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Reno Works program helps 8 more people transition out of homelessness

The ninth Reno Works class will graduate on May 8

Post Date:05/07/2018 11:44 AM

The City of Reno and Volunteers of America (VOA) Northern California and Northern Nevada invite the public to a graduation ceremony for the current class of the Reno Works program on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 11 a.m. at Reno City Hall. The latest Reno Works session began on February 20, 2018.

The innovative 12-week program, which has been extended from 10 weeks, provides a group of Community Assistance Center (CAC) homeless shelter residents with classes focused on life and job skills as well as providing temporary employment through community improvement projects including working in area parks, improving public facilities and cleaning along the river corridor.

“Including this class, we’ve had 57 people graduate from the program so far,” said Vice Mayor Neoma Jardon, who helped establish Reno Works, along with VOA Regional Director Pat Cashell, in 2015. “Many homeless in our community just need the opportunity and the tools to improve their lives. Reno Works provides them those skills and that chance.”

The sessions also incorporate safety training, interview skills, long-term employment preparedness, wrap-around case management, mentoring and a ready-to-rent curriculum. Additionally, a local attorney spoke to the current Reno Works class about the process of sealing criminal records. Many Reno Works participants struggle with some sort of criminal past that can prevent them from gaining full-time, career-orientated employment and stable housing.

This round of Reno Works included integrated behavioral health classes provided by Community Health Alliance. This is to provide additional support for issues related to addiction and mental health, which is often a contributing factor as to why many become homeless. The latest session also focused on financial literacy classes, provided by Opportunity Alliance Nevada.

Due to the generosity of our community, zero tax dollars have been spent on the program this year. The City of Reno and VOA are pleased to announce that Reno Works was made possible by a generous donation from Eldorado Resorts Reno.

Other Reno Works partnerships include:

  • Caliber Hair & Makeup Studio - provided haircuts and styling
  • Dress for Success Reno - provided clothing for job interviews
  • Nevada Builders Alliance & Builders Association of Northern Nevada - provided job training and placement in construction industry
  • Reno Bike Project - provided discounted bikes

“The Reno Works program has helped people in our community transition out of homelessness by empowering them to take control of their lives and feel the pride of standing on their own two feet,” Cashell said.

For more information about Reno Works, and to donate to the program, visit Reno.gov/RenoWorks.