles spontaneously, especially at people.
  • Your baby copies some movements, like smiling or frowning.
  • Your baby likes to play with people and may cry when playing stops.
  • Your baby is beginning to babble.
  • Your baby may begin to be aware of his voice and may test it or play by making different noises.
  • Your child may start reacting with excitement when she sees or hears you.

Activities to Help Your Baby Grow and Learn

Physical play is a valuable tool to support your child’s development. Activities that use physical movements allow children to use their energy, recognize their own capacities, learn new things, and socialize. Playing also benefits your child’s health. Even from a very early age, children use play to understand the world around them.

Here are a few activities to try with your 4-month old:

  • Place your baby on your lap or a firm surface facing up. Pull your baby up slowly by her arms. Then gently lower her in an up-and-down game. This will help strengthen her stomach and neck muscles.
  • Talk to your baby while changing her diaper or giving her a bath; let the baby know what you are doing. You can also sing to your baby and play gentle games, like splashing on the water or playing peek-a-boo with a washcloth or your hands.
  • Place your baby in different positions, like on his stomach or his side. This will allow him to move his arms and legs in different directions, strengthen his body, and give him a more interesting view of his surroundings.

Have fun and remember: you are the most important person in your child’s life!

Want more information? To learn more about your child’s developmental stages, check out the Ages & Stages Questionnaires online or give us a call at 2-1-1 to speak to our Ready to Grow Specialist, Lorena Chappuzeau. Call 211 to connect to a wide variety of resources, including child safety information, childcare, parenting classes, health services, and more.

Sources: 
ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly & Ginger Fink
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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.

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.

 

 

Get the Support You Need to Breastfeed

Research shows that breastfeeding has many health benefits for both infants and mothers. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “human milk provides virtually all the protein, sugar, and fat your baby needs to be healthy.” Breastfeeding also benefits your baby’s immune system, helping to protect her against a wide variety of diseases and infections, and helps create a close bond between mother and child. 

Plus, breastmilk is free, always ready, and doesn’t require sterilized bottles!

Breastfeeding does not always come easily to mothers or their babies. That’s why there are all kinds of great and FREE resources in our community to assist new moms with breastfeeding.

If you are having trouble breastfeeding, a great first step is to visit with a lactation consultant. An Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC, for short) will check to make certain your baby has a good latch to help keep you comfortable and assure your baby is getting the nutrition she needs. They will help you learn how to get your baby to latch correctly every time! Your lactation consultant will also be able to answer your questions and help solve any issues you might be experiencing.

Resources

Women Infant Children (WIC)
Western Nevada County: 530-265-1454, 988 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley
Eastern Nevada County: 530-582-7814, 10075 Levon Avenue, Truckee
Provides in-home support for breastfeeding women. Most families with Medi-Cal qualify for free WIC services. Give them a call and ask if you qualify.

The Nest 
530-637-8411 (530-NEST411), 107 W Main Suite B Grass Valley
The Nest offers a free drop-in New Parent Support Circle classes on Thursdays from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm for breastfeeding assistance.

Sierra Care Physicians Pediatrics 
530-272-9780, 140 Litton Dr. Suite 100, Grass Valley
New parent support group, facilitated by Kris Jassen-Mather, an IBCLC.  Wednesdays from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. Everyone is welcome!

Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health Program, Nevada County Public Health
530-265-7269, 500 Crown Point Circle, Grass Valley
Provides support, education, and home visits with a public health nurse, including breastfeeding resources and support.

Need more support? Check with your insurance carrier; many policies will pay for a certain number of in-home visits with an IBCLC.

211 has more great resources for parents and families. Check out our Children & Youth guided search page to connect.  

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.

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.