Program and Construction Development
Development of the Nevada Cares Campus
The Nevada Cares Campus is designed to provide a low-barrier and housing-focused shelter for people experiencing homelessness. The first phase was completed by the City of Reno and funded by the City of Reno, City of Sparks and Washoe County; it included the land purchase, Sprung building, restrooms and showers, initial site and utility work. With Phase l of the construction project complete, the following scope of the Campus design and construction is projected to be completed in the following phases:
- Phase ll: Permanent bathrooms, showers, laundry facility and sprung improvements
- Phase lll: Welcome center, intake, training area, case management, therapy, a dining hall, and an administrative area that will include staff offices, a breakroom and locker space
- Phase lV: A resource center, an area for overflow capacity and supportive housing
Arrival Experience and Diversion Program
At the Nevada Cares Campus, one will arrive at the Welcome Center (Phase III construction), where the client will be received and a diversion, client-driven approach will be taken. According to best practice standards and the National Homeless Alliance, the goal with this approach is to help the person or household find safe alternative housing immediately, rather than staying on the street or entering the shelter. Research shows that people who enter shelter experience longer periods of homelessness than those who are diverted from it.
Upon being admitted to the shelter, clients will have access to services such as restrooms, showers, a laundry facility, and a dining hall for meals. Clients will be expected to be willing to work towards a housing plan and be able to manage their own activities of daily living.
The emergency shelter currently provides basic hygienic services including temporary restrooms, handwashing, showers, and laundry. Phase II construction will bring permanent facilities and improvements to the sprung.
Housing Focused Case Management and Mental Health Support
On site staff provide case management and assist with connections to services and programs as they are able, however staffing shortages have impacted the level of service the shelter has been able to provide. In addition, case manager-to-client ratios and staff-to-client ratios were not at a level considered best practice to support favorable outcomes.
In January 2022 to address the staffing levels, Washoe County approved federal recovery funding to cover the creation of 43 positions to include case managers, mental health counselors, and other support positions. (29 County positions and 14 Operator positions) The funding is an allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and will support the new positions for up to 18 months.
Phase III construction will provide Case Managers and Mental Health Counselors with designated space for case management, meetings, and trainings. On-site staff will assist with connections to services and programs in partnership with community partners, with a focus on housing referrals. Phase III will also provide space for Partners to provide services on site.
As all clients are in different phases of their journey, the Nevada Cares Campus will provide a variety of shelter options to meet different needs and create community. Although each is unique, all shelter options are based on a housing first, low barrier model and focus on meeting clients where they are at.
The vision of the Nevada Cares Campus would not be possible without the support of the community and all our regional partners.
If you are interested in additional information regarding the Nevada Cares Campus, please contact Washoe County Housing and Homeless Services at: RegionalHomelessServices@washoecounty.gov