Holiday, New Year Giving at TMCC: Part Two

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
TMCC Staff Volunteers Image

At the Homeless Youth Point in Time Count in 2016: Lee Raubolt, Kyle Dalpe, YeVonne Allen and Andy Hughes. Not pictured are Jeffrey Metcalf, Christine Boston and Rachel Solemsaas.

Veterinary Technician Students Holiday Drive

Truckee Meadows Community College students enrolled in the Veterinary Technician Program sponsored a holiday drive to help small animals, especially during the cold winter months.

The TMCC student chapter of National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (SCNAVTA) club collected dog jackets, blankets, collars and leashes, dog bowls and dog food. The students received donations at four of the five TMCC sites.

“One of our biggest donors is Laurie Spencer, an alumna and graduate of the TMCC Vet Tech program,” said Kellie Carter, Veterinary Technology Instructor.

This was the second year that SCNAVTA conducted the holiday drive, and they added the dog food collection this year.

“Students wanted to help out the community and make sure that the dogs in the area have food and supplies to keep them safe and warm,” she said. “Donations will be going to Pets of the Homeless and Chihuahua Rescue Truckee Meadows.”

Carter added that the drives have been successful, and SCNAVTA hopes to hold an additional food drive in the middle of February.

Homeless Youth Point in Time Count

The TMCC community is assisting local nonprofit organizations, Our Center and Nevada Youth Empowerment Project (NYEP), with the Homeless Youth Point in Time Count for the third year, with count day on Thursday, Jan. 26.

It will be the fourth year for YeVonne Allen, Specialist in the Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability Office to volunteer in this effort.

“Homeless youth is a population that is near and dear to the hearts of TMCC staff who are especially centered to this age group,” she said. “It’s a good cause, too. There isn’t an overnight homeless youth shelter in the state and the number of young people without a permanent address has increased by 80 percent since 2012.”

The Equity and Inclusion Office at TMCC is one of the drop-off locations for community donations, and Our Center is another collection site. The main donation period lasts from Dec. 19 until Jan. 25. A website for this joint effort by multiple community organizations is posted on Facebook.

“The volunteers and agencies do a ton of outreach, handing out wristbands with the date, and a street team goes out with fliers to most of the places where we know homeless youth hang out,” Allen said. “There are a lot of resources at the Count event, with a free market where young people can get food, clothing, hygiene items, tents and sleeping bags.”

The Count is an annual happening across Nevada, when individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 (this year up to 25) who are in shelters—or homeless and not in a shelter—are counted during one 24-hour period in January. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires the survey. The purpose of the count is to find out the resources needed for development and funding of housing and services.

Local nonprofits, Our Center and NYEP have coordinated the Homeless Youth Point in Time Count since 2012 on behalf of the Reno Area Alliance for the Homeless. On Count day, Jan. 26, two large tents will be located at West Street Plaza, First and West Street, in Reno, at the location that homeless youth call “The Circle.”

Each young person is surveyed, gets a ticket and then goes to the free market tent. The survey serves as proof of each individual to HUD, although those surveyed do not have to provide their legal name. The market is an incentive for youth to come and participate.

The Count has shown a large increase of homeless young people since 2012 according to completed surveys:

  • 55 in 2012
  • 61 in 2013
  • 44 in 2014
  • 75 in 2015
  • 99 in 2016

Only one in four young people feel safe in shelters, and many fear adult clients there, said Meredith Tanzer of Our Center in a KOLO Channel 8 news report. She added that more than half have completed foster care, and about half of homeless youth nationally identify as LGBTQ individuals who may have had a falling out with parents or guardians who don’t yet understand their unique identity or expression.

Donations from the community of money, services, and in-kind goods such as coats, socks and sleeping bags are being collected by Our Center and NYEP, and on an wish list registry. The nonprofit tax identification number is 26-1118584. Items still needed are listed below.

“Last year the entire Admissions and Records staff filled up my car with donations,” Allen said. “There are at least 20 at TMCC who usually help or donate leading up to the event, and there were five who volunteered hours on the actual count day last January. President Sheehan attended the Count in 2015 and Interim President Kyle Dalpe attended in 2016. Students helped out with that event, including about 20 EMS students.”

Volunteer sign-up sheets are available at TMCC. For more information on the Homeless Youth Point in Time Count, please contact YeVonne Allen at 775-673-7027.

Items still needed:

  • Tents
  • Sleeping bags
  • Tree hammocks
  • Baby wipes
  • Food vouchers
  • Fruit or pudding cups
  • Canned food with pull tabs, tuna and meat
  • Peanut butter
  • Granola bars and nuts
  • Grocery or discount store gift cards
  • Backpacks
  • Packaged underwear
  • Socks and gloves, hand warmers
  • Winter coats
  • Boots
  • Laundry vouchers
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene
  • Flash lights and batteries