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At-risk individuals in the community helped by government collaboration


imageTHE CITY OF RENO NEWS RELEASE —The City of Reno continues to work with regional partners to help at-risk individuals in the community through various programs at its Community Assistance Center. On June 5, the City Reno Council approved a Cooperative Agreement between the City of Reno, Washoe County, and the City of Sparks for services related to the operation of the Community Assistance Center (CAC). The City of Sparks and Washoe County approved the Agreement last week as well.

Approving the Agreement renews the commitment of all three jurisdictions to support the operations of the CAC. The Agreement continues the City of Reno’s role as lead entity in operations and oversight and each jurisdiction’s roles in supporting the CAC operations. The other key component of the Agreement is the commitment of staff and minimum financial resources by each jurisdiction and any restrictions on how identified funds can be utilized. The Agreement identifies $1,757,514 in resources available for CAC operations through the property tax equivalent formula ($.01 from Washoe County, $1,205,537), and $.005 from the City of Reno, $269,870, and the City of Sparks, 100,107) plus the City of Reno’s allowable Emergency Solutions Grant funds. The property tax equivalent figures are based on the Department of Taxation’s Ad Valorem Revenue Projections Report for FY 2013/2014. The formula allocation does not cover the complete cost of operating the CAC.

In conjunction with the services at the CAC and to further support the commitment to providing assistance to at-risk individuals, below are three programs that help individuals with various needs:

The Kids to Seniors Korner Outreach Program is a public based and private partnership, including the Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada, the Reno Police Department, the Washoe County Health District, Washoe County Senior Services, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, and Washoe County Social Services. The program provides community based outreach to at-risk populations such as low-income children, families and senior citizens. In Fiscal Year 2011/2012 the Kids to Seniors Korner saw 6,571 people in our community. Many of these families and seniors were contacted by an outreach worker and law enforcement officer conducting visits to in apartments, hotels and single family residences. Of this number 1,350 were for child immunizations, 18 were Medicaid referrals, 832 were for food, 971 received clothing referrals, 71 received prenatal care or well baby checks, and 72 received employment referrals. Additional services provided included mental health, disabilities, parenting classes, temporary housing assistance and dental referrals. For more information about Kids to Seniors Korner contact 775-858-5251.

The Homeless Evaluation Liaison Program (HELP) was originally started in 1994 in coordination with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. It is currently staffed by a Reno Police Community Action Officer. The philosophy of HELP is to assist our homeless population back to their families and support systems who can help them with their individual problems affecting their lives. The Reno Police Department will not send anyone to another community to be in a similar homeless situation. This past year the HELP program has been extremely successful in locating clients’ own travel funds from their support systems. In many instances, travel funds in 2012 were provided through client’s own families or a combination of their family’s funds & HELP funds. The Reno Police Department has learned that when an officer is able to contact the family member and is willing to help with making arrangements for travel including food, appropriate clothing, etc., the families in nearly half of the situations are willing to pay for the transportation cost, i.e. bus ticket. For more information about HELP contact 775-657-4543.

A byproduct of the collaboration between the Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services and the Reno Police Department, the Mobile Outreach Safety Team (MOST) pairs a licensed clinical social worker with a police officer to create a skilled intervention team for persons who suffer from mental illness and encounter law enforcement during crisis events. MOST accommodates the public by providing psychiatric emergency response and maintenance check-ups on previous patients. MOST helped 1,072 mentally ill persons receive services in 2012 and 702 persons in 2011. In 2011, three out of 4 contacts made by MOST involved a client who was not currently connected to mental health services at the time of the initial contact. MOST was created in the hope that it would reduce the imprisonment of local mentally ill citizens while simultaneously increasing the safety of the general public. For more information about MOST contact 775-657-4543.

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