Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth
Seven years ago the problems of homeless youth in southern Nevada went unrecognized and unaddressed. Homeless youth wandered the streets, ate out of dumpsters, and slept in the alleys, but in 2001, with the help of the Leadership Las Vegas Class, the Partnership opened the doors of Nevada's first full-service drop-in center for homeless teenagers. For the first time homeless youth had a place to find clothing, food and other basic services. Since then the Partnership has continued to provide those very same essential services to keep homeless teenagers, ranging from 12 to 18 years old, safe, healthy, in school and out of trouble.
Located in a central area where many street youth congregate, the Safe Place Drop-In Center offers respite, case management, educational and employment assistance, counseling and a plethora of other supportive services to homeless youth, ages 12 to 18. The center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., five days a week, nine hours a day. For most of our clients the Drop-In Center is a temporary relief from the hardships of street life -- a place to eat a hot meal, take a shower, do laundry, get a haircut, and even find some words of encouragement from our compassionate staff members and Case Managers. Youth can also visit the center any time during business hours to use the internet, take on-site life skills classes, attend on-site counseling/therapy sessions or even get help finding a job. Some of the center's services to help promote independence include providing free bus passes, health cards, Nevada ID's, driver's licenses, and even birth certificates. The objective of the center is to provide immediate intervention to youth in need and serve as a gateway to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth's other programs as well as any other additional community resources if necessary. The drop-in center has received a grant from Speedway Children's Charities for more than 5 years.
The center helps homeless youths like Rebecca, a young lady who struggled to find work while raising her baby. Upon hearing about the center she took a visit, where the staff provided her with bus passes to and from work at a local hotel and helped her buy books as she continued her education at a local secretary school.
"If it wasn't for the partnership we could still be homeless in Las Vegas. I would still be without my son and my family...You fed us, clothed us, and sent us home. In a time when we were about to give up hope, you were there."
- Rebecca and Jason