The Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network is thrilled to have the opportunity to highlight
The Eddy House, a local Reno non-profit dedicated to housing and supporting homeless youth in our region.
1. What is your mission?
Eddy House works with homeless and at-risk youth to develop life and job skills necessary for sustainable independence. We are the central intake and assessment facility in Northern Nevada. The objective of the Eddy House is to end youth homelessness in the Northern Nevada area.
2. Can you tell me about the work your organization does and the program or programs you run?
- Our drop-in center is a safe place – both psychologically and physically – where young people can begin to form bonds with caring staff while gaining access to essential resources for their overall well-being. The primary goal of the program is to get homeless youth into safe and permanent housing. Services include access to showers, laundry services, and access to necessities such as food, clothing, hygiene items, lockers, and computers. Drop-in clients can access our counselor for mental health services, our workforce coordinator for job opportunities, and our case manager to gain access to essential documents, sign up for medical appointments, and to develop individualized goals.
- Our Community Living Program is a six-month transitional housing program for up to 23 youth that incorporates intensive case management with a wide range of supportive services and programs that will lead to self-sufficiency, e.g. education, life skills, medical supports, behavioral health counseling, and workforce development. This program is based on the belief that homeless youth need a middle step where they can receive intensive case management and support. This program is designed to help them transition into permanent housing and become self-sufficient. It focuses on preventing chronic homelessness and transforms lives by addressing the root causes of homelessness. It is an “upstream” approach that focuses on the individual regarding employment, school, and community involvement.
3. How did this organization come about? / Why was it founded?
Eddy House was founded in 2011 by Lynette Eddy. Eddy House was originally a residence purchased for former foster youth who found themselves out on the streets after aging-out of the foster system.
4. How has this organization grown or changed over time?
Originally a residence for former foster youth closed in 2015 and transformed into a drop-in center for all homeless and at-risk youth. In January 2020, Eddy House expanded our services to 24 hours to better serve the homeless youth in Northern Nevada. Our new 16,000 square foot facility is Washoe County’s first 24 hour/ 365 day a year facility to serve this population. The facility includes an overnight shelter for up to 20 young adults, a five-bed emergency shelter, a drop-in center, and a new results-oriented Community Living Program.
5. Tell us about volunteer opportunities with your organization.
COVID-19 has allowed us to take the time to revamp our volunteer program. We have on-site opportunities to help in our clothing closet and our supply closet. We have opportunities to work directly with our youth as a tutor or mentor, teach an activity/skill, or lead a group. The best way to volunteer during this time is to become a meal sponsor. We serve a hot breakfast and dinner 6 days a week and those meals are provided by individuals, groups, or organizations in our community. We are excited to welcome back volunteers very soon!
6. How have you and your organization had to pivot or change to accommodate the COVID-19 situation/parameters?
COVID-19 slowed us down, but it did not stop us from providing services to the homeless youth in our community. We had to modify ways we provide services, keeping the health and safety of the youth, our staff, and the community our top priority. Uncertain times make it even more important that we stay focused on helping everyone gain access to reliable employment, healthy living, and empowering this next generation to meet the rising needs in our community. These challenges we face do not deter our efforts; we have continued to have some amazing successes.
7. What else would you like to add?
On June 1st, we added 25 beds to our transitional housing program to better serve our youth in the community. This beautiful project offers short term housing on a sliding fee scale as young people are actively working. This component is a part of the step-down the transition back to true independence. Our latest addition to our family of services is Casa de Vida. Casa de Vida is a long-standing non-profit serving pregnant young women in our community and a welcomed addition to the Eddy House family. While some teens facing a crisis pregnancy have the support of a loving family, many others are less fortunate. We are pressing hard to better serve these young people in need, those in transition, and those that are homeless.
8. How can we keep in up to date on the Eddy House?