Local News


UPDATE: Veterans Village helps The Shade Tree restore long-term housing

Local shelter cuts funding to number of beds
Posted at 9:23 AM, Aug 11, 2017
and last updated 2018-04-12 18:59:56-04

UPDATE APRIL 12: A place for women and children to get help is back open.

13 Action News first told you The Shade Tree, a local nonprofit, had to close its transitional housing program last August. Now they are able to reopen thanks to another local nonprofit, Veterans Village.

Moving in is never easy, but Darcelle Smith is happy and a little speechless.

"Everybody cares. Everybody smiles. It's just cool. I don't know how to really explain it cause I'm really like... You know overwhelmed. I'm really overwhelmed," said Smith.

Smith has overcome a violent past. Now she has a new job, a new bed, even art to hang on her walls. She freely admits, though, she didn't do this on her own.

"Anyone I asked for any type of help was willing to help me even if they're tired, or on their way out the door. It's like no, you know what, I will help you," said Smith.

Budget cuts forced The Shade Tree to shut down the transitional housing program. Dozens of women and children had to find somewhere else to stay with just a few days' notice. Less than a year later, the program is restarting.

"I think we're all exhausted between all the phone calls and the late night texts and making everything happy, but it's a good tired," said Stacey Lockhart, the executive director of The Shade Tree.

More apartments will open soon. Smith is the first to move in.

UPDATE SEPT. 1: Congresswoman Dina Titus has announced that dozens of local organizations, including Shade Tree, will get a portion of a $20 million grant.

Shade Tree won't receive the $2 million they hoped to raise to reopen their transitional housing program, but it'll be a good start.

UPDATE AUG. 24: Thursday, The Shade Tree begins a Community Giving Campaign, #InvestInUs. They're working with the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Their goal is to raise more than $2 million. They hope to reopen the Transitional Housing program.

You can donate on their website: theshadetree.org.

The ceremony starts at 10:00 a.m. at 1 West Owens Avenue.

ORIGINAL STORY: A local shelter is having to cut its budget, forcing out dozens of women and children who live there.  The Shade Tree says because of financing challenging, they are suspending its transitional housing program. 

"It's hard," says executive director, Stacey Lockhart.  "It breaks your heart." 

Lockhart joined The Shade Tree a few weeks ago.  She says the transitional housing program has been at risk for a while, but after she took a look at the budget, they made the decision to suspend it until they can come up with the finances.  

The transitional housing program can sleep up to 160 people long term, and now, those living there, have to move out in a matter of weeks.  

The other beds will remain available for women and children who are in need of immediate assistance.  

The Shade Tree does receive federal grants and funding, but the main problem comes with private funding.  Officials say they just haven't received enough donations, and haven't done as many fundraisers as they needed. 

Lockhart says they do hope to open the beds back up in the future, if they can come up with the funding.  They plan to launch a campaign called #InvestInUs, asking for the community's help.  They hope to raise over $2 million in the next few months.  

"Government funding and grants are helpful," says Lockhart.  "But they'll never replace the impact of private philanthropy."