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.

Schedule Your Free AARP Tax Appointment

It’s time to start thinking about your TAXES.

Once again the AARP TaxAide volunteers are gearing up to provide tax preparation services and electronic filing of both Federal and California tax returns. The program serves people of all ages with middle and low income and is provided to Nevada County residents at NO COST.

The TaxAide group can prepare most common personal tax returns, including those that have salary, interest, dividends, itemized deductions, pension and IRA withdrawals.

Appointments will be available every Monday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, February 4th through April 8th. Reservations are required.

For more information or to schedule your TaxAide appointment, call 211 (or 1-844-319-4119). 

Happy filing!

 

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.

Habitat for Humanity to Host Information Meetings

Nevada County Habitat for Humanity is holding two application information meetings this month for potential new homeowners.

Habitat for Humanity homes are for families with low income who need better housing and are willing to partner with Habitat. Habitat homes are built by volunteers and are sold to homeowners at no profit, with a 0% interest mortgage.

Application information meetings will be held on Wednesday, January 9th at 7:00 pm and Saturday, January 12th at 1:00 pm at the Grass Valley United Methodist Church. For more information, check out the flyer or call 530-274-1951.

Childcare will be available by request. Please call 530-274-1951 to reserve your spot.

Details

What: Habitat for Humanity Application Information meeting

When: Wednesday, January 9th at 7:00 pm or Saturday, January 12th at 1:00 pm

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

Cost: Free. Call 530-274-1951 to reserve your spot.

Wildfire Prevention Town Hall

Images and accounts from the Camp Fire in nearby Butte County have reminded us of the devastation wildfire can cause in a community like ours. Fire prevention and preparedness are at the Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness Town hall flyertop of our minds now more than ever.

The threat of wildfire is urgent. Efforts to safeguard our community require an all-hands-on-deck community approach. This Wednesday, December 5th, community members are invited to learn from fire experts, ask questions, and share solutions for preventing and preparing for wildfire in Nevada County.

The Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness Town Hall will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Board Chambers of the Rood Center at 950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City. Speakers will include representatives from CalFire, local law enforcement, city officials, and County staff. Folks can also stop by resource booths in the lobby for more information on how local organizations can help you prevent and prepare for fire.

The event will be broadcast live on KVMR and NCTV for those unable to attend.

Details

What: Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness Town Hall

When: Wednesday, December 5th, 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Where: Board Chambers of the Rood Center, 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City

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

Clear Your Criminal Record with Clean Slate Clinics

Clean Slate Clinic

Having a criminal record can be one of the biggest barriers to obtaining employment or housing. Past convictions may no longer reflect who you are, but they are often the only information employers or landlords have about you.

There is a way to get a fresh start, however.

Both Community Legal and Legal Services of Northern California offer free record clearing clinics to help folks leave their criminal history behind.

Community Legal

Community Legal holds a Record Clearing Clinic at 2:00 pm on the last Wednesday of each month. This free clinic is led by a local attorney who can assist you in finding out if a criminal matter can be removed from your record. Attorneys will walk you through the process and may even go to court with you, if necessary.

To reserve your spot, contact Community Legal by phone at 530-265-3425 or by email at staff@communitylegal.net.

Legal Services of Northern California

Legal Services of Northern California offers a Clean Slate Clinic at different locations on the first Wednesday of every month. Clinics are free and open to Nevada County residents.

Attendees must have their RAP sheet in order to meet with an attorney. Please see the Clean Slate Clinic website for all eligibility requirements and instructions before registering. To register, contact Francisco Castro by phone at 530-886-4657 or by email at fcastro@placer.ca.gov. You must register to attend.

Upcoming Clinics

Wednesday, November 7th at 9:00 am
Placer School for Adults
1919 Grass Valley Highway, Suite 100, Auburn

Wednesday, December 5th at 9:00 am
Placer County Employment Services
1000 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 100, Rocklin

Check Your Record

Want to know if you have something on your record. Search by name on the Nevada County Superior Court’s CourtView website. You can learn your case number, status, and disposition and pay your outstanding fines online.

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

 

Find Your New Wardrobe at Sister’s Closet Clothing Swap

Twin Cities Church is hosting Sister’s Closet, a free women’s clothing swap. This is a great chance to get rid of those clothes you haven’t worn in a while and refresh your wardrobe.

