HELP USA Celebrates 10 Years of Community Support in Southern Nevada

HELP USA LAS VEGAS, a program of the national non-profit organization HELP USA, announces its 10th year of continued support in the Southern Nevada community. HELP USA LAS VEGAS works to develop and provide affordable housing options and support service programs for homeless individuals, veterans and their families. Through strong collaborative community partnerships with the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA), local hospitals and community-based providers, HELP USA LAS VEGAS works to develop and implement permanent, affordable housing units and provide services for individuals in need.

“HELP USA LAS VEGAS is committed to promoting healthy and self sufficient lifestyles for homeless individuals, a majority being post-war veterans,” said Maria Cuomo Cole, chairman of HELP USA. “Currently one in three homeless men is a veteran of war. In anticipation of the increase in returning veterans over the next few years, HELP USA is working to expand our effective model of specialized housing and services in Las Vegas and other markets across the country. These services are a vital element to the success of veterans’ transition to civilian life and the welfare of the family unit.”

Since its establishment in 1999, HELP USA LAS VEGAS has developed a continuum of four residential properties in the Las Vegas area with a total of 320 units, prioritizing the development of affordable housing options for homeless, low-income, working adults and special needs populations. The housing models range from short-term emergency housing for individuals coming directly from the streets or an emergency shelter, to permanent housing creating the next step in independent living for veterans, to affordable housing for working families and households. The development of Genesis Apartments was funded by Low Income Housing Tax Credits, City of Las Vegas HOME and Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program funds, and the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Grant and Per Diem Program. Operating and Support Services Funding was granted through HUD SHP and the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ (DVA) Grant and Per Diem Program.

HELP USA LAS VEGAS’ initial project, St. Vincent’s HELP, was developed in 1999 as a short-term transitional housing model for homeless and is operated in partnership with Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. In 2001 HELP USA LAS VEGAS developed HELP Las Vegas Veterans Apartments, an apartment complex providing the next-step in transitional housing for homeless veterans with a range of special needs. These apartments provide veterans with a supportive atmosphere among their peers, giving tenants a sense of independence as they work through barriers to achieve self-sufficiency. Its third project, HELP Las Vegas Genesis Apartments, was developed in 2006 to provide a permanent affordable housing complex for homeless veterans and other homeless individuals with disabilities. HELP USA LAS VEGAS’ most recent initiative, HELP Las Vegas Renaissance Apartments, a permanent rental housing option for low-income working households, is currently open and renting up.

In addition to a variety of affordable housing options, HELP works with each of its tenants to provide a broad spectrum of critical services to promote healthy, independent living. Services and resources include alcohol and drug dependence treatment, full medical and dental services, vocational rehabilitation assistance, comprehensive mental health services and readjustment counseling. Food and nutritional services, computer classes, job skills training, money management training and housing stability and training workshops are also offered through collaborations with community partners including the College of Southern Nevada, Nevada Health Services, Wells Fargo Bank, Seven Seas Incorporated, Desert Pine Golf Club, the Silver Nugget Casino, Amalgamated Bank and Consumer Credit.

“The opportunities that HELP USA LAS VEGAS is able to provide to each our clients has made a profound impact in the last ten years,” said Karen Marshall, Director of Community and External Affairs for HELP USA LAS VEGAS. “Since 1999 our organization has assisted thousands of veterans and homeless individuals by providing them with essential resources to get them up and running in today’s society. By assisting with affordable housing options and job placement programs and services, HELP USA is able to make a positive impact on an individual and community level.”

“I feel very secure since moving to HELP Genesis,” said Santo Carpinteri, U.S. Navy Veteran and HELP Genesis resident. “I enjoy the computer classes, recreational bowling and monthly Veteran luncheons. HELP USA has helped me get back on my feet and I recommend HELP Genesis to other veterans.”