Thousands are needed to #bethemovement as Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) kicks off a community-wide effort to address and end youth homelessness in Southern Nevada. In 2017, Las Vegas/Clark County had the third highest total number of unaccompanied homeless children and youth living on our streets and in our shelters of any major metropolitan area in the United States – even more than New York City.
In an effort to raise awareness and make a meaningful, long-term impact on this critical community issue, NPHY is asking the Southern Nevada community to band together to #bethemovement by signing the Movement’s commitment pledge, spreading the word about the Movement to friends and family on social media, and attending community meetings to build the Southern Nevada Plan to End Youth Homelessness. NPHY has launched a new website, www.nphy.org/themovement, where community members can learn more about the Movement and take action.
In November 2017, the nonprofit NPHY organization kicked off the Movement to End Youth Homelessness at the first annual Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit, presented by NPHY and Las Vegas Sands Corp./Sands Cares. The 2017 Summit accelerated community awareness and launched a year-long regional effort to create the Southern Nevada Plan to End Youth Homelessness, a comprehensive “attack” plan for addressing youth homelessness in Las Vegas/Clark County. The plan will be released to the community at the 2018 Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit, which will be held on November 2, 2018 at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
“We need the entire community to come together to make a real impact. There are many factors and systems currently contributing to the youth homelessness issue we face in Southern Nevada. The truth remains that if we want to end youth homelessness, we need to address the root causes of why young people become homeless and why they stay homeless, which is intimately correlated to many other issues we care about in our community, such as education, human trafficking, immigration, juvenile justice, child welfare and LGBTQ issues, just to name a few,” said NPHY Executive Director Arash Ghafoori.
NPHY believes the solution to youth homelessness does not lie with any one agency, system or sector of society, but with the entire community, including individuals, community leaders and businesses rallying together to bring light to this issue, break down silos and drive creative solutions. This is why NPHY is currently working with community partners from all sectors to create the first-ever Southern Nevada Plan to End Youth Homelessness. They include: corporate partners such as Las Vegas Sands; education partners including the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs and the Clark County School District’s Title I HOPE office; Help Hope Home, the Southern Nevada Homeless Continuum of Care; local jurisdictions including Clark County and the Cities of Las Vegas and Henderson; additional homeless youth service providers such as HELP of Southern Nevada, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children and Southern Nevada Children First, the Nevada Homeless Alliance; and stakeholders from intersecting systems that affect youth homelessness, such as juvenile justice and foster care. NPHY also has brought in expert consultant, the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC), to assist with creating the plan. Now, NPHY needs individuals and businesses throughout the Vegas Valley to rise up and #bethemovement to raise awareness and increase urgency around this critical issue.
“Addressing youth homelessness affects all of us. It affects business owners who need a stable, educated workforce and a strong economy. It affects public servants who oversee law enforcement, criminal justice, child welfare, public health, social services, city planning and many other components of our government. It affects educators who are working to cultivate the next generation of leaders and citizens; and it affects any nonprofit or foundation that is trying to improve our community’s health and wellness. Youth homelessness affects any Southern Nevadan who wants to live in a safe, thriving community,” added Ghafoori.
More information and several ways individuals can commit to #bethemovement can be found at The Movement’s new website, www.nphy.org/themovement. At the site, individuals can sign The Movement’s commitment pledge, connect with friends and family to spread the word about youth homelessness and the Movement to End Youth Homelessness in Southern Nevada, view a calendar of upcoming community meetings around this issue, and submit their ideas for strategies to address youth homelessness in the community. NPHY’s goal is to get at least 2,052 signatures on the commitment pledge, which reflects the number of unaccompanied homeless youth who slept on the streets of Las Vegas on any given night in 2017. You can make your commitment to #bethemovement to end youth homelessness by going to www.nphy.org/themovement or following the campaign on Facebook or Instagram at @bethemovementsnv or on Twitter at @bethemovementlv.