Las Vegas Sands announced an expansion to its corporate citizenship commitment to address homelessness in the Las Vegas area. Through grants totaling $320,000 to local non-profit organizations Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) and HELP of Southern Nevada, LVS will help support the availability and effectiveness of stable housing in the Las Vegas area for homeless youth and adults.
Las Vegas is disproportionately impacted by homelessness. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reports that Las Vegas trails only New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego in the size of its homeless population. Given these sobering statistics, LVS is increasing its commitment in this second year of a multi-faceted, long-term effort to address the issue of homelessness in Las Vegas. In 2015, LVS provided two grants totaling more than $100,000 to NPHY and STREET Teens to support the organizations’ drop-in centers for youth and to expand educational resources. This year’s increased support will allow NPHY and HELP of Southern Nevada to provide safe and stable housing and supportive services to homeless adults and youth.
The $170,000 donation to NPHY will fund two key initiatives that will expand its emergency shelter, allowing it to double the number of clients that can be housed per year, and expand accessibility of its Drop-In Center from five to seven days a week and expand their hours.
At the center, homeless youth can fulfill immediate needs such as food, clothing and hygiene supplies, and be connected to resources to help them become independent, including crisis counseling, life skills classes, and educational and employment assistance.
“When youth become homeless, it often happens very quickly and unexpectedly. Being young and homeless is incredibly frightening and dangerous. The funding from LVS will help NPHY provide safe and stable housing and resources to more youth so they can focus on building healthy, productive lives,” said Arash Ghafoori, executive director at NPHY.
LVS also has donated a $150,000 grant for HELP of Southern Nevada, to support the Housing First Harm Reduction Model in Las Vegas. In recent years, many homeless programs and advocates have shifted to such “housing first” approaches that couple housing with supportive services and intensive case management instead of treatment-based models that require beneficiaries to prove “housing readiness” through enrolling or completing treatment programs. HELP of Southern Nevada was the first organization in Las Vegas to use the housing first principle.
The LVS funding will allow the organization to hire three new case managers and increase supportive services, particularly during nights and weekends. Additionally, with this funding, HELP of Southern Nevada will also be able to pursue other public grants that require recipients to secure matching private funds.
“Numerous studies find that the Housing First model ends homelessness for chronically homeless individuals faster, more often and more permanently than treatment-based approaches. This approach also lowers taxpayer costs by reducing reliance on expensive services such as jails, psychiatric hospitals and the ER,” said Terrie D'Antonio, CEO and president for HELP of Southern Nevada. “Funding from LVS will increase the number of our case managers and supportive services, which are the linchpin to ensuring that the housing first model works.”
LVS’ focus on homelessness is part of the company’s corporate citizenship program, Sands Cares. Announced in 2014, Sands Cares manifests the company’s core corporate social responsibility focus: supporting people in the company and the hospitality industry, making local communities where LVS operates a better place to live and reducing environmental impact on the planet. Sands Cares provides a cohesive approach to corporate and property-level giving and support in local communities where LVS operates to address the most pressing issues and help make them better places to live. For more information about Sands Cares and key initiatives, please visit www.sandscares.sands.com.