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Community Development News

Reno Works program helps 8 more people transition out of homelessness

Post Date:04/30/2019 4:17 PM
The City of Reno and Volunteers of America (VOA) Northern California and Northern Nevada celebrated a graduation ceremony for eight members of the current class of the Reno Works program today, April 30, 2019 at Reno City Hall. The latest Reno Works session began on February 4, 2019.

At the graduation, several program donors and supporters were recognized.

U.S. Conference of Mayors' DollarWise Campaign

The City of Reno accepted a $10,000 check presentation here locally from the The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM). On January 25, the DollarWise Campaign awarded Innovation Grants of $10,000 each, to five cities across the country, to help expand the economic mobility efforts in their communities. The 2019 grants were announced during the 87th U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve was on hand to accept the grant on behalf of the City of Reno.

The $10,000 will support future Reno Works classes and programs. James Kirby, Program Manager of The U.S. Conference of Mayors' DollarWise Campaign, attended the graduation, as did Mary Wink, Reno Market President for Bank of America. Bank of America is the founding sponsor of the DollarWise Campaign, established in 2004, making the grants possible for USCM’s national programs.

Several Current and Past Sponsors Recognized

Also at the graduation, it was announced that Waste Management will help support the next Reno Works class with a generous $25,000 donation. Waste Management conducted mock interviews for the current class and provided a tour of their facility.

Since 2015, Reno Works has received several financial donations totaling more than $200,000. The City of Reno and Volunteers of America would like to thank the following sponsors of the Reno Works program:

  • Geoffrey and Patricia Brooks
  • The ROW – Eldorado, Circus Circus, Silver Legacy
  • Waste Management
  • Edward Friedrichs, III
  • Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
  • The U.S. Conference of Mayors
  • Basin Street Properties
  • Kaempfer Crowell Attorneys at Law
  • Tracey Warriner
  • Jeremy A. Cole
  • Cindi Gil-Blanco

The City and VOA also thank those donors who chose to remain anonymous.

Reno Works Partnerships

The program would not be successful without the support of the community. This round of Reno Works included integrated behavioral health classes provided by Community Health Alliance to provide additional support for issues related to addiction and mental health, often a contributing factor as to why many become homeless. This latest Reno Works session also focused on financial empowerment classes, sponsored by The Vertical Dimension.

The City of Reno and Volunteers of America would like to thank the following companies for their continued partnership with Reno Works to offer time, services and mentorship opportunities:

  • Caliber Hair & Makeup Studio - provided haircuts and styling
  • Dress for Success Reno - provided clothing for job interviews
  • Job Connect - provided orientation, connected the work crew to individualized services and provided a work space for online job search with staffing
  • JOIN - provided orientation to extend career opportunity to the work crew and provided computer training classes to assist with employment search
  • Nevada Safety Training - provided 12 OSHA construction safety classes and 12 American Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid training sessions
  • Olive Garden - provided four donated meals for the Getting Ahead class, and Olive Garden has been supporting Reno Works since the inaugural class with various donations, including employment opportunities for several of our graduate
  • Outsiders Salon - provided hair-styling techniques

About Reno Works

The 12-week Reno Works 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. And a huge thanks this year to The U.S. Conference of Mayors.”

“Including this class, we’ve had 73 people graduate from the program so far,” said Vice Mayor Neoma Jardon, who helped establish Reno Works 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 Getting Ahead 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-oriented employment and stable housing.

“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.

This life-changing program is made possible through the support of generous donations from our local community. For more information about Reno Works, and to donate to the program, visit Reno.gov/RenoWorks or VOA-NCNN.org/Reno-Works.

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