Census 2020: Gearing Up for a Complete Count

Be Counted California!Every decade since 1790, the United States has attempted to count the country’s population. This nation-wide head-count plays an extraordinarily important role in shaping our communities for years to come.

Why the Census Matters

The next Census will take place in April 2020. There is a lot on the line, including funding for essential safety net programs and representation in Congress. Census data is used to:

  • Draw Congressional districts (not to mention school districts!)
  • Distribute billions of federal dollars to states
  • Inform the decisions of government, businesses, and non-profits

An undercount could cost California more than $1.5 billion across all Federal programs. These are dollars that fund housing, education, healthcare, roads, and emergency services in Nevada County.

The Challenge

It is vital to the future of our community to ensure that every person in Nevada County is counted. Connecting Point and the County of Nevada are collaborating to “get out the count,” with the goal of achieving a complete count for Census 2020. That means counting every person living in Nevada County. There are significant barriers to meeting this goal:

  • The 2020 Census will be the first to rely heavily on online responses. Internet access is limited in many areas of our county.
  • S. Census Bureau outreach will not go to P.O. Boxes. Many residents may not receive information about the Census.
  • There is widespread mistrust of the government and potential for misinformation about the Census in our community. People may choose not to participate, even though Census data is protected.

The State of California estimates that there are 48,370 “hard-to-count” individuals living in Nevada County (learn more about the Hard-to-Count Index here).

What’s Next

Connecting Point is currently reaching out to community organizations, faith-based groups, local agencies, businesses and others who work closely with demographic populations considered least likely to respond. These include:

  • Latinos
  • Immigrants and Refugees
  • Farm-workers
  • People with disabilities
  • Seniors
  • Children ages 0-5
  • Veterans
  • People with low/no broadband access
  • Households with limited English proficiency

Achieving a complete count requires us to work together to find the best ways to reach our hard-to-count neighbors. If you serve any of the above “hard-to-count” populations, we want to hear from you. Please contact Heather Heckler by email or by phone at 530-274-5601 to let us know if you’d like to be involved.

The Census begins April 1st. LET’S MAKE NEVADA COUNTY COUNT!

Learn more about the 2020 Census and Nevada County’s Complete Count.

“Yes I Can!” Series Starts Sept. 9th

We all know caregivers are superheros. But every Batman needs a Robin. The Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation has your back with the free “Yes I Can!” series. “Yes I Can!” is built to support family caregivers, with information from local experts on caring for the caregiver, connecting to community resources, and advanced planning. You’ll leave feeling empowered again, with more tools in your kit.

Part 1 is a three-week series, running from September 9th through 23rd. Classes are from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at Eskaton Village in Grass Valley. Respite care is available.

Details

What: “Yes I Can!” Caregiver Empowerment Series
When: Mondays, September 9-23, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Where: Eskaton Village, 49er Lounge, 625 Eskaton Circle, Grass Valley
Cost: Free for family caregivers

To register, leave a message at Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center at 1-800-635-0220. If care is needed for your loved one during class, please indicate this when registering.

For more information, contact Annie Mikal at 530-264-5046 or amikalheine@gmail.com.

Survey on Mental Health Services

Nevada County Behavioral Health wants your input on the future of mental health services in our community. The Community Needs Assessment Survey gives the public an opportunity to weigh in on funding priorities for programs to serve both youth and adults.

This survey is part of the planning process for the next Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Three-Year Plan, starting in July 2020. 

The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), also known as Prop 63, was passed by California voters in November 2004. MHSA is funded by a 1% tax for those earning over $1 million per year, and is designed to expand and transform California’s county mental health systems.

This survey has 22 questions and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. The survey has four sections: (1) prevention and early intervention services; (2) treatment and recovery services; (3) access to services; and (4) personal demographic information. All answers are optional, and your responses will be anonymous and confidential
 
The survey will close on Monday, August 26.
 

SSI Recipients Eligible for CalFresh Benefits

Informational flyer on CalFresh and SSI
Click on the above image to open a PDF of the flyer.

As of June 1, 2019 people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be eligible for CalFresh benefits.

CalFresh (formerly known as Food Stamps) provides financial support to people with low income. CalFresh benefits can be used to buy fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods. The program previously excluded seniors and people with disabilities who received SSI benefits.

This change will increase access to healthy food for many low income families in our community.

The amount of benefits a household receives is dependent on household size, countable income, and monthly expenses, such as housing and utilities. The program issues monthly benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Food may be purchased at any grocery store or farmers market that accepts EBT cards. (Learn more about using your EBT card at local farmers’ markets here). 

