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Winter 2021

A Brand New Year

posted Jan 21, 2021, 1:13 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Jan 21, 2021, 1:19 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Just when it seemed as if 2020 would never end it finally passed, “not with a bang but a whimper,” into the murky annals of history. Although it seemed as though no year could bring such turmoil and travail as did 2020, 2021 is doing its best to keep up with its progenitor. Only one week into this spanking new year demonstrates that 2021 has definitely started with a bang, and a big one at that!

Already a year fraught with changes, not all of them have been unwelcome. Although experiencing a drier winter than normal, we denizens of the Sierra foothills can breathe more easily as another grave fire season is behind us. Fields and meadows are greening up nicely. Ponds are slowly refilling and puddles dot the landscape. The earth is softer underfoot. The winter holidays behind us, we can breathe a collective sigh of relief, albeit a brief one, before striking out into a world unknown and a path untrodden as we welcome a new year.

The pandemic has been a catalyst for change at the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center. Since last spring we have adapted and re-adapted to an ever-changing list of mandates and precautions while trying to remain sensitive to the needs of our community. Balancing need and caution we have reworked ways of delivering services, namely distributing food and clothing, to our community.

Twin Ridges Elementary School District has generously made the old Oak Tree Kitchen available for use as a new and improved food pantry. For years the Oak Tree kitchen was filled with mouth-watering aromas of freshly baked bread and granola bars, simmered soups and stews, roasted chicken and pasta casseroles to serve to generations of hungry school children. When the student population was moved to Grizzly Hill the kitchen fell into disuse. For several years it sat unused, then experienced a renaissance as local entrepreneurs used it as a place to make organic fudge, hummus, salsa, pesto, jams, pickles and other value-added foods for market. One by one, the entrepreneurs moved elsewhere, leaving the little kitchen empty for years.

Enter the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center. For close to a decade, the FRC had been using a small closet-sized space on the Oak Tree Campus as a food pantry. From that tiny space we were able to feed our community with an abundance of foods donated by the Food Bank of Nevada County, local farmers, and goodhearted friends and neighbors. Concurrently, we stopped delivering services because of covid19 and the destruction of the pantry’s metal door by a mysterious vandal. Although the door was eventually replaced, we had begun thinking that the time might be right to move into a larger space that afforded more food storage. At their spring board retreat, the Twin Ridges School Board of Trustees, with the support of District Superintendent Melissa Madigan, generously extended permission to use the kitchen as a new and improved food pantry for the San Juan Ridge.

With the great help of NCSOS’s Laura Harter, a request for grant monies from Nevada County’s Covid Relief Fund was made. Once the funds were received, we were able to set to work. Contractor Ed Acosta made some badly needed repairs to the building’s ceiling. Firefighter/groundskeeper, Shawn Olson pressure washed the roof and exterior walls of the little building and relocated our major appliances. Jess Nix raked a perimeter around the building and removed loads of oak leaves. Sunshine Bender and Jessica Martines hauled truckloads of trash, including a broken refrigerator, from the site. Cleaner Christiana Stroud made the place shine. With the magic of paint, Kristin and Diana have transformed drab brown interior walls to a lovely shade of blue.

We opened the OAK TREE PANTRY on Tuesday, January 19th. We plan to be open for food distribution 10am-2pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. Patrons will be unable to enter the pantry, but will be invited to select foods from a menu posted on the exterior of the building. Nevada County’s Food Bank will continue to distribute groceries at the Oak Tree site on the second Tuesday of every month, 10am-noon. During the Food Bank’s monthly drive-thru distributions, the Oak Tree Pantry will not be open as parking will not be available at that time.

In addition to opening a new and improved food pantry we will be opening a new and improved clothes closet. Operating during the same hours as the food pantry, Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-2pm, the Clothes Closet has also expanded into a bigger space. Originally designed for use as a school library, the room was also used for years as a classroom, then by the FRC as a games room and Art Camp’s music room. Now the room is filled with gently used clothing for every member of the family. We especially have LOTS of beautiful clothes for babies.

We were hoping to have a grand opening, complete with refreshments, speeches and balloons, but gala openings have fallen victim to the pandemic. For now, we will do our best to feed and clothe our community and save the speeches and balloons for later. We will continue to do our best adapt to changing circumstances while keeping the needs of the San Juan Ridge Community foremost in our plans.

