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News | November 16, 2021

Fifth Annual Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit Outlines Critical Milestones for the Movement

silhouette of a person carrying a backpack

Las Vegas Sands and Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY), in conjunction with University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Greenspun College of Urban Affairs and the Las Vegas Review-Journal, convened the fifth annual Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit, The Movement Evolves, on November 4 in the Greenspun Hall Auditorium at UNLV. One of the focal points of Summit 2021 was an update on the Movement to End Youth Homelessness, leading into an in-depth panel discussion among public and private sector leaders to examine the Movement’s evolution in light of key learnings and new opportunities gleaned from the tremendous time of change over the past two years.

“Summit 2021 came at a critical moment in our journey with the Movement – because of the pandemic, we now have a bevy of new insights and a historic influx of federal aid available to provide pandemic relief to organizations combatting youth homelessness,” said NPHY CEO Arash Ghafoori. “We’re at a pivotal juncture in our mission to end youth homelessness, and Summit 2021 provided the setting to examine where we’ve been, what we’ve accomplished, what we’ve learned, and how we can capitalize to accelerate success.”

NPHY has led efforts to turn insights and ideas discussed annually at the Summit into strategic action for the Southern Nevada Plan to End Youth Homelessness, which was introduced in 2018 and marks the region’s first-ever sustained and collaborative community effort to combat youth homelessness. The Plan’s goal is to make the incidence of youth homelessness rare, brief, non-recurring and equitably addressed.

A few of the milestones and accomplishments Ghafoori outlined in his Movement update at Summit 2021 included:

  • Increasing educational support for youth experiencing homelessness
  • Uplifting of youth voices in addressing solutions by adding youth-dedicated voting seats on regional boards
  • Introducing innovative housing solutions and growing housing resources
  • Strengthening collaboration across systems and sectors to address youth homelessness
  • Expanding youth outreach efforts, including public awareness and social media campaigns
  • Passing two laws addressing youth homelessness, including one to remove barriers for youth in obtaining drivers’ licenses, ID cards and birth certificates and the other to assist unaccompanied minors in gaining access to critical physical and mental healthcare

The Summit is an integral part of Sands’ long-term commitment to ending youth homelessness in Southern Nevada through the company’s global community engagement program, Sands Cares. Sands has supported NPHY since 2014 with program funding, capacity-building, strategic planning around advocacy and awareness efforts, and youth empowerment programs such as the Young Achievers Program, which places youth who have come through NPHY’s programs in jobs at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas.

The 2021 Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit: The Movement Evolves was presented by Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth and Sands Cares with support from the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

To learn more about the Movement and Summit 2021, visit

For more information on Sands’ work in youth homelessness, visit