Homeless Youth Organization Sees Success Since Scandal
According to the Clark County School District, more than 9,000 children were homeless in Clark County last year. Imagine – trying to concentrate on an algebra lesson and not knowing where you were going to sleep that night.
That was the situation Jim Rosa found himself in, when, at 17, he was sleeping on the streets of Las Vegas – finding any rooftop or back alley corner he could to get some rest. Nearing an adulthood, Rosa just needed a little help, and he found it in the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.
The partnership helped Rosa with some meals, clothing, a place to shower and bus passes to get to and from job interviews. That little bit of encouragement helped Rosa to where he is now, two years later, as a full-time psychology student at the College of Southern Nevada.
Rosa’s story is one shared by many in Las Vegas, which is why the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth continues to do what it does. Through a combination of public and private funds, the partnership seeks to help homeless children by providing them with immediate as well as long-term needs.
But a dark shadow was cast over the organization two years ago when a top executive from the organization was thought to be misusing charity funds for private use. In February 2013, Kathleen Vermillion was fired, and an audit showed proof of several instances of questionable funding.
The future of the organization was at stake, and executive director Arash Ghafoori set out to make it right. Ghafoori talks to KNPR about what kind of transformation the organization has gone through in order to make its goals as transparent as possible.
Arash Ghafoori, Executive director, Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth
Jim Rosa, psychology student, College of Southern Nevada
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