Washoe County’s Human Services Agency is expanding its services to the houseless by opening new facilities at the state’s Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health campus on 21st Street in Sparks.
The lease comes at no cost to the county, but HSA will have to provide $700,000 in support, said HSA Administrator Amber Howell. These dollars will go toward janitorial, data, telephone, and property services, in addition to 24-hour security.
The expanded services will allow service providers to, in some cases, double the capacity for homeless services. Women, pregnant women, and families will be relocated from the current homeless shelter on Record Street to the state facility.
“There is a need to provide separate services for women, children, and families in an atmosphere which provides an opportunity to break the cycle of homelessness,” according to county staff.
Youth homeless services will increase as well.
“The ideas is for us to not keep them where they’re at, it’s to stop the cycle (of homelessness) for them,” Howell said. “HSA believes the identified populations will have the opportunity to transition from homelessness to a home-like setting while working on their stability and sustainability to increase success rates…”
Howell said mental health issues in particular will be addressed as part of the service expansion.
County commissioners praised the project and voted today to approve the lease.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor, and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011, where he completed a dissertation on social media, journalism and crisis communications. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time research appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.