How does this affect specific customers?

• SSI income amounts will not be reduced or eliminated.

• Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) income amounts will increase by $10 per person to align the rates with SSI rates.

• Single persons receiving SSI will be able to apply for benefits starting June 1, 2019. 

• SSI recipients who are included in active CalFresh households will automatically be added to the household’s case when their next report or renewal is due. They do not need to apply.

The State has created a flyer with more information about changes to CalFresh for SSI recipients. In English. En Español.

Learn more about applying for CalFresh benefits here.

Walk-In Clinic for Drug & Alcohol Assessment

Flyer for the Walk-in assessment clinicBeginning March 18th, the Nevada County Behavioral Health Department will offer a free walk-in assessment clinic for drug and alcohol treatment. The clinic is open to all Nevada County residents covered by Medi-Cal (or who may qualify for Medi-Cal) who are interested in residential treatment.

A variety of treatment options are available, depending on the level of need. Treatment priority will be given to certain populations, including pregnant/parenting people who are using substances and those using IV drugs.

The “first come first served” clinic will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to noon at 500 Crown Point Circle, Suite 120 in Grass Valley. Staff recommends arriving at 9:00 am. Clinic participants should bring their Medi-Cal ID card, if possible.

For more information about drug and alcohol treatment resources, please call 530-265-1437.

Details

What: Walk-In Assessment Clinic for Drug & Alcohol Treatment
When: Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, beginning March 18th
Where: Nevada County Behavioral Health, 500 Crown Point Circle, Suite 120 in Grass Valley
Cost: Free

Upcoming Trainings Focus on Youth Mental Health

Flyer with details of the Youth Mental Health First Aid trainingWhat’s Up! Wellness is hosting two upcoming trainings for adults interested in learning about adolescent mental health. The Youth Mental Health First Aid training gives participants information on how to provide initial support and resources to youth in need. The two-day class covers the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches participants how to help a teen in crisis.

Participants who complete the full eight hour class will be certified for three years.

For more information, call 530-268-5854 or email wellnesscheckups@gmail.com.

Details

What: Youth Mental Health First Aid training
When:
March 28 and 29, 9:30 am-1:45 pm
Where: FREED, 435 Sutton Way in Grass Valley
Cost: Free
Click here to register

What: Youth Mental Health First Aid training
When:
 April 4 and 5, 9:00 am-1:15 pm
Where: Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, 380 Crown Point Circle, Grass Valley
Cost: Free
Click here to register

Judges Needed for Directing Change Film Contest

Each year, the Directing Change Program and Film Contest invites youth throughout California to submit 60-second films about suicide prevention and mental health. The goal of the program is to engage young people in learning about these critical health topics through the medium of film. The films are then used to support awareness, education, and advocacy efforts in schools and communities.

Directing Change is currently seeking judges to help select this year’s winning films. Do you have expertise or interest in directing, writing, editing, acting, journalism, video production, suicide prevention and/or mental health?  Become a judge today! 

The process is simple. Judges must:

  • Participate in a brief 30-45 minute judging orientation (via phone or webinar) in February.
  • Review up to 12 sixty-second film submissions and complete an online scoring form for each. The judging period will take place in mid-March 2019.

The entire judging process will take less than 2 hours of your time and can be done online from home. Judges are recognized on the contest website and in the award ceremony program.

Learn more at the Directing Change website or complete the online application here.

The winning teams and their associated schools will win prizes, receive prevention programs and other resources for their schools, and attend the award ceremony at the end of the school year. See past submissions here.

Directing Change is part of Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement and statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students. These initiatives are funded by counties through the Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.

Cal ABLE Provides Gateway to Financial Security

In California, many people with disabilities and their families rely on a variety of public benefits provided by state and federal governments to make ends meet. They include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), MediCal, CalFresh, and other state health insurance programs.

These programs provide critically important services to people with disabilities but often do not allow individuals to save more than a total of $2,000, or earn more than $680 a month.

These restrictions are a disincentive for people with disabilities and their families to save for long-term needs, leaving them vulnerable to changes in health, living arrangements, unexpected emergencies, or to pay for the cost of care.

The new CalABLE Program opens up life-improving opportunities for people with disabilities and their families. CalABLE allows individuals with disabilities to contribute to tax-free savings and investment accounts without losing their benefits. Eligible individuals can contribute $15,000 a year into an ABLE account and maintain benefits like Medi-Cal and CalFresh.

