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October 4, 2018 – Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency held its annual Community Partner Awards Ceremony at the Gold Miners Inn on September 27th. The ceremony provided the opportunity to thank and honor community partners that make a difference in providing critical services to vulnerable and needy County residents. Four different categories were acknowledged as providing an outstanding partnership with the Health and Human Services agency. These categories include: Outstanding Community Organization, Outstanding Business/Government Organization, Outstanding Youth, and Outstanding Individual Community Members.

This year’s winners include: Sierra Mental Wellness Group (Outstanding Community Organization), Twin Cities Church (Outstanding Community Organization), Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (Outstanding Business / Government), Francis Bailey-Rundle (Outstanding Youth), and Sarah Eastberg (Outstanding Individual).

Outstanding Community Organization: Sierra Mental Wellness Group

Sierra Mental Wellness Group provides crisis services throughout Nevada County, including hospitals in Truckee and Grass Valley. The group partners with Behavioral Health to assess individuals for the need for involuntary hospitalizations, and helps link individuals to other needed services. In 2016/17 Sierra Mental Wellness Group provided 1,840 crisis assessments and arranged 356 of these individuals to enter psychiatric hospitals.

Outstanding Community Organization: Twin Cities Church

Twin Cities Church provided invaluable help to the Nevada County Department of Social Services during the October 2017 Lobo-McCourtney Wind Complex. Volunteers worked tirelessly to establish and maintain an emergency shelter for hundreds of evacuated residents. The impact of this relationship is beneficial across multiple spectrums has resulted in thousands of dollars in donations to assist parents and children in the community.

Outstanding Business/Government: Tahoe Truckee Unified School District

Tahoe Truckee Unified School District operates a Wellness Center Program which provides for spaces in high schools where youth seek support and connections. This past year the program served over 7,000 youth and held groups and classes on topics ranging from Body Image to Gender Acceptance. Additionally the School District operates a therapy program that conducts outreach, engagement and anti-stigma work to quickly bring youth in need into therapeutic services.

Outstanding Youth: Francis Bailey-Rundle

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Francis Bailey- Rundle received the Outstanding Youth Community Partner Award in recognition of her efforts supporting the interests of foster youth and their families. Francis is a youth liaison for the Nevada County Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program where she ensures that the needs, voices, and concerns of the roughly 250 foster youth in Nevada County are heard. Francis also provides extensive support to the Nevada County Independent Living Program and has taken on several leadership roles within the community.

Outstanding Individual: Sarah Eastberg

Sarah Eastberg received the Outstanding Individual Community Partner Award in recognition to her work managing the Salvation Army’s Booth Family Center. The Center is an emergency shelter for families experiencing homelessness where on average CalWORKs families stay at the shelter for 6 months prior to moving into permanent housing. Thanks to Sarah’s efforts when families leave the Booth Center they are more stable, have employment and an increase in earnings.

Other Nominees

Nominees for Outstanding Individuals included Katie Bell, Gina Dwyer, Janella Kirkman, and the Munroe-Rosenkild Family.  Other Nominees for Outstanding Youth were Glory Niesen, Dominic and Ethan Garrity. Connecting Point was also nominated as an Outstanding Community Organization.

Awards Selection Committee

The Awards Selection Committee included Ana Action (FREED), Nancy Baglietto (Hospitality House), Lovie Bucknell (Crisis Stabilization Unit), Laura Harter (Child Advocates of Nevada County), Mike Livak (Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation), and Mike Sypnicki (Probation).