Homeless in Sin City: How one group brings shelter to teens - Movement Mortgage Blog

Grant Hopkins stifles tears when he recounts the stories of children he’s met over the years: Teenagers abused and beaten. Kids forced into human trafficking. A 13-year-old girl sold into prostitution by her drug-addicted father.

All of them are homeless. And all of them live in Sin City, where youth homelessness has grown into an epidemic and the resources to shelter them are stretched thin, says Hopkins, a Movement Mortgage market leader in Las Vegas.

Since he joined Movement nearly five years ago, Hopkins and his team have supported the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY), a nonprofit based in Las Vegas that provides life-saving services to thousands of homeless youth ages 12 to 18 in southern Nevada. The group aims to eliminate youth homelessness in a region of the state where more than 2,300 minors had no shelter in 2015, according to a report from the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition.

A $10,000 check from Movement Mortgage may help stem the tide.

NPHY is this month’s winner of the Movement 10K challenge, an ongoing campaign to award $10,000 to nonprofits, charities and ministries that are significant to the company’s employees. Hopkins nominated NPHY.

 

To nominate a charity of their choice, Movement team members can submit a short video about the organization they want to benefit. A committee of Movement team members then chooses a winner each month based on how the money will be used to bring light, life and hope to those in need.

NPHY will pour Movement’s $10,000 contribution into a $100,000 fundraiser to purchase a condominium it wants to turn into transitional housing for homeless youth.

“It’s not just for a day. It’s not just feeding them a hot meal,” Hopkins says. “It’s going to serve them in perpetuity if we can give beds. Imagine going to bed at night without a pillow, or a mattress, maybe even a blanket. We’re going to be able to do that in perpetuity and change their world.”

Hopkins first became involved with NPHY after visiting one of its facilities while volunteering with a local Keller Williams real estate office. A father of two adult children, he says he was humbled and heartbroken by the ordeals some of the youth endured.

“It’s humbling that I was able to provide for my kids and heartbreaking that somebody else’s kids struggled the way they do,” Hopkins says.

This latest fundraiser will add to NPHY’s expansive range of services, which includes providing transitional housing and food, clothes and hygienic supplies to unaccompanied homeless youth — minors who no longer have a parent or guardian signing documents or important paperwork on their behalf, says Arash Ghafoori, NPHY’s executive director.

The group serves on average 400 to 500 new clients each year, and already owns a number of transitional housing units across Las Vegas. In those homes, young people learn to live independently, deal with roommates and make budgeting decisions. A “house parent” lives nearby to provide a “safety net,” Ghafoori says.

NPHY’s work is critical, he says, since the city has the second highest population of homeless youth in the nation.

“Typically, an adult knows what independence is and knows what they need to do to pay their bills, pay their mortgage, pay their rent,” Ghafoori says. “When these youth either are tossed away or run away, it’s very sudden. They’re not armed with information to help themselves because they’ve never had to be independent.

“They are such a voiceless population that we in our communities need to be voices for them.”

We love nothing more than being able to give our clients experiences they’ll always remember. So we were excited when given the opportunity to take our clients to dinner and a movie. The night started with Sunset Station Feast Buffet, who offered NPHY a 2-for-1 deal. For a few of our clients, this was their first time experiencing a buffet-style dinner. Marquel even ate so much, he experienced his first food coma (as seen in photo). After dinner, clients and staff went to see the movie Jurassic World. It was a fun night, and we are so glad our clients enjoyed it! #NPHY #lasvegas #Nevadahomelessyouth #nevada #lasvegas #charity #volunteer #nonprofit #giveback #inspiration #socialgood #safeplace #homelessyouth #youth #motivate #donations #sunsetstation ! #JurrasicWorld #buffet #food

A photo posted by NPHY (@nevadahomelessyouth) on

Hopkins says Movement undergirding NPHY makes him proud. It also compels him to deliver a sobering reminder to anyone who works for the company that says it loves and values people and wants to be a Movement of Change.

“Sometimes, it’s hard to keep sales people focused on something that’s ancillary to their main function,” he says. “But I view it like this: If our CEO can go to Uganda and purchase 1,100 acres to support the locals, if Toby Harris can build churches, we certainly have the time to make a difference.”

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About the Author:

Adam O'Daniel

Adam O'Daniel is Movement's Communications Director. He leads corporate communication and public relations efforts across the organization. Email him at adam.odaniel@movement.com.