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Nonprofit adds Las Vegas housing for youth in crisis

Updated December 13, 2021 - 9:39 am

New housing in Southern Nevada for homeless teens and young adults is now welcoming those in need of housing and wrap-around social services, according to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.

The nonprofit service provider for the valley’s homeless youth purchased a 15-bed property near Maryland Parkway and UNLV, which increases NPHY’s housing stock by 150 percent. NPHY bought the property in June for $656,000, Clark County property records show, after a housing expansion campaign that raised about $675,000 to purchase the site.

The property offers more than a place to sleep for its residents, who will be between 18 and 24 years old. They also receive case management, employment and educational assistance, immediate needs services, life skills training and peer mentorship and support.

“We want them to get out of survival mode so that they can be forward looking and thinking about their futures, and working on overcoming the trauma through resiliency and through our help, overcoming any barriers that they experienced because of the homelessness to become self-sufficient, independent young adults,” NPHY CEO Arash Ghafoori said.

An estimated $134,000 partnership with Clark County for this year — with funds coming from marijuana business licensing fees — establishes the site as part of the youth transitional housing/rapid re-housing program, according to county officials.

It can serve as transitional housing between a few months and about a year. The rapid rehousing program is supported by Clark County and pays or provides a stipend for independent living off-site, while still providing case management services to youth.

The teen or young adult must apply for housing through the county’s coordinated entry system.

Clark County’s program also supports St. Jude’s Ranch for Children and HELP of Southern Nevada’s Shannon West facility for homeless youth.

“The Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, HELP of Southern Nevada and St. Jude’s are great partners in our efforts to address youth homelessness,” Clark County Administrator of Human Services Tim Burch said in a statement. “Being homeless is a traumatic experience that can lead to, or exacerbate, mental health issues and substance abuse. We want to make their experience as brief as possible and get them into a positive and supportive environment. By connecting these young people with stable housing and support services, we can give them a better chance at long-term success.”

NPHY’s campaign for the 15-bed property wrapped up last month but it was not without its challenges, Ghafoori said. It began in 2019 with initial investments from Las Vegas Sands’ Sands Cares and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. The initial goal was $500,000, but rising real estate costs during the pandemic forced the nonprofit to raise its campaign goals.

“We had no idea that this would happen and we’d be spending 30 percent more than we originally anticipated just to make the deal happen,” Ghafoori said. ”We’re dealing with an affordable housing crisis and one of the worst real estate markets. In the middle of all these crises and everything we came together. We want this to be a testament to what public-private partnerships can do to create more housing in our community.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

This story has been updated to correctly reflect Arash Ghafoori’s title as well as clarify other details.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalistsinto local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.