We are grateful to Ed Acosta, Sunshine Bender, Malik Goodman, Laura Harter, Hilary Hulteen, Rachel Koslowski, Melissa Madigan, Jessica Martines, Nicole McNeely, Kelly Moreno, Mindi Morton, Jess Nix, Shawn Olson, Sarah Sparks, Christiana Stroud, Lorean Whitestone, the Food Bank of Nevada County, Nevada County Relief Fund, Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, and Twin Ridges Elementary School District for their encouragement, help and support. They will be most welcome to share in refreshments, speeches and balloons when the big day comes!

North San Juan Community Center’s Winter Services

posted Jan 21, 2021, 1:04 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Jan 28, 2021, 12:45 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

North San Juan’s Community Center operates a warming shelter for those in need on cold, blustery winter nights. The following information can be found on their web site:


When we’re open: The shelter will be open if it’s raining at 34 degrees or below or open on the 4th night of consecutive rain. Additionally, we require two overnight hosts to open for overnight use. The shelter will be open around 5pm in the evening and close at 8am the following morning. All shelter participants are asked to vacate the premises during the day.

Free hot meal: In addition to offering a warm, dry place to sleep, a free hot meal will be served from about 5pm-8pm and breakfast in the morning. Movies will be available to watch in addition to games.

Dogs: Dogs are permitted as long as they’re well behaved, on leash and with their persons at all times.

Get involved: Volunteers for cooking meals, kitchen clean up, overnight hosting, and gathering or providing donations are a huge help and are required to keep the shelter open and running. We are NOT county funded and rely solely on donations and community participation. To find out how to get involved, join our FB page NSJ Warming Shelter.

Warming Shelter Participant Guidelines

· Shelter participants must be in by 10pm. No one will be permitted in or out after 10pm without an escort.

· Shelter participants are not permitted to let anyone into the building once doors are locked. If someone is at the door, alert a host.

· Wash your hands thoroughly prior to eating and signing in.

· Wash your dishes and clean up after yourself.

· Leave all disagreements outside, be respectful and courteous of others.

· No loud or obscene language.

· Lights out is quiet time, all participants must remain in their sleeping quarters and are not permitted to wander the space, except to use the restroom.

· Breakfast is served around 7-7:30am.

· Clean up and put away your bedding and cots.

· Participants agree to help with assigned chores to clean and maintain the space.

· Well behaved dogs are permitted on leashes and must remain with their people at all times. No dogs in the kitchen.

· All participants must vacate the property after shelter closes. No loitering.”

In addition to maintaining a warming shelter, the Center has been providing supervised, socially distanced internet access during school hours so that local students can practice distance learning in a safe and comfortable environment. Although snacks are frequently available, students are required to provide their own lunches.

The North San Juan Community Center is a true asset to this community. In addition to homeless and student services, the Center hosts seasonal farmers markets, community meals and other enriching events and activities. Covid19 has affected the Center’s ability to raise funds that are essential for day to day operations. This valuable community resource relies upon the generosity of friends and neighbors so that the warming shelter, distance learning and other essential programs can continue.

If you are able to make a donation in any amount, please send it to NSJCC, PO Box 324, N San Juan, CA 95960. For more information or to volunteer at the North San Juan Community Center please call Sue Bauer at 292-9525 or 292-9048.

Hopes for the Future

posted Jan 21, 2021, 1:00 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Jan 23, 2021, 2:12 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Poised at the beginning of a new year, with the advent of spring just around the corner, the time is ripe for hopes to arise and plans to be made. Although appearances may differ, at their core most beings have similar dreams and aspirations. When asked the simple question, “What are your hopes for the future?” this is how several visitors to the FRC responded:

“Health and security. I’m glad to be where I am. I just moved into a new house and I’m looking forward to things getting better.”

Mary Hugueley
Food Bank Volunteer

“Positivity. Food. A roof over my family’s head. I want my family to be healthy and happy and for me to grow more as a human.”

Alexis Lantz

“It’s hard for me to look past tomorrow. My hope is that we recognize our fellow man and continue to support one another.”

Nicole McNeely
Director, Food Bank of Nevada County

“I want all children to thrive without any struggle.”

Hiroko Greenberg
Mother of two

“I would like to find the Spiderman toy I lost on the playground and I would like a real time machine so I could go back in time and see real dinosaurs.”

Mason Ryan
Kindergarten Student


Nancy Lorenz
Community Volunteer

“I just want people to love each other.”

Jessi Gray
Artist & Mom

Whoever we are, our humanity and basic human needs bind us together. Food, shelter, happy healthy children, mutual support, to find what has been lost, love and a peaceful world are universal goals shared by all. A future where all things are possible, where we truly can live in a peaceful, loving world and travel back in time to see real dinosaurs is a future worth working to achieve. May we all achieve such worthwhile dreams. The sooner we do so, the better.

