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Vision Statement

Sierra Roots envisions a relationship-based community in which everyone has a chance to heal and a place to call home.


Mission Statement

Sierra Roots is committed to providing a secure and safe place for people who are chronically homeless. We employ a relationship- based approach that identifies individual needs and preserves the dignity of each person.  Our goal is a community in which homeless people experience inclusion rather than isolation and where they can progress toward health and self reliance.

Core Values Statement

All Sierra Roots programs and services are guided by six key values:

Community:   Developing an ever-changing experience built on personal relationships

Relationship:   Human one-to-one exchange in deep listening and discernment

Health:   Cultivating a healing community that promotes health of body, mind, spirit

Justice:           Restoring relationship with community

Dignity:            The right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake

Natural world: Reciprocity and gratitude with all living beings

Collaboration:  Working together to create a healthy community that honors our similarities and differences


Purposes Statement

Sierra Roots’ programs and services are driven by five annual purposes:

  1. Collaboration: Sierra Roots promotes collaborative relationships among community organizations, agencies, and individuals through the following activities of sharing resources, knowledge, and training expertise with multiple organizations and agencies, ongoing exchanges and updates with organizations, agencies, and individuals, and by reaching out to these organizations, agencies, and individuals to help us jointly meet the needs of our homeless population.

  2. Health: Sierra Roots promotes the health of our homeless participants with all our community-building programs and projects. These include a nutritious lunch program, shelter from extreme weather, shoes and boots program, regular visits to medical professionals, and an emergency motel voucher program for those who are sick or disabled.

  3. Education: Sierra Roots works, with all our outreach and communications with the wider community to raise awareness about the chronically homeless community among us, on what we have found to be their main issues, and how all of us can learn to address these issues together.

  4. Training: Sierra Roots offers training for people to provide one-on-one support for our chronically homeless participants. This training is designed to help us understand the needs of homeless persons and how to bring resources to them in pragmatic, timely, and effective ways. 

  5. Community: Sierra Roots programs and projects are designed to build collaboration and connection. Our most ambitious project is a Village community center and transitional housing. Through the community experience, built on personal relationships, Sierra Roots promotes health and independence to our homeless participants. 

External Position Statement: Community Builder

Since 2010, Sierra Roots has been building community with the hope of achieving positive life changes for chronically homeless people. We serve the chronically homeless of Western Nevada County, although most of our participants are from the Nevada City environs.

Community-building is the heartbeat of all Sierra Roots projects and programs, for we wish to promote reciprocal trust on a person-to-person basis. During the initial planning of Sierra Roots, we decided to avoid thoughts like, “What can be done for the homeless?” The Sierra Roots way is, “What can we do together with the homeless community?”

For example, those who spend the night at a Sierra Roots emergency cold weather shelter are never referred to as “shelter guests,” for this would imply that Sierra Roots volunteers are “shelter hosts.” Instead, all of us together are participants in building a healthy community that aims to leave nobody out in the cold, and from which everyone benefits. 

We find that the stories our volunteers tell about why they stepped forward are as personal as the stories the homeless tell of what led them to the shelter. Through Sierra Roots we are all brought together, building relationships and experiencing the benefits of community.

The philosophy of community-building is what drives Sierra Roots to envision its most ambitious project to date: the creation of a Village in the Nevada City environs that includes a Village Center and up to 36 small transitional homes—all based on a sustainable community where participants do the hard work of getting back on their feet to live a life that is healthy and independent. 

Sierra Roots is ever ready to build relationships with local organizations that also seek better, healthier community experiences. We find that working hand-in-hand with the fine local groups in our area (including government and nonprofit agencies) benefits everyone. To the best of our ability, we will continue to seek opportunities to coordinate Sierra Roots programs with the goal of providing a true continuum of care. We share resources and information with all local groups who are dedicated to a better future for our community, regardless of circumstances.