Graffiti removal program wins ‘Better Block’ funds

The Reno/Sparks Association of REALTORS® (RSAR) announced Thursday that the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project (NYEP) Wells Avenue Graffiti Removal initiative was selected as the 2016 “REALTORS® Build A Better Block” project.

As the winning project, NYEP will receive funds for graffiti removal to help create a “better block” for the neighborhood.

With the funds, the NYEP will work on a long-term program to remove graffiti. The group intends to purchase a power washer and two paint sprayers that will be used by the center’s youth volunteers to clean up neighborhood blight on Wells Avenue.

“We were so thrilled to get the call that our proposal was chosen as REALTORS Build a Better Block project,” Monica DuPea, executive director of the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project, said in a press release. “With the increase of blight in Reno, having the support of the REALTORS to empower young people to be problem solvers, encourages us that community solutions can help meet the city challenges that are coming our way. This funding will specifically be used by NYEP and our youth volunteers to perform Wells Avenue Graffiti Removal. Our hope is that this project will clean up buildings, leaving better blocks.”

According to DuPea, properties are fined if they do not clean up graffiti in their buildings. She believes the neighborhood will welcome this service, and will allow youth and adult volunteers to work side-by-side to clean up specific buildings and blocks.

The NYEP is a unique, community-based youth service provider founded in 2007, that develops, implements and evaluates programming targeting homeless, aged-out, unprepared, parentless youth (ages 18-21). The NYEP is designed to produce better outcomes for older youth and emerging adults such as improved high school graduation rates, preparation for employment, getting a college education, obtaining independent housing, good citizenry and avoiding welfare.

The innovative organization receives no government dollars and is in a constant state of finding new partners whose funding interests and/or desired community outcomes align. These connections not only give NYEP the financial means to do its important work, but also provide the necessary opportunities to develop and implement the most effective and efficient solutions for wayward, unhoused and unsupported youth; solutions which support and empower young people to motivate and change their lives for the better.


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