LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Over the past 2 months, more than 450,000 Nevadans have lost their jobs and our state's unemployment rate is now the highest in the country. But, what's more important than identifying the problem is helping our community get through one of the toughest times we've ever faced.
Nonprofits are stepping up and providing help during what can feel like a hopeless time.
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The main goal of the United Way of Southern Nevada is to bring organizations and resources together to help the community. Right now, they're working harder than ever to accomplish that.
13 Action News had the opportunity to meet one veteran who got help when she needed it most, and now she's encouraging others to follow her steps.
Between 7 dogs and 5 kids, with another one the way, Danielle Shea's coronavirus quarantine has been anything but quiet.
"[It's been] chaos!" said Shea, immediately breaking out into laughter. "I mean, it’s not even chaos. I think we have it pretty good," she added with a smile.
This 8-year Army veteran is just happy to have her home. In the 4 months since she moved to Las Vegas, her fiance has suffered a serious shoulder injury, and the current economic crisis has made it impossible for her to pay the bills.
"When we lived in New York, we were in a bad spot. Things were horrible and we thought we were moving up. And then all of a sudden, everything went down. We were just hoping that he would get his disability or something, that it would come in, and we would have some sort of miracle," said Shea.
Then, that miracle came in the form of a full month's rent check.
"Which is amazing because my rent is expensive. It’s $2,900 for the month," said Shea.
Shea's rent was paid by a nonprofit called the Kline Veterans Fund, which provides financial help for homeless or struggling veterans in Southern Nevada.
"I was just in awe. I was like, 'Oh my god, this is amazing. I just felt like good things are coming,'" said Shea.
The Klein Fund is one of at least 50 organizations to request a total of $5 million dollars in funding from the United Way of Southern Nevada during this pandemic.
"Economically, the kind of industry we have and the sectors that we have, this is going to go on for quite a while," said Kyle Rahn, the president and CEO of United Way of Southern Nevada.
The rising need for help is why the United Way is asking for your donations now more than ever.
"Every bit helps and you know, when you see someone on the street, I fight it. I want to give them $5 dollars at the stop light. Put it in this fund. It's helping people like that. It's going to help your fellow Nevadans," said Rahn.
With her newfound financial relief, Shea is working to one day open the dog rescue she's been dreaming of. Now, she wants others to know, even when this pandemic makes you feel helpless, there's always help out there for those who ask.
"Go out and find it. Go make the call and you will find everything that you need. There’s help out there and there’s no reason to stress. There’s enough death going on in the whole entire country, in the whole entire world. If you need it, it’s there," said Shea.
13 Action News wants to help you find that free financial help as well, whether it's with your mortgage, rent, or utilities. The United Way says the best way to find out more is to call 2-1-1, which is committed to helping Nevadans connect with the services they need. To request help from 2-1-1, click this link.
If you'd like to donate to the United Way to help the most vulnerable residents of the Las Vegas valley, click this link.