Re-Know Minute: Reno Works

Re-Know Minute LogoHomelessness is an issue facing cities around the country, and Reno is no exception. With a decrease in affordable housing and a flourishing economy come rising rates of homelessness. Rarely is there a one-size-fits-all solution, and contributing factors are multifaceted. Reno Works is one program in the City of Reno that’s setting a national example for its effectiveness in taking people off the streets and giving them steady housing and steady employment. Established in 2015 by Councilmember Neoma Jardon and Volunteers of America Regional Director Pat Cashell, Reno Works is an intensive, 12 week program designed to teach job and life skills to selected participants living in the homeless shelter.

The goal of the program is to give the opportunities and tools necessary to improve the lives of our homeless population. Some of these tools include work safety training, resume and employment assistance, financial education, housing referral services and intensive case management support. The process of becoming a participant of the program begins with being a residing client in a VOA shelter. Once a case manager identifies that their client would be well suited for the program, applicants go through an interview process to ensure they are fit for the program’s demands. While Reno Works is designed to ensure job security, the program also facilitates park and river cleanup projects as well as comprehensive skills building workshops. Reno Works participants need to be prepared to work hard and study hard.

The Reno Works program is community driven, community funded, and community built. To date, the program has received over $200,000 dollars in donation money. Local businesses have partnered with Reno Works to ensure this program goes beyond the short term of landing the job by guaranteeing long term employment and stable housing. As of October 2018, 82% of the 65 people who graduated from Reno Works had steady income. On April 30, 2019, Reno Works Class number 11 graduated, bringing the total number of graduates to 73. By offering continued case management support and assistance in finding proper housing, participants can proudly say they’re hire-able and ready to work. By cultivating confidence in the program’s participants, graduates can successfully reclaim their life and be able to give back to the Reno community.

If you have additional concerns or questions, contact Reno Direct at renodirect@reno.gov or by calling 775.334.4636 (INFO).

 

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