Nevada County Low Income Tax Help Available

posted Jan 21, 2021, 12:47 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Beginning in February, FREE tax help will be available to Nevada County residents. Both AARP and the Nevada County Department of Health and Human Services will be available to those who have been designated low income for 2020. To learn if you are eligible and/or and make an appointment, dial 211 for information and an appointment.



Community Library Update

posted Jan 21, 2021, 12:47 PM by Kristin Snell

by Roo Cantada, San Juan Ridge Community Library

Happy New Year from the San Juan Ridge Community Library!  We have been plugging along the past 6 months, trying to comply with all the health guidelines while still offering limited services.  We are open from 12-5 Tuesday and Thursday and 12-4 on Saturday. We are really excited about our new space, THE ANNEX, which is coming along nicely and should be ready to be unveiled in the next month or so. The project is almost complete, and now, where there was once a dilapidated old trailer, a beautiful green walled and new structure sits! The last few things to be completed are interior drywall and paint, flooring (already picked out) and the mini-split heating and cooling system. The drywall is about ½ done and when its complete, the other few things will go quickly. The walkway has been poured and we will soon be cutting an arch shape out of the wall between the buildings to allow for easy access and continuity.

We anticipate being able to open THE ANNEX as soon as county guidelines lighten up a bit.

But Still we persist! 15 hours a week we are open for you to come, and other times, during closed times, we are slowly transferring our collection to our new software so we can scan items quickly and accurately. We are about halfway done entering and we are making great progress! We continue to offer the creative “window service” on T/R/SA, where we have items on the windowsills and patrons can choose. We don’t have our collection online so they can’t look up items yet, but so far this is working somewhat and its better than nothing! It’s been a challenge but you will find we are doing pretty good matching you up with what your looking for! If you haven’t cleared up your record from Pre-Covid, now is time to return those old items, pay for your lost ones (we only charge $5/item, no overdue fines), and get a shiny new card!  We really want to help you with your self-inflicted education, your online class, or your new homeschool path. We have a lot of resources for you and your family, so come on over to the Park and tap on the window.....We’d love to see you!

Lastly, SJRCL wants to thank the Nevada County Friends of the Library for all their support with our new building!


Nisenan Ancestral Homelands Reciprocity Program

posted Jan 21, 2021, 12:46 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Jan 21, 2021, 12:46 PM ]

From the website of the Nevada City Rancheria:

“The Nevada City Rancheria was created from an executive order by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913 from a land allotment obtained by Chief Charlie Cully in 1887. Cully's land on Cement Hill became Federal Trust Land and the Tribal government became a federally recognized entity.

The Nevada City Rancheria was one of 48 Rancherias illegally terminated in the 1950s and 1960s by the California Rancheria Termination Acts. Most have been restored; the Nevada City Nisenan Rancheria has not—yet.

Ancestral Homelands Reciprocity Program

An initiative of: The Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribal Council, California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project (CHIRP) and current residents of the Bear & Yuba River watersheds

homa kani

The Ancestral Homelands Reciprocity Program is a community generated initiative to support and uplift the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe, the original peoples of this land, through their tribally guided 501(c)(3) nonprofit CHIRP (California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project). Our goal is to raise visibility and awareness so all who work or live here can come together to honor the past and grow the future.

Your voluntary monthly contribution recognizes the sovereignty of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan and acknowledges their historic relationship with this land, their ancestral homelands.

Payments can be structured as a percentage of monthly income or a flat monthly contribution.

Our Acknowledgements

· We acknowledge these are the ancestral homelands of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe.

· We acknowledge this land was taken repeatedly with no compensation or regard for the lives and ways of the original people, until they had no land left.

· We acknowledge we are settlers here, that we live, love and work on land the Nisenan never ceded.


Together we can amend the tragic legacy of the past.”


For more info, visit, call 530.570.0846,  or send an email  

Donations are accepted online or via mail sent c/o CHIRP, P.O. Box 2624, Nevada City, CA 95959


Nisenan Land Acknowledgment

posted Jan 21, 2021, 12:43 PM by Kristin Snell

LIHEAP Program Provides Energy Assistance

posted Jan 21, 2021, 12:42 PM by Kristin Snell

From a flyer

To apply for LIHEAP Energy Assistance (firewood, propane, utilities) call:


All applications must be made by phone


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