News | November 17, 2021
Impacting Youth Homelessness: A Place to Sleep is More than Just a Bed
On November 17, Las Vegas Sands announced a new milestone in its multi-year partnership with Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY). Together, Sands and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation helped NPHY drive a successful funding campaign, raising $675,000 to expand youth housing in Southern Nevada.
One person who knows the impact this achievement will make for vulnerable youth is Quin Harris, a peer support specialist at NPHY and graduate of NPHY’s Independent Living Program. Now 24, Harris experienced homelessness after his father passed away during his sophomore year in high school. Though he wasn’t street-homeless, Harris couch-surfed from home to home until he found NPHY. More than giving him a place to live, NPHY helped Harris find peace of mind.
“Being [at] NPHY really changed my life,” Harris says. “They gave me a lot of knowledge. I went through a lot of experiences that pretty much shaped me to be the man that I am today.”
Harris is now a peer support specialist supporting the new 15-bed housing facility made possible by funding generated through the NPHY Housing Expansion Campaign, which increased the NPHY’s youth housing stock by 150 percent and provides an additional 5,475 nights per year to keep youth experiencing homelessness safe and off the streets. Under the umbrella of the NPHY Transitional Housing/Rapid Rehousing Program, youth also receive a full slate of services to help them do more than just overcome their circumstances. NPHY aims to help youth reach their fullest potential.
“For a young person experiencing homelessness, having a bed means more than just a place to sleep — it’s their lifeline to a better future,” says Arash Ghafoori, NPHY CEO. “When we began the Housing Expansion Campaign, our community only had enough beds to serve less than 22 percent of homeless youth identified in our community. Expanding youth housing inventory means not only do youth have a place to sleep – they have a better shot at staying physically and mentally strong, performing in school and changing the path of their lives.”
According to NPHY, youth entering its housing programs are achieving amazing outcomes:
- 80 percent of clients exit transitional housing to safe, stable, permanent housing
- 70 percent of clients are able to increase or sustain employment income
In addition, formerly homeless youth are:
- Graduating from high school or earning high school equivalencies
- Pursuing higher education at Ivy League schools, public universities, private colleges and community colleges
- Embarking on promising careers in nursing, hospitality, real estate, security, entertainment and the military
- Improving their social-emotional wellbeing, life skills and permanent connections with adults, peers and their community
- Becoming advocates for themselves and others facing similar situations
Not only are youth achieving their potential instead of being caught in their circumstances – these outcomes also translate to significant long-term societal cost-savings by reducing incarceration rates, chronic adult homelessness, chronic physical and mental illness, substance abuse, crime and unemployment.
When NPHY is able to get youth into its housing programs, the agency provides a variety of wraparound services that put youth on a trajectory for success. NPHY’s holistic approach includes individual case management, education and employment assistance, health and wellness services, life skills training, peer mentorship and support, and leadership opportunities.
“We’ve worked with several of NPHY’s clients through our partnership on the Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit and the Young Achievers Program that places NPHY graduates into jobs at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas,” said Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs at Sands. “We know these young people are more than their stories of hardship – when they are given the tools to succeed, there’s nothing they can’t do. That’s why we supported this campaign and celebrate NPHY’s ongoing accomplishments in positively shaping young lives.”
To learn more about Sands Cares’ support for the NPHY Housing Expansion Campaign, visit https://www.sands.com/responsibility/community/sands-cares/youth-homelessness.