Contributions to an ABLE account can be made by family, friends, or the beneficiary themselves. The account’s earnings are allowed to accumulate tax-free, and the withdrawals, provided they are applied to qualifying disability expenses, are tax-free.

One of the largest benefits afforded by the ABLE Act is the ability to exclude certain assets from federal means-tested programs. As an example, in order for an individual to obtain Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the countable resources must be worth not more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple. Savings held in an ABLE account, up to a $100,000 limit, are not counted against the $2,000 limit on personal assets for individuals to qualify for SSI and other public benefits.

In essence, the ABLE Act has increased the cap for countable assets from $2,000 to $100,000 for people with disabilities seeking eligibility for SSI.

See the CalABLE fact sheet for more information or go to the CalABLE website to learn more about this important new program.

Upcoming Forums Focus on Community Needs

The Nevada County Adult & Family Services Commission is seeking community input on the needs of people with very low income in Nevada County.

The commission is holding two Community Forums to learn more about community needs related to the broad issues of poverty, unemployment, education, health, nutrition, housing, homelessness, crime, transportation, delinquency, obstacles to self-sufficiency, and economic opportunity.

Individual community members and representatives of local organizations are invited to share their views and experiences. In Eastern Nevada County, the forum will be held on Thursday, December 6th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Truckee Government Center, 10075 Levon Avenue. In Western Nevada County, the forum will be held on Friday, December 7th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Nevada County Government Center, 950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City. Each speaker will be given five minutes to present. A sign-up sheet for speakers will be provided at the door.

If you are unable to attend a Community Forum, you can still make your voice heard by completing a short survey online. There is a survey for individual community members and one for community organizations. If you would like a written form, contact Suzi Kochems by phone at 530-228-7811 or by email at suzi@silkconsultinggroup.com.

The mission of the Adult & Family Services Commission is to represent the community to the Board of Supervisors on issues regarding health and human services and family interests of all residents of Nevada County.  The information gathered at the upcoming Community Forums will contribute to the needs assessment process required as a part of the 2020/21 Community Action Plan (CAP). The CAP is part of the application process for ongoing Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding for supportive service programs.

Details

What: Community Forums on the Needs of People with Low Income

When & Where:

Thursday, December 6th, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Truckee Government Center, 10075 Levon Avenue, Truckee

Friday, December 7th, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Nevada County Government Center, 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City

Salvation Army Offers Christmas Assistance

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is bringing holiday cheer again this year with their 2018 Christmas Assistance program.

The Christmas Assistance program is for children, seniors, and people with disabilities with low income who need a little help for the holidays. Sign-ups are November 12th through 14th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Salvation Army office in Grass Valley.

Those interested in signing up must bring proof of identity for all household members and proof of income. (See the flyer for more information on the types of ID and proof of income accepted).

Most importantly, bring your wish list to let folks know what gifts will brighten your holiday season. Make sure to include clothing and shoe sizes if you’re requesting gifts for children.

For more information, contact the Salvation Army at 530-274-3500.

Details

What: Salvation Army Christmas Assistance Program
When: November 12-14, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Salvation Army, 10725 Alta Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
What to Bring: Proof of identity for ALL household members, proof of income, your wish list!

Local Businesses & Organizations Offer Free Thanksgiving Meals

Thanksgiving pie

Whether you’re looking for a place to gather, dinner to go, or a warm meal delivered to your door, several local businesses and organizations are offering free Thanksgiving feasts for Nevada County residents. Here’s your guide to what’s available this Thanksgiving.

Interfaith Food Ministry

What: Thanksgiving dinners to go
When: During normal distribution times, starting November 10th and ending November 21st
Where: 440 Henderson Street, Grass Valley
Cost: Free for current IFM clients. (For information on becoming an IFM client, call 530-273-8132).
Contact: 530-273-8132

Old Town Café

What: Family style dinner
When: Thanksgiving Day, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: 110 Mill Street, Grass Valley
Cost: Free and open to anyone
Contact: 530-273-4303

Rainbow Market

What: Meals to go
When: Thanksgiving Day, 12:00 to 3:00 pm
Where: 16797 Highway 49, Nevada City (across from the Willo)
Cost: Free and open to anyone
Contact: 530-478-9777

Sierra Roots

What: Sit-down meal
When: Thanksgiving Day, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Where: First Baptist Church, Nevada City, 300 Main Street, Nevada City
Cost: Free for people experiencing homelessness
Contact: 530-264-5113

Thanks to Give

What: Home-delivered meals
When: Delivered on Thanksgiving Day
Cost: Free for seniors and adults with disabilities who are home alone
Contact: To sign up, email thankstogivegv@gmail.com

 

Become a Confident Dementia Caregiver

Caregiver

Connecting Point is offering a free two day class for those who provide care for folks with dementia. The Confident Dementia Caregiver, taught by local gerontologist Renee Chevraux, will help caregivers feel comfortable and knowledgeable when assisting someone with dementia. Participants will learn about the causes of various types of dementia, appropriate tools for redirection, and how to work with common behaviors of those experiencing memory loss. The class will explore realistic approaches to repetitive, agitated, or combative behavior.

