Reno nonprofit the Reno Initiative For Shelter and Equality today was approved by the Washoe Board of County Commissioners to operate a 114-bed women’s shelter called Our Place.
“The more than $1.9 million contract between RISE and Washoe County is a 14-month agreement to operate the shelter, which provides an opportunity to renew annually each of the following four years,” according to county documents.
RISE will run the shelter on a $1.7 million contract as well as $50,000 a year for hotel services if the shelter is not able to immediately house clients. The facility is part of the county’s efforts to serve the homeless at the Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services campus.
“This is a huge deal,” said RISE’s Executive Director Ben Castro. “We’re really excited to work with the county and to serve the people in the community that need help.”
RISE is hiring staff to run the shelter. The organization already has hundreds of volunteers. The shelter is scheduled to open May 1.
“We want to get families out from the [existing homeless shelter run by Volunteers of America], who are currently at the Reno Events Center. From there we’re going to phase in the women by the end June,” Castro said. “The [Community Assistance Center] will be available only to men. It will open up a lot of beds and a lot of services.”
Commissioner Kitty Jung called RISE’s participation a win for the county.
“This is a home-grown expert team …” she said. “RISE … is more than qualified to take on this project.”
County commissioners unanimously voted to approve the contract.
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 in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.