Here’s how it works:

Drop off your gently used women’s clothing and accessories on Friday, October 12th between 12:00 and 6:00 pm. Come back and shop on Saturday, the 13th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

There is no cost to shop. Free childcare will be provided on Saturday.

Donations are not required to shop. For more information, call Nancy at 530-559-7549.

Details

What: Sister’s Closet Women’s Clothing Swap

When: Donate on Friday, October 12th from 12:00 to 6:00 pm. Shop on Saturday, October 13th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Where: Twin Cities Church, Student’s Multi-Purpose Room, 11726 Rough & Ready Highway, Grass Valley

Cost: Free

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

Share Your Ideas for Future Sidewalks and Bike Lanes

Bike Lane

The Nevada County Transportation Commission (NCTC) wants your input on local sidewalks, bicycle paths, and trails.

The NCTC is working with the County of Nevada, City of Grass Valley, City of Nevada City, and Town of Truckee to create an Active Transportation Plan for Nevada County. The Plan will evaluate pedestrian and bicycle needs and prioritize recommendations.

NCTC is seeking input from Nevada County residents using an online mapping tool. Users can add their own suggestions or comments for sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails or vote and comment on the suggestions of others. Online comments will be accepted through October 7th.

Additionally, NCTC will host public workshops on October 17th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in the Truckee Town Hall Council Chambers and on October 18th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in the council chambers at Grass Valley City Hall.

If you’ve ever wished for a sidewalk, bicycle lane, or trail in your community, this is your chance to share your ideas.

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.

 

Tools & Support to Quit Smoking

Cigarette SmashFinding your path to a tobacco-free life is easier with the right tools. Connecting Point and the Nevada County Public Health Department are teaming up to help folks quit for good.

Tools, Strategies, & Support

Connecting Point is now offering the American Lung Association’s innovative Freedom from Smoking program free to Nevada County residents.

Freedom from Smoking is an 8-class series for folks who are ready to quit smoking.  Participants will work together to set a quit date, build a quit plan, and support each other through their first tobacco-free weeks.

The class includes strategies for identifying triggers, managing stress, and avoiding weight gain. You’ll also learn how tools like quit-smoking medications can increase your chances of quitting.

It’s all about putting a plan in place that will work best for you.

The next Freedom from Smoking workshop starts September 26th and meets weekly through November 7th. Classes are from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at the Glenbrook Community Room, 265 Sutton Way in Grass Valley.

The workshop is free and open to the public. Participants who attend all eight classes will receive a $50 gift card. Register online or call Karen at 530-274-5601.

Freedom from Smoking is sponsored by the Nevada County Public Health Department.

Kits to Help You Quit

One key to quitting is changing your routines. What are those feelings or situations that make you reach for a cigarette? Finding the right substitutes–whether it’s to reduce stress, fill the time, or keep your hands busy—can help you reduce your dependence on tobacco.

The Public Health Department has put together Quit Kits with some simple tools and ideas to help you break the habit. Kits are free and delivered to you by mail. Get your free Quit Kit by dialing 2-1-1 (or 1-877-847-0499) and asking for your Quit Kit today.

Quitting tobacco is a challenge, but millions of people have done it. So can you!

Office of Emergency Services Offers Fire Inspections

Defensible space zonesCreating defensible space around your home is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of property damage from fire. But do you know which vegetation can stay and which should go?

Nevada County Office of Emergency Services (OES) is offering free Fire Safety Defensible Space Inspections. Fire inspectors assess fire safety hazards around your home and can advise you on the best way to create defensible space and harden your home against fire. Inspectors from Nevada County OES are available to perform fire inspections for any Nevada County resident.

Requesting an inspection of your property or neighborhood is simple. Just fill out Nevada County’s Fire Inspection Request form on the County’s website.

Many fire districts also perform fire inspections for residents within their district. Residents can find their designated fire district through Nevada County’s MyNeighborhood Maps.

For more information on emergency preparedness and fire safety, take a look at the 18-19 Fire Season Guide, visit CalFire’s Ready for Wildfire website, find community resources from the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, and don’t forget to sign yourself and your family up for CodeRED Emergency Alerts online or by calling 211 to sign up over the phone.

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.