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Reno Works Graduation Highlights Transition Out of Homelessness

Post Date:10/08/2018 3:00 PM

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, October 9, 2018 at 11 a.m. at Reno City Hall. The latest Reno Works session began on July 16, 2018.

The 12-week program, which was recently 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.

“This is a truly special day that we all look forward to at the City of Reno,” Mayor Hillary Schieve said. “Our heartfelt thanks go out to all of the community partners who make this innovative program possible.”

“Including this class, we’ve had 65 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.

The City of Reno and VOA are pleased to announce that Reno Works was made possible by another generous donation from Eldorado Resorts Reno.

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 empowerment classes, provided by The Vertical Dimension.

Other Reno Works partnerships include:

  • Caliber Hair & Makeup Studio - provided haircuts and styling
  • Dress for Success Reno - provided clothing for job interviews
  • JOIN - provided orientation to extend career opportunity to the work crew
  • Nevada Safety Training - provided 12 OSHA construction safety classes and 12 American Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid training sessions
  • Olive Garden - provided two donated meals for the getting ahead class, and Olive Garden has been supporting Reno Works since the inaugural class with various donations
  • Outsiders Salon - provided hair-styling techniques
  • Professional Institute of Technology and Accounting (PITA) - provided computer training classes to assist with employment search

“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.

About Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America (VOA) Northern California and Northern Nevada affiliate, established in 1911, is one of the largest providers of social services in the region, operating programs dedicated to ending homelessness, supporting the most vulnerable populations and transforming communities into safer, healthier places. To learn more, visit voa-ncnn.org or call 775-322-7143.