LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As families prepare for the back-to-school shopping season, young people who are experiencing homelessness don't usually get to join in on the excitement.
The Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth is hoping to give those students an opportunity to set themselves up for success by hosting its inaugural Education Drive until July 20. The organization is collecting school supplies for the teens they serve.
"We’re trying to empower young people," said Arash Ghafoori, NPHY CEO. "This may be school supplies for some people, but for homeless youth, it’s also empowerment tools that give them the power to be successful, to feel good about themselves and feel good about learning."
More than 10,000 students experiencing homelessness enrolled in the Clark County School District last year.
"With the public's continued support, we can make a difference and will be able to help young people experiencing homelessness get the most out of their school experience that will lead to more of them graduating and continuing their success well beyond graduation,” Ghafoori said.
Participants can donate school supplies or host a school supply drive with friends, family and co-workers so youth can be prepared to return to school. Needed items include backpacks, spiral notebooks, binders and more. A full list of needed items is available at NPHY.
Donations can be dropped off at the NPHY Drop-In Center, located at 4981 Shirley St. near UNLV, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additionally, supplies can be purchased from the NPHY Back To School Wish List 2022 on Amazon.com to have items delivered directly to NPHY.
The community also can help by making monetary donations to help with expenses that arise throughout the school year. These donations help NPHY continue providing housing and food, as well as scholarships, sports support, yearbooks, prom fees, college application fees, graduation costs and other educational expenses. Monetary donations can be made by going to NPHY or by texting NPHY to 801801.
Along with distribution through NPHY’s Drop-In Center and Housing programs, donated items will be distributed on July 28 and 29 during Feel Good Friday, a youth outreach and engagement event hosted by NPHY. Feel Good Friday also provides critical resources such as information about NPHY, Safe Place (NPHY’s 24-hour mobile crisis intervention service), and other related programs, along with providing food and hygiene supplies, seasonal items, and more to young people who are in unstable housing situations or experiencing homelessness. Additionally, there will be giveaways at these events ranging from gift cards to electric scooters.