Joanna Robinson, has recently been awarded the prestigious Lambert Award, with co-founder of Hospitality House, Cindy Maple. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the community of Nevada County. “No two people have changed the landscape of the issue about homelessness in Nevada County more than Joanna Robinson and Cindy Maple,” said David Parker, who presented the award as part of the Nevada City’s Constitution Day Celebration on September 10, 2017.
Last September, we had the opportunity to sit down with Joanna in the studio, and she shared with us a deeply moving story of one of the guests at Hospitality House, who we will call Jane. Before she shared the story, she took a moment of gratitude for the amazing experience it is to listen to the stories of homeless and vulnerable people. Joanna is truly a human being positively human.
Jane was from a small town in Maryland, and now, at 69 years old, she is a frequent guest at Hospitality House. Her mother had severe mental illness that went undiagnosed so she was violent with Jane throughout her childhood. She escaped the abuse when she left home, but got hooked in with a dangerous crowd. She robbed a bank in Seattle and spent time in prison. It is so amazing what humans can survive. This is a small piece of this moving, and disturbing story.
Joanna said at the end of recording, this woman is not crazy, she is very intelligent. She is a little eccentric and neurotic (like all of us). One of the program directors at Hospitality House said of Jane, “She is the most authentic person I’ve ever met.” It is in the vulnerability.
Listen to this story, as only Joanna can tell it.