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Help of Southern Nevada Opens New Shannon West Homeless Youth Center in Las Vegas

July 18, 2017 by  

Help of Southern Nevada Opens New Shannon West Homeless Youth Center in Las Vegas
Following eight years of planning, HELP of Southern Nevada’s Shannon West Homeless Youth Center (SWHYC) officially opened on Friday, July 14, in honor of West’s 50th birthday. The new 37,000 square-foot Shannon West Homeless Youth Center is located directly behind HELP of Southern Nevada’s main offices on E. Flamingo Rd. (Pictured: Shannon West family)

Grand Opening speakers at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

Grand Opening speakers at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

The “Welcome Home” ceremony, attended by Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson, Senator Mark Manendo, Assemblywoman Brittney Miller, representatives from the offices of Senator Dean Heller, representatives from the offices of U.S. Representative Ruben Kihuen, representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Dina Titus and more than 250 guests, marked the start of positive change for the community through HELP’s work with local homeless youth.

Move-in day at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

Move-in day at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

President and CEO of HELP of Southern Nevada Fuilala Riley, Senior Vice President Community Development Manager of Bank of America Jerrie Merritt, Senior Vice President of Bank of Nevada, Shannon West’s father Major General (Retired) Tom West and Clark County Commissioner District E Chris Giunchigliani were speakers. Also in attendance were some of the youth who are moving into the new center. Immediately following the ceremony, guests were invited to tour the new facility.

Kitchen area at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

Kitchen area at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

Nevada was ranked No. 1 in the nation for the rate of homeless youth living unsheltered on the streets, according to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report. During the 2015-2016 school year, there were more than 14,000 homeless students enrolled in Clark County schools. The new center will continue to positively impact homelessness in southern Nevada.

Dorm room at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

Dorm room at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

The three-story facility, at capacity, houses up to 166 youth ages 16 to 24, more than doubling the amount of youth housed at the last center located at 1417 N. Las Vegas Blvd. In addition to a computer lab, the center has a multi-purpose room and TV room on each floor, which also allows a space for life skills and indirect services and trainings in separate group settings for the youth. There are 160 bunk beds that will house four youth to a room with a total of 40 basic rooms in the facility as well as an additional six step-up rooms that will house one youth each in a studio apartment setting. These step-up rooms will allow stabilized homeless youth the opportunity to transition from the center into living more independently.

Dining room at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

Dining room at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

The new center is the first time that all four governments – Clack County, City of Henderson, City of Las Vegas and City of North Las Vegas – have all come together to support a project of this caliber. In addition to the four local governments, the facility was also brought together by Engelstad Family Foundation, Nevada Women’s Philanthropy, Bank of America and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. Development and Construction of the new Shannon West Homeless Youth Center was led by Nevada HAND and HAND Construction.

TV room at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

TV room at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center

On Monday, July 17, the youth officially moved into the facility and were graciously greeted with a lavish catered dinner, complete with fruit-infused water and carving stations, prepared and served by T-Mobile Arena and Levy Cares. As many of the youth take turns in helping to prepare the meals at the center, the volunteers serving and waiting on the youth hand-and-foot was a warm welcome for the residents of the new youth center.

HELP of Southern Nevada operates nine departments, consists of 108 employees and serves tens of thousands of unduplicated clients each year. The services HELP provides assist low-income families, homeless teens and adults among other individuals, to become more self-sufficient through direct services, trainings and referrals. Programs available include Shannon West Homeless Youth Center, Emergency Resources Services, Framing Hope Warehouse, Weatherization, Work Opportunities Readiness Center, Holiday Assistance, Homeless Outreach, Mobile Crisis Intervention Team and Behavioral Health Services. For more information, call HELP of Southern Nevada at 702.369.4357 or visit www.helpsonv.org.

Keep up with HELP of Southern Nevada’s news on social media at Facebook and Twitter.

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