The two day Confident Dementia Caregiver class will be held on November 7th and 8th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at the Cedar Park Community Room on Sutton Way in Grass Valley. The class is free and open to the public.

Register online or call Karen at 530-274-5601.

Details

What: The Confident Dementia Caregiver

When: November 7 & 8, 1:00-4:00 pm

Where: Cedar Park Community Room, 210 Sutton Way, Grass Valley

Cost: Free

Get Your Free Flu Shot at Drive-Thru Clinic

Fight Flu

The Nevada County Public Health Department is conducting a free drive-thru flu shot clinic in Grass Valley on Tuesday, October 9th, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm (or while supplies last).

The drive-thru clinic is for adults and children three 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).

The clinic will be held in the parking lot of Twin Cities Church at 11726 Rough and Ready Highway. 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. Due to safety concerns, walkups and bicycles will not be permitted.

The Public Health Department is hoping for a large turnout, not only to protect residents from the flu, but also to learn valuable lessons and enhance response efforts in the event of a large communicable disease outbreak or public health emergency. Public participation is essential to making this exercise a success.

For more information or questions, call 530-470-2658 or email the Public Health Department.

Details

What: Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic

When: Tuesday, October 9th, 12:00 to 4:00 pm (or while supplies last)

Where: Twin Cities Church, 11726 Rough and Ready Highway, Grass Valley

Cost: Free

Do You Live In an Age-Friendly Community?

Survey GraphicAARP and the Agency on Aging Area 4 want your opinion. They are teaming up to ask folks what makes a community great for people of all ages. The Age-Friendly Community Survey is your chance to rate our community on a wide variety of topics, including housing, transportation, recreation, health & wellness, and employment.

Take a few minutes to complete the survey here. Your responses are anonymous and will be used only to promote age-friendly communities for people of all ages.

Free Fares on Truckee TART

The Town of Truckee is now offering free bus service for riders of the Truckee TART Local bus route. The Truckee TART Local operates throughout the Town of Truckee, providing access to shopping, recreation, employment, and more. Riders can also use the Truckee TART to connect to Placer County’s TART service to extend their trip throughout the Tahoe region.

Current hours of operations are Monday through Saturday between 9 am and 5 pm. Fixed Route services vary by season. For more information on routes and pick-up times, please visit the Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit website.

Truckee TART Dial-a-Ride also provides free year-round bus service for ADA-certified passengers. To make your reservation, call 530-550-7451.

For more information about your transportation options, give us a call at 2-1-1.

 

Get on the Move with Travel Training

On the Move

Access to transportation gives you better access to the world.

If you live near a bus stop, chances are you can make it to most of the places you need to go. Buses in Nevada County go to most local grocery stores. Many doctor’s offices and clinics are on bus routes. Libraries, banks, movie theatres, and parks are all accessible by bus.

Buses are a great transportation option, but many of us don’t even know where to start.

Riding the bus is easier than it might seem, especially when you know what to expect. Connecting Point’s new travel training program will help demystify the bus system and give you the tools you need to ride with confidence.

The program is free and open to anyone interested in learning to ride.

Here’s how it works:

Get Where You Want to Go

The travel training program is about getting you to YOUR destinations. Want to go to grocery shopping, meet a friend at a café, or get to an appointment? You’ll learn to find the best routes, time your trip, and recognize your stops to get you where you’re going on-time and hassle-free.

Find Tools That Work for You

Public transportation is for everyone. People of all ages and abilities ride the bus; sometimes we just need the right tools or knowledge to get where we need to go. We’ll work together to find the tools, technology, and techniques to make the bus system work for you.

Take a Bus Buddy

It’s always nice to have a partner when you’re learning something new. Our travel trainer will be with you every step of the way. You’ll plan together, ride together, and review your trip together. We’re in this together until you feel confident to ride alone.

