Sands Cares, the corporate giving program of Las Vegas Sands, announced a $100,000 seed investment for the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) Housing Expansion Campaign. The funds are for a new facility that will provide needed beds for homeless youth in Southern Nevada. As a committed partner in the fight to end youth homelessness, Sands reached out to the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation to join the effort, marking the Soul Foundation’s first charitable investment in Southern Nevada.
NPHY aims to raise $500,000 to purchase and develop a new multi-family property to house homeless and at-risk youth. In addition to the seed investment from Sands Cares, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation is pledging to match additional 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. The NPHY Housing Campaign is targeting major gifts from corporations and foundations, and the community can also make significant impact by donating online at www.nphy.org/aplacetosleep. The new housing facility will add significant capacity to an already under-resourced support system for homeless youth and will not only provide beds for youth, but youth will also receive wraparound support services, including one-on-one case management with a licensed social worker, life skills classes, therapy, workforce readiness training, educational counseling, transportation assistance, enrichment opportunities, and referrals to a wide range of community resources.
“For a homeless youth, having a bed means more than just a place to sleep -- it’s their foundation for a brighter future,” said Arash Ghafoori, executive director of NPHY. “Today, our community only has enough youth-dedicated beds to serve less than 22 percent of the young people experiencing homelessness on a given night in Southern Nevada. Expanding NPHY’s housing inventory means more youth not only have a place to sleep, they have the safety, stability, and support needed to grow and thrive.”
The Housing Campaign comes in direct response to the recently released Southern Nevada Plan to End Youth Homelessness, which mapped out a strategy to increase housing through innovative funding, which was unveiled at the second annual Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit in November 2018. The plan addressed the youth homelessness statistics that plague this region, identifying Clark County’s metro area, which ranks fifth in the nation for the rate of unaccompanied homeless youth living on the streets or in shelters and the state of Nevada has the nation’s highest rate of unsheltered homeless youth, according to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. Las Vegas is also the worst U.S. metropolitan area for providing affordable rental housing for its poorest families in 2018, with only 15 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 low-income renter households.
“The high rate of youth homelessness and the dire need for housing in Southern Nevada was distressing to us,” said Jon Bon Jovi, Board Chairman of the JBJ Soul Foundation. “We are pledging support for this campaign through a matching grant because we want to motivate others to take action. Together, we can give homeless youth more than just a place to sleep – we will provide them with the resources they need for self-sufficiency and success.”
Since 2006, the JBJ Soul Foundation has worked to break the cycle of hunger, poverty and homelessness through developing partnerships, creating programs and providing grant funding to support innovative community benefit organizations. The foundation has helped provide funding for more than 600 units of affordable and supportive housing in 10 states for thousands of people including youth and veterans.
“We knew that getting the JBJ Soul Foundation involved in Southern Nevada would be a great catalyst for our community, having seen the amazing results they have accomplished in other parts of the country,” said Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs at Las Vegas Sands. “We hope to see a big community rally around the campaign momentum started by the JBJ Soul Foundation and Sands Cares. It’s imperative that we give our community’s vulnerable youth a fresh start.”