Four innovative Clark County programs are receiving recognition from the National Association of Counties (NACo) this summer at its annual conference: The Harbor Juvenile Assessment Center, Pathway from Poverty, Safe@Home and the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center.
Nationally, awards are given in categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide to their communities. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, and civic engagement.
"Clark County staff and departments do great work for our residents and visitors each and every day, and it's an honor to be recognized nationally for four unique efforts," said Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. "One of Clark County's core strengths is collaboration with community partners, and all the recognized programs exemplify how we put that quality into practice."
The NACo Annual Conference & Exposition will be held July 12-15 at Paris and Bally's Las Vegas. With expected attendance of 3,500, the conference is the largest meeting of county elected and appointed officials from across the United States. Participants from counties of all sizes come together to shape NACo's federal policy agenda, share proven practices, and strengthen knowledge networks to help improve residents' lives and the efficiency of county government.
"It has been 25 years since Clark County last hosted the annual NACo conference, and it's a great opportunity to show public servants from across the country who we are and what we do," said Clark County Commission Vice Chairman Lawrence Weekly. "I want to congratulate County staff and departments for receiving much-deserved nationwide recognition from their peers."
The NACo Achievement Awards honor programs in 18 different categories. Clark County initiatives receiving recognition are:
- The Harbor Juvenile Assessment Center – The Harbor is designed to prevent children and teens from entering the juvenile justice system by providing resources to their families when problem behavior such as truancy, delinquency or drug and alcohol use escalate into more serious trouble. Services are provided by multiple community partners from two locations seven days a week, including one that is open 24-hours a day. To date, more than 8,500 local youth and their families have been served. More information is available on the Harbor's website at: https://theharborlv.com/.
- Pathway from Poverty – Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick initiated the program to address neighborhoods in the northeast Las Vegas Valley plagued by crime, deficiencies in education, economic opportunities and quality of life. Partnerships have resulted in the creation of community gardens to address food insecurity, workforce development training sessions and a gunshot detection program with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to reduce the number of shootings.
- Safe@Home – Clark County's Department of Family Services developed the Safe@Home program to assess family needs and safety intervention strategies to prevent removal of children from their homes and help reunify families by providing in-home safety services. Studies have long identified children removed from even less than ideal family homes suffer trauma that results in poor well-being. The program has served more than 700 families and nearly 2,000 local children since it was established in 2015.
- Vegas Strong Resiliency Center – Clark County and community partners established the Center as the primary resource to turn to for anyone struggling with effects from the 1 October mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. The County's Office of Public Communications managed public education efforts related to boosting awareness of help available through the center to survivors, responders, and family members of the 58 victims who died. Outreach efforts included creating the Resiliency Center's website, www.VegasStrongRC.org, Facebook page, TV and radio PSAs, and a variety of other outreach items and initiatives.
Commissioners & NACo leadership will change the colors of the bulbs of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign to red, white and blue in recognition of the NACo conference coming to Las Vegas. This will occur on Thursday, July 11 at 10:30 a.m.
On Friday, July 12 at 9 to 11:45 a.m., there will be a preview of the HBO documentary FOSTER and a panel discussion about how local governments can serve as conveners to bring stakeholders together to strengthen the nation's child welfare systems. Commissioner Lawrence Weekly will take part. This will take place at Bally's Skyview 1 room in the Resort Tower on the 26th floor.
On Friday, July 12 at 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., panelists will discuss mass casualty incident preparedness, response and recovery. The National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Administration will also take part to discuss severe weather decision-making support services and the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. Clark County Emergency Management and Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg will take part. This will take place at Bally's in the Jubilee Tower's third-floor Las Vegas Ballroom 1-4.