In February of this year, Sands Cares helped Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) launch its Housing Expansion Campaign to generate funds for a new facility that will provide much-needed beds for homeless youth in Southern Nevada. Sands provided a $100,000 seed investment to the campaign and also served as a catalyst for recruiting the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation to join the effort.
Thanks to the introduction from Sands, the JBJ Soul Foundation became a co-founding partner in the campaign with Sands Cares, marking its first charitable investment in Southern Nevada. The Foundation committed to match campaign donations dollar for dollar, up to $100,000, to inspire the Las Vegas community to take action and help the region’s most vulnerable population.
Since 2006, the JBJ Soul Foundation has worked to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness through developing partnerships, creating programs and providing grant funding to support innovative community benefit organizations. The Soul Foundation, in partnership with local community organizations, has helped provide funding for more than 600 units of affordable housing and shelter in 10 states for thousands of individuals and families experiencing homelessness and financial instability, including youth and veterans.
With the initial backing from Sands Cares and the JBJ Soul Foundation, NPHY has targeted a goal of raising $500,000 through the Housing Expansion Campaign and will use funds to purchase and develop a new multi-family property to flexibly house homeless and at-risk youth.
As of mid-September, the organization has raised just over $385,000 and according to Executive Director Arash Ghafoori, this campaign has already been a game-changer for the organization, even as NPHY encourages the community to keep up its donations to help reach the $500,000 goal.
“Thanks to Sands Cares and the JBJ Soul Foundation jump-starting the campaign, we’ve been able to greatly amplify awareness and attract a number of new donors to the organization, including some significant new contributions,” Ghafoori says. “What has been really inspiring is the number of ‘micro’ donations that have poured in from the community. This tells me people just need to know more about the youth homelessness issue in our community – when informed, people want to find solutions.”
Through the Housing Expansion Campaign, NPHY is encouraging the community to help give homeless youth a place to sleep – because for a homeless young person, a bed is not just a place to sleep, it’s their foundation for a brighter future. Beyond having a safe place to sleep, youth in NPHY’s housing programs receive nutritious meals; one-on-one case management with licensed social workers; medical care; counseling with licensed therapists; group life skills classes and engagement in activities such as art, music, exercise, cooking classes, gardening lessons and more.
On any given night, Southern Nevada only has enough youth-dedicated housing and shelter beds to serve less than 22 percent of the young people enduring homelessness. The dire need for additional housing has been identified in the Southern Nevada Plan to End Youth Homelessness as a key factor in reaching the goal of making youth homelessness rare, brief, non-recurring and equitably addressed.
“We’d like to close out the campaign by the end of this year, but we still need the last quarter of funding to come through,” Ghafoori says. “As soon as we can lock in our target, we will purchase a multifamily housing property to shelter unaccompanied homeless youth, getting them off the streets and on a pathway to self-sufficiency and success.”
To donate to the NPHY Housing Expansion Campaign, please visit: https://nphy.org/aplacetosleep/