Reno/Washoe County Vulnerable Population & Homeless Strategy example

Vulnerable Population & Homeless Strategy

Vulnerable Population & Homeless Strategy

Currently, the Community Assistance Center (CAC) in downtown Reno provides services to assist individuals who are homeless, and is made up of three shelters and programs:  

  • Men’s Shelter
  • Women’s Shelter 
  • Family Shelter 
  • Well Care 
  • Early Learning Center
  • Restart
  • Community Health Alliance (CHA)

HSA provides 2.7 million dollars in funding for the CAC; however, a new approach was needed to tackle homelessness in the region, including separation of populations, diversion opportunities, and increasing case management services.    

A statistical analysis was conducted to get an overall grasp of what needs and goals residents had; as well as, to establish a baseline for better outcomes.

Upon conclusion of the analysis, residents at the shelter needed the following services to reach their goals of living independently: 

  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Medical and Mental Health Assistance
  • Transportation
  • Program and Service Availability
  • Vocational Rehabilitation

It was also concluded that needed resources for this population to achieve better outcomes were:     

  • Access to mental health and substance abuse resources
  • Decrease admission to jail and emergency room stays
  • Preservation of families to prevent foster care placements
  • Evaluation of individual needs vs. one size fits all
  • Increased and ongoing case management
  • Safe and stable environment
  • Find and sustain employment
  • Help others in same circumstances (peer support)
  • Reconnect with family/friends

In 2018, the State of Nevada executed an inter-local agreement with HSA for the use of 7 buildings (2A, 8C, 8 Central/South, 600, 601, 603, 604) on the campus and added two buildings (602 and 605) to provide homeless housing.   

The initial agreement for 7 buildings was approved by the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on October 9, 2019.  The secondary agreement to add 602 and 605 and redefine building 8 Central/South for the State staff was approved by the BCC on June 11, 2019.  The overall budget approved for this project in FY 2020 was $11 Million. 

In order to keep the project on time, some State staff will have to be temporarily relocated from buildings 602 and 605 to building 8 so buildings 602 and 605 can be remodeled for Our Place occupancy.  The Washoe County Community Services Department was brought on to manage the planning, design, permitting, construction and post occupancy phases of development.  HSA will manage operations for this essential community function upon completion of construction.

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