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Shade Tree Shelter's Transitional Program Returns

Last summer, The Shade Tree women’s shelter closed its transitional housing program due to lack of funding.

The Las Vegas program gave women a place to live for up to a year, as they brushed up on job skills and saved money.

Now, the transitional program is on its way back thanks to help from a low-income housing organization.

Stacey Lockhart, the executive director of Shade Tree, said the shelter does “everything to help women become self-sufficient and independent and able to stand on their own two feet and provide for their families with a living wage.”

She said through private donations and a partnership with Arnold Stalk with Veterans Village they will be able to restart the program in a few months. 

The program used to be housed in the shelter, but under the new agreement, the women, their children and their pets will be moved to apartments within Veterans Village II. 

The women will pay about $650 in rent and utilities, and will have access to Veteran Villages' crisis services and case management from the shelter.

In the old program, the women were in dorm-style housing, but the new arrangement allows women a private apartment.

“Our goal is to give them space, to give them privacy, to give them that semblance of having a home again,” she said.

“I believe that Shade Tree has given so much to this community that it is time for the community to give back and really be there like a rock for the Shade Tree because they do what nobody else does in the county,” Arnold Stalk said.

Stalk has worked to create Veterans Village, which provides housing and services for Southern Nevada's veterans.

Through private donations and private loans, Stalk is working to build affordable housing, like that he partnered with Shade Tree to provide.

He said that the solution to the homeless problem in Southern Nevada is to provide affordable housing, and he is concerned that the Las Vegas Valley could have the same problems with housing as Southern California has.

“If we don’t take action now and start building housing instead of band-aid solutions, we’re going to have the same problem,” he said.

Stalk said he is not waiting for government funding and Lockhart agreed. Federal grants can help, but they're not reliable. She said it is donations from the community that will be the funding future.

“People who really want to step up, and believe in what we’re doing, and want to support us — that’s where I seeing our funding coming from,” she said.

Stacey Lockhart, executive director, The Shade Tree; Arnold Stalk, founder, Veterans Village and Las Vegas Family Housing Village

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Kristy Totten is a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada. Previously she was a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, and has covered technology, education and economic development for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.