Getting started is easy. Contact Travel Trainer Daniela Fernandez by email at danielaf@connectingpoint.org or by phone at 530-274-5601 to learn more about the program and schedule your first appointment. We’re excited to help you get on the move!

Get Engaged with Falls Prevention Event

The Falls Prevention Coalition is hosting their 11th annual community event on Wednesday, September 12th. The theme this year is Fall Prevention “Beyond the Throw Rug,” with presentations focused on decision-making, planning, and resources to help you stay safe, strong, active, and engaged.

The agenda for the day includes morning coffee and pastries, a resource fair with local organizations, and a buffet lunch. Music will be provided by the Forever Young Senior Chorus.

This fun, free event will be held at the Seventh Day Adventist Church from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. Register by September 7th by calling 530-477-9700.

Details Falls Prevention Flyer

What: Falls Prevention Coalition Community Event

When: Wednesday, September 12, 9:00 am to 2:30 pm

Where: Seventh Day Adventist Church, 12889 Osborne Hill Road, Grass Valley (off Hwy 174 near Union Hill School)

Cost: Free! Call 530-477-9700 to register.

Say “Yes I Can!” with Caregiver Education Series

"Yes I Can!"

Family caregivers need all the support they can get. The seven-week “Yes I Can!” series, sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation, helps caregivers build the skills they need to care for themselves and their loved ones.

Participants will learn about the fundamentals of self-care, communication, personal care and nutrition, community resources, body mechanics and falls prevention, end of life care, and legal and financial issues.

By the end of the course participants will be confident, empowered caregivers.

Details

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

What: “Yes I Can!” Caregiver Education Series
When: Mondays, September 17-October 29, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where: Eskaton Village, 49er Lounge, 625 Eskaton Circle, Grass Valley
Cost: Free for family caregivers

To register, leave a message at Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center at 1-800-635-0220. If care is needed for your loved one during class, please indicate this when registering.

For more information, contact Annie Mikal at 530-264-5046 or amikalheine@gmail.com.

Learn to Live Well with a Chronic Condition

Living Well with a Chronic Condition

Nobody chooses to have a long-term chronic illness. What we can choose, however, is how we manage that illness. Living Well with a Chronic Condition is an innovative, interactive six-week workshop that will help you take charge of your health, improve your quality of life, and lower your health care costs.

Hosted by Connecting Point, the free workshop is geared specifically towards people with chronic conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, depression, asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema.

Participants will work together to share experiences, make action plans, and problem-solve alongside others with chronic conditions. Learn techniques for dealing with frustration, fatigue, pain, and isolation; build your strength and endurance; and learn how to effectively communicate with health professionals.

Classes are Tuesdays, September 4th through October 9th from 1:00 to 3:30 pm at the Glenbrook Community Room at 265 Sutton Way in Grass Valley. The workshop is free and open to the public. Register online or call Karen at 530-274-5601.

This class is presented in partnership with Dignity Health- Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.

Details

What: Living Well with a Chronic Condition (six-week workshop)
When: Tuesdays, September 4-October 9, 1:00-3:30 pm.
Where: Glenbrook Community Room, 265 Sutton Way, Grass Valley. By bus: Take Gold Country Stage Route 4 to the Glenbrook stop.
Cost: Free!

FREED Youth Program is the Latest CRAYYz

Creative. Resourceful. Adventurous. FREED’s got a new mantra for youth and young adults with disabilities this summer.

FREED Summer Youth Program 2018 with Full Calendar

FREED, a resource center for people with disabilities, is kicking off the summer with a new slate of activities bringing young people with disabilities together with a focus on fun. The Summer C.R.A.Y.Y.z (Creative, Resourceful, Adventurous Youth and Young Adultz—pronounced “craze”) program offers a variety of regular fun peer events, including an Artistic Hour (Mondays from 3:00 to 4:00 pm), a Leadership Team (Wednesdays from 1:00 to 3:00 pm), games, movies, and time out on the town.

The fun and games are just a small part of FREED’s goal to assist young folks with disabilities to become strong, independent adults.

The organization’s new Youth Transition Program is designed specifically to connect transition age youth and young adults (ages 14 to 24) with information and services that will help them increase their independent living skills as they move from high school into adult life and responsibilities.

The program helps youth and young adults develop independent living and leadership skills through individual goal setting, peer support, application assistance, advocacy, and more.

For more information about FREED’s Youth Transition Program, contact Shaylin Bautista-Vega by phone at 530-477-3333 or by email at shay@freed.org.