Tag Archives: drug

Businesses and charities chipping in to create school garden

A little over a month ago, I was asked by an Education Alliance board member if I had any ideas to help a garden project move forward. It had been three years since the school had conceived the idea, but stalled due to various challenge. I told Jim to give me an hour and I’d have the solution. Weeks later and the project is in full force.

It has happened thanks to key community partners who didn’t think twice of helping. The first person I called was Leonard Guevara, executive director of Safe Harbors of Nevada, a transition program working with ex-offenders and rehabilitating drug addicts re-adjust to society by providing a home, meals, classes, and access to employment and transportation resources. Instead of thinking about it, he jumped and told me that he’d start right away. This guy is amazing! Check out the photo of him making magic happen as he and his crew install planters and prepare the area for a drip system.

Credit goes to the team we assembled. Now, the effort is not just a garden, it’s an “outdoor classroom”, where students will assemble to take care of their own gardens (at least one per grade class), conduct learning exercises a picnic benches, and use the gardens to expand their knowledge in math, science, reading, and writing.

The team includes Moana Nursery, WCSD Capital Projects, Western Nevada Supply, Garden Shop Nursery, and the Reno Lions Club. As a result, we’re receiving interest from others interested in the project. It’s ideal, because there’s one major item we need…well, the KIDS need.

The Moana Nursery family has created a “classroom kit”, containing several garden accessories for the students to use as they cultivate and harvest their gardens. The kit features rakes, gloves, seeds, soil, and other handy items, which will help the students learn in a hands-on manner. The kit can be purchased at the store on Moana Nursery or online at the school’s giving page on the GiftingWishes.com website for $110 until the end of May. Each purchase will be received as a donation, enabling donors to be properly recognized by the school.

More information can be obtained by clicking the following or contacting me at 775-333-9444 or info@npcatalyst.com.

Sierra Vista Elementary Garden webpage

Buy/donate a “classroom kit” on the Sierra Vista Garden giving page on GiftingWishes.com

An opportunity to support Safe Harbors of Nevada

    

Helping people obtain the skills they need to become productive citizens.

Guiding people to reconnect with personal values.

Providing an enriching environment, enabling people to experience changes in behavior, thinking, and feeling.

These represent the hallmark of Safe Harbors of Nevada…to change lives.

Each year in northern Nevada, thousands of men and women are released from state prisons and jails, with the vast majority returning to the Truckee Meadows. These returning prisoners face a range of challenges, from securing housing and employment to rebuilding relationships with their families and support networks. They must deal with these issues while, at the same time, avoiding old pathways to criminal behavior and substance abuse, avoiding negative influences, maintaining hope and self-esteem, and adjusting to daily life on the outside.

Safe Harbors provides a premier home-like, clean, safe and secure environment to assist individuals in their gradual reentry into the community.

This local organization, located near the UNR campus, has been helping people get back on their feet for years. Until now, the organization has never asked for contributions from the community. Safe Harbors seeks to team with the greater community to enhance transition results and provide opportunities for those looking to make a fresh start. It starts with the basic necessity of a proper meal service program.

  • Goal – to serve more nutritious meals to more people.
  • Project – to renovate their kitchen to facilitate the increasing cooking needs.
  • Cost – $40,000. Roughly $40,000 in in-kind contributions has already been committed.
  • Timeline – now. The flooring is about to be stripped and existing equipment removed.

Safe Harbors was founded in June 2004 and has helped thousands of ex-offenders and substance abusers regain their lives. At the time, Leonard Guevara had a vision to start the organization after completing a similar one himself. He saw how it helped him get back on his feet and give him a support system that he would not have had otherwise. He wanted to be able to give back to the community, and thought the best way to do so was to open a house where people with substance abuse problems could regain their sobriety by living in a clean and safe environment.

The organization’s leaders provide a supportive environment to qualified individuals to guide them toward retaining their sobriety and chemical independence, and developing living skills to become healthy and productive members of society. Through a 90-day structured program, each client:

  • Is provided with bed liners, laundry facilities, bathing facilities, and a clean living environment.
  • Is offered three nutritious meals each day.
  • Is given access the computer lab for job searches and personal communications.
  • Attend daily meetings and work towards completing the 12-step program.

Through partnerships with local businesses and non-profit organizations, Safe Harbors stores enough food and food products to feed an increasing number of clients. However, the kitchen and cooking appliances severely need updating to adequately prepare three square and nutritious meals to more than 48 clients each day.

Each year in northern Nevada, thousands of men and women are released from state prisons and state jails, with the vast majority returning to the Truckee Meadows. These returning prisoners face a range of challenges, from securing housing and employment to rebuilding relationships with their families and support networks. They must deal with these issues while at the same time avoiding old pathways to criminal behavior and substance abuse, avoiding negative influences, maintaining hope and self-esteem, and adjusting to daily life on the outside.

According to founder, Leonard Guevara, “When clients are released from prison, many of them have no access to the basic necessities. Most have less than twenty dollars in their pocket, no support system, and are unable to cope with the freedom of being out of a controlled environment. Since they know no other way to make money, many go back to the criminal activity that they were indicted for and find themselves back in prison.”

Leonard expressed this during a recent interview on the Nevada Matters Media radio show. Click here to become more acquainted with Safe Harbors and its founder.

The program at Safe Harbor works. Clients are making successful transitions back to society, where they are able to obtain employment, secure proper housing, and build strong relationships with family members. As a result, they are becoming well-adjusted, economically-supportive individuals looking to better themselves.

Community members can help by making financial contributions to Safe Harbors. Funds raised will enhance the organization, starting with the kitchen upgrade. Healthy bodies make for healthier minds and brighter perspectives.

Donations of all amounts are welcome and each dollar helps bring the project to completion. Donations can be made by mail, in person, or online. Below are links to facilitate contributions. All contributors, unless identified as “anonymous”, will be tastefully recognized.

Additional information can be gathered by contacting Safe Harbors at 775-337-6777, by email, or on its website at www.SafeHarborsofNV.com. The mailing address is 469 E. 9th St., Reno, Nevada, 89512.