One of the country’s most comprehensive drop-in centers for homeless youth is opening, and it is located in Las Vegas. The Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth’s (NPHY) newly expanded Drop-In Center is the culmination of a unique partnership between three charitable organizations – NPHY, Nevada Women’s Philanthropy (NWP) and HomeAid Southern Nevada (HASN) – that has resulted in greater capacity for more services to local homeless youth in need.
Clark County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow, State Senator Ruben Kihuen, members of NWP and HASN and other homeless youth advocates and supporters joined NPHY staff, board members and youth beneficiaries to preview the needed Drop-In Center expansion. The center is located at 4981 Shirley Street, across from UNLV off of Tropicana Ave. It will open to the public on Saturday, Jan. 31 with a free, family-friendly block party.
“Sadly youth homelessness is a growing crisis in Southern Nevada, but there is hope for these vulnerable kids as we provide services to meet their basic survival needs while helping them transition to self-sufficiency,” said Arash Ghafoori, executive director of the nonprofit NPHY. “Our ability to help these teens dramatically increased with the financial support of Nevada Women’s Philanthropy and in-kind construction contribution of HomeAid Southern Nevada. We can’t thank them enough for their recognition of a community need and commitment to us to make this expanded Drop-In Center a reality. We couldn’t have done it without them. They are helping us make a real difference in the lives of homeless kids in need.”
More than 9,000 homeless youth were enrolled in the Clark County School District during the 2013-2014 school year.
Nevada Women’s Philanthropy provided a $350,000 grant to fund the project. The member-driven, pooled-fund organization of philanthropically motivated women has granted $3.26 million to Las Vegas area nonprofits in the areas of the arts, education, environment, social services and health since it was established in 2005.
“NWP is proud of our effort to help NPHY create a safe place where homeless youth can create a pathway that leads to self-sufficiency so they can have the opportunity to learn how to be stable adults,” said Kelly Cavanagh, president of NWP. “The new drop-in facility is a beautiful place and testament to everyone’s hard work.”
To offset the project’s capital cost, HASN provided an in-kind construction donation of $270,000. This contribution has allowed for project upgrades and the reallocation of limited resources to operational, programmatic and direct service costs, thereby strengthening the project’s long-term sustainability and furthering its impact. Founded in 2004 by representatives from the local homebuilding industry and now a part of the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, HASN’s mission is to build new lives for area homeless through housing and community outreach.
“HomeAid Southern Nevada, in partnership with Pardee Homes, KB Home, Beazer Homes, Warmington Residential and Woodside Homes, and dozens of local contractors and vendors, joined together to donate time and skills to make this much-needed expansion a reality,” said Rocky Cochran, president of HomeAid Southern Nevada. “Our organization is about providing housing to those most in need in our community, and we accomplish our mission by bringing together the building industry to manage construction projects such as the Drop-In Center and bring them to reality.”
The 2,600-square-foot expansion enhances existing youth service areas, including creating a new kitchen designed to serve the teens’ daily nutritional needs and providing room for group sessions to learn how to prepare and cook food. The project more than doubles the size of the existing center – now at 4,600 square feet – adding new client spaces with a computer lab, staff office space, half-basketball court, gym, art and music rooms, and additional private areas for client in-take and tutoring.
In addition to the Drop-In Center, NPHY’s comprehensive homeless youth services include street and community outreach, emergency shelter, transitional housing, family reunification services, and Safe Place mobile crisis intervention that’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
NPHY is the only government-designated “Right to Shelter” agency in Clark County, an important distinction that enables it to provide housing and other necessary services to abused, neglected, and abandoned unaccompanied minors without parental consent when other agencies cannot.
During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, NPHY provided mobile crisis intervention services to 126 youth, removing them from dangerous situations; provided emergency supplies and supportive services to 377 unduplicated youth during the course of 4,843 visits to the Drop-In Center; provided beds to 117 youth for safety and to keep them off the streets; reunified 38 unaccompanied homeless youth with supportive family members; and made 3,332 contacts with at-risk and homeless youth on the streets of Southern Nevada.
“With our expanded Drop-In Center, we will be able to help more teens with additional and deeper services that make us the one of the most comprehensive service providers in the country for homeless youth,” said Ghafoori. “Since we opened in 2000, our goal has been to teach these kids about the skills needed for self-sufficiency, so they do not become homeless adults. NPHY has helped thousands of homeless teens get off the streets, reconnect with family members, graduate from high school, gain sustainable employment and transition to safe, stable housing and brighter futures.”
NPHY will be celebrating the grand opening of the newly expanded facility with the public during the Jan. 31 block party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Drop-In Center. The free family-friendly event will feature free hot dogs, entertainment, petting zoo, tours, giveaways, games and activities for all ages, and more.
For more information about the block party and NPHY, to donate or get involved, visit www.nphy.org or call 702-383-1332.
About the Drop-in Center Expansion
Founded in 2000, Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY), the most comprehensive provider of services to Southern Nevada homeless youth, has expanded its Drop-in Center in Las Vegas with a $350,000 grant from Nevada Women’s Philanthropy (NWP). The member-driven, pooled-fund organization of philanthropically motivated women has granted $3.26 million to Las Vegas area nonprofits in the areas of the arts, education, environment, social services and health since it was established in 2005.
NPHY is using the grant to more than double the size of the drop-in center with a larger kitchen, pantry, computer lab and staff office space. New features include a half-basketball court, gym, art and music rooms, and additional private areas for client in-take and tutoring. NPHY and NWP partnered with HomeAid Southern Nevada (HASN), which has providing an in-kind construction donation of $270,000 to offset capital costs.
Founded in 2004 by representatives from the local homebuilding industry and now a part of the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, HASN’s mission is to build new lives for area homeless through housing and community outreach. Its contribution allowed for project upgrades and reallocation of limited resources to operational, programmatic and direct service cost. This strengthens the project’s long-term sustainability and extends its impact. For more information, visit www.nphy.org, www.nvwomensphilanthropy.org and www.homeaidsn.org
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