Six people on Tuesday graduated from the City’s Reno Works program with a roomful of family, friends and supporters on hand to celebrate.
The ceremony was led by Reno City Council member Neoma Jardon and included representatives from Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada (VOA-NCNN), who have worked directly with the graduates for the past several months.
Reno Works is a 12-week program that helps individuals get out of homelessness through job training and temporary community work projects, like cleaning along the river and public parks.
Jardon is a champion for the program, which has now graduated 86 individuals since its inception. The program has been on hiatus since October 2019.
“They’re learning life skills, they’re learning financial skills, they’re learning teamwork,” she said following the event. “The graduates talk about it with great admiration.”
The program was launched by the City, but according to Jardon is now entirely funded by donations.
“The community has embraced this program so very much,” she said. “Taxpayers don’t fund this program anymore. It is funded by the private sector and businesses in the community who saw the success of it.”
Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.