Homeless youth facilities renovated through local service project
Keller Williams Las Vegas Realty partners with
Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth
New furnishings, new paint, home improvements and more greeted Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth’s Independent Living Program clients when they returned home from school and work recently. The renovation and upgrades were made through the generosity of associates and business partners of Keller Williams Las Vegas Realty to the nonprofit organization’s six aging housing properties, emergency shelter and new expansion project.
The 160-member local Keller Williams team chose to volunteer their time helping homeless youth through NPHY for the real estate firm’s national RED Day service project for the fourth year in a row. Introduced in 2009, RED Day – Renew, Energize and Donate – occurs on the second Thursday of May, and company associates spend the day away from work serving worthy organizations and causes in their communities.
The Las Vegas RED Day project continued the work Keller Williams did last year to the more than 40-year-old NPHY transitional housing units. The effort also kicked off a new NPHY retrofit and expansion project by gutting the interior of a house which will become an outreach and Safe Place mobile crisis intervention deployment and intake center when it opens. Keller Williams is the primary in-kind partner for the expansion site, called the 4969 Retrofit Project, which is next to the NPHY Drop-In Center near UNLV at 4981 Shirley St.
“Our hearts go out to the thousands of homeless teens in Southern Nevada, and this rewarding Red Day service project is the least we can do,” said Joan Kilton, head of the Keller Williams Las Vegas Realty Culture Committee. “Our company culture is one of caring and sharing, and the work we do with Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth reminds us of those in vulnerable situations so we don’t lose focus of that as a company.”
Specific work at the housing sites and emergency shelter involved advanced landscaping, substantial roof repairs, fixing several shower and bathroom facilities, adding new flooring at several properties, and providing new furniture where needed. This was in addition to more basic improvements covering plumbing, flooring, painting, new fixtures, weed removal, and general cleaning. The Keller Williams team also made improvements to maximize space usage. For example, a built-in study and tech center for youth residents was created at one location.
In addition to the Keller Williams associates, participating partners included Homeservices Inc., Valley West Mortgage, Guild Mortgage, All Western Mortgage, SCC Mechanical Services LLC, PRS Roofing, Supreme Lending, Carpets N More, Raysco, Red Carpet Moving Best Mattress, Access Services Group, and Goodfellows Shoeshine & Accessories.
“It’s very fulfilling that our associates continue to choose Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth for our Red Day project,” said Kilton of the four-year NPHY relationship. “We can’t thank our partners enough for their tremendous contributions and joining us in helping to make a difference for homeless youth. Because these housing properties are older, they need more attention so each year we try to clean, update, furnish, and repair any new issues that have arisen.”
Kilton and her committee tour the homes in early February, taking notes and measurements of what items need to replaced or repaired, and then begin fundraising. “The response from our associates and business partners was tremendous with more than $5,500 in cash and products and everyone’s invaluable time and expertise on RED Day,” she said.
“We are overwhelmed by the generous support and commitment the Keller William Las Vegas Realty associates and their business partners shared with us in helping our youth clients,” said Arash Ghafoori, NPHY executive director. “It means so much for these youth, not only to come home and find everything new and improved but also that so many people want to help them given their various life situations. We couldn’t make these upgrades for our youth without the Keller Williams team.”
The NPHY Independent Living Program is a transitional housing program that provides homeless youth with housing, utilities, transportation, food and clothing, case management, education and employment counseling and assistance, tutoring, life skills classes, crisis counseling, and enrichment opportunities to help them grow into self-confident, healthy adults. Last year, 100 percent of NPHY teens who graduated from the program exited to stable housing.
During fiscal year 2014-2015, 125 youth spent 398 bed nights – safe and off the streets – at NPHY’s Emergency Shelter, which provides homeless youth with much-needed immediate shelter and emergency services while helping them transition to stable housing.
Nevada is ranked first in the nation for the rate of unaccompanied homeless children and youth living unsheltered on the streets. Last year, there were more than 11,000 homeless students enrolled in Clark County schools. In addition, the National Runaway Switchboard reports that youth, ages 12-17, are at higher risk for homelessness than adults nationwide.