USDA Offers Home Repair Loans & Grants for Homeowners with Low Income

California’s housing crisis has put a strain on many individuals and families with low income. It’s critically important that homeowners with low income, particularly seniors, be able to make 

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

necessary repairs to stay safely in their own homes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering financial assistance to meet this community need.

The USDA’s Home Repair Loan and Grant Program offers qualifying rural homeowners low-interest loans or grants to repair roofing, siding, flooring, insulation, electrical, and other health and safety hazards. The program provides grants of up to $7,500 for individuals aged 62 and over and loans of to $20,000 (with interest as low as 1%) for qualifying low-income homeowners of any age.

In Nevada County, annual income limits are $38,350 for a household of one to four people and $50,650 for a household of five to eight people (see table below).

To qualify you must:

  • Be the homeowner and occupy the house
  • Be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere
  • Have a family income below 50% of the area’s median income
  • For grants, be age 62 or older and not be able to repay a repair loan

Nevada County Income Limits:

 Household Size 1-4 People 5-8 People
 Maximum Annual Income $38,350 $50,650

To get your application started, contact Program Specialist Robert Canepa by phone at 530-217-6252 or by email at robert.canepa@usda.gov. USDA Rural Development’s nearest service center is located at 11661 Blocker Drive, Suite 120 in Auburn.To learn more about the Home Repair Loan and Grant Program’s requirements, check out the USDA website or download the flyer for more information.

Volunteers & Supplies Needed for Homeless Count

The annual point-in-time count of individuals and families experiencing homelessness is set to take place on January 24th. If you are interested in volunteering your time or supplies, your help is welcome. 

Volunteer

Volunteers are needed to conduct surveys, assist homeless individuals in navigating services, and conduct street outreach and surveys at scattered locations for 10 days after the count (the week of Jan. 28th–Feb. 1st).

A Survey training will be held at the Rood Center in Nevada City on January 15th from 1:15 to 4:00 pm. The training is required for those volunteering to conduct surveys. To volunteer to conduct surveys, please email Scott Thurmond.

To volunteer for Street Outreach, please email Brendan Phillips.

To volunteer for the event at Interfaith Food Ministry, please email Phil Alonso.

Donate

The following items are in high demand and greatly needed: socks, underwear, hand warmers, gloves, backpacks, sleeping bags, and hats.

Drop-off Locations (prior to the event):

Hospitality House Shelter
1262 Sutton Way
Monday-Friday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Please let the staff know your donation is for the PIT event

Sierra Roots
Contact Janice O’Brien at 263-2058 to arrange donation drop-off

 

Homelessness Count Set for January 24th

Nevada County’s annual point-in-time count of homeless individuals and families will take place January 24, 2019. This year, Nevada County is holding events at multiple locations in an effort to meet people where they are. The three main event locations will offer food and a variety of other services for those who are experiencing homelessness.

The point-in-time count is organized by the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras. Homeless counts are required to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Though HUD only requires a full count of both unsheltered and sheltered individuals every other year, Nevada County now conducts a full count each year.

Main Event Locations

This year, a number of Nevada County organizations are hosting events where volunteers will conduct brief surveys with homeless residents. These main event locations will offer hot meals, clothing, supplies, and gift cards. Participants will also be able to connect with County services like CalFresh, CalWORKs, and Public Health programs.

Interfaith Food Ministry
440 Henderson Avenue
Grass Valley
11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Services:

Gift card for taking the survey
Hot food
Clothing and other supplies
Veterans Services
Public Defender – legal services
Public Health
Free cell phones (with ID)
CalWORKS and CalFRESH enrollment

North San Juan
Community Center

29190 State Hwy 49
North San Juan
11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Services:

Gift card for taking the survey
Hot Food
Clothing and other supplies
Entertainment
Public Health
CalWORKS and CalFRESH enrollment

Food and Resource
Support Center

10111 E. Street
Truckee
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Services:

Gift card for taking the survey
Hot food
Clothing and Supplies
Laundry and showers

 

Alternative Locations

Community partners from across the county will also open their doors as alternative locations during the day to conduct surveys and offer gift cards. 

Hospitality House
1262 Sutton Way
Grass Valley
Open all day for surveys
Sierra Roots Lunch
1st Baptist Church
300 Main Street
Nevada City
11:30 am to 1:00 pm for surveys
Salvation Army
10725 Alta Street
Grass Valley
Transportation to IFM
SPIRIT Center
276 Gates Place
Grass Valley
Open all day for surveys
Madelyn Helling Library
980 Helling Way
Nevada City
10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Grass Valley Library
207 Mill Street
Grass Valley
10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Cold Weather Shelters

Cold Weather Shelters will be open on the night of January 23rd. 

Salvation Army
Cold Weather Shelter
10725 Alta Street
Grass Valley
Check in: 4:30 pm
Nevada City
Cold Weather Shelter

Seaman’s Lodge
423 Nimrod Street
Nevada City
Check-in: 4:30 pm
Truckee
Cold Weather Shelter

Church of the Mountains
10079 Church Street
Truckee
Check-in: 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Transportation

In Western Nevada County, the Salvation Army and Hospitality House will be running vans to the Interfaith Food Ministry event from the Cold Weather Shelter Locations at 10:45 am. After that, the transport vans will work to coordinate routes between alternate locations, local parks, and areas known to be frequented by the homeless community.

How You Can Help

Volunteers and supplies are needed for the count. See our post for more information.

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

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

 

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.

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.