Reno Works program helps 9 people transition out of homelessness
RENO, Nev. — The city of Reno and Volunteers of America (VOA) Northern California and Northern Nevada held a graduation ceremony and celebration on Oct. 22 at City Hall for nine members of the current class of the Reno Works program.
At the ceremony, several program donors, businesses and supporters were recognized for helping facilitate this latest class, which marks the 12th session of Reno Works; according to various media reports, all nine graduates have since found permanent housing.
At the Oct. 22 event, Waste Management helped support the current Reno Works class with a $25,000 donation, according to a city of Reno press release. Waste Management staff also conducted mock interviews for the past two classes and provided tours of their facility.
The latest Reno Works session began on July 29, 2019.
“Including this class, we’ve had 82 people graduate from the program so far,” Reno City Councilmember Neoma Jardon, who helped establish Reno Works with VOA Regional Director Pat Cashell in 2015, said in the press release. “Many homeless in our community just need the opportunity and the tools to improve their lives. Reno Works provides them those skills and that chance.”
The 12-week Reno Works program provides a group of Community Assistance Center (CAC) homeless shelter residents with classes focused on life and job skills as well as providing temporary employment through community improvement projects including working in area parks, improving public facilities and cleaning along the river corridor.
Since 2015, Reno Works has received several financial donations totaling more than $200,000.
“The Reno Works program has helped people in our community transition out of homelessness by empowering them to take control of their lives and feel the pride of standing on their own two feet,” Cashell said in a statement.
According to the city’s press release, the following organizations and businesses served as partners for the newest graduating class: Caliber Hair & Makeup Studio; Community Health Alliance; Dress for Success Reno; Job Connect; JOIN; Nevada Safety Training; Olive Garden; Origins Salon; and The Vertical Dimension.
“The thing that I like most about entrepreneurship is I can work toward something that I’m passionate about and be at the forefront of the change that I want to see happen,” said Priyanka Senthil, a senior at Davidson Academy in Reno and co-founder of startup company AUesome.