The Harbor offers diversion services to prevent youth from entering the juvenile justice system by helping families cope with problem behavior or delinquency before issues potentially escalate into more serious trouble. Since opening in October 2016, the Harbor has served more than 14,500 local youth and their families. Counseling, mentoring and a variety of life skills classes are the top areas of service referrals.
“The Harbor has a proven track record of success in our community, and we welcome the addition of a location that will be accessible to youth and families living in the southeast part of the Las Vegas Valley,” said Commissioner Segerblom, whose Commission District E includes the new site. “The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a lot of stress for families and children alike, and we encourage parents to reach out to the Harbor for help if their kids are acting out or engaging in behavior that is worrying you.”
Signs that a child or youth may need help include anxiety, drug or alcohol use, isolation, bullying, changes in behavior, and truancy and absenteeism from school. The new Flamingo location shares office space with a Truancy Prevention Outreach Program that is being developed by Clark County’s Juvenile Justice Services Department, the Clark County School District and other Harbor-partnering organizations. The TPOP program is being developed as a result of funding approved by the 2019 Nevada State Legislature to pay for programs that prevent truancy, which is recognized as a significant obstacle to student success and often is rooted in other issues that the Harbor was created to help address. Officials say children may miss school for a variety of reasons including health problems and family struggles such as housing instability, food insecurity and childcare issues.
“We are committed to helping children and families get the resources they need to be successful in life, and the pandemic has made some of the challenges even harder,” said Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who actively supports the Harbor as a model for delivering services to local youth and families. “The Harbor is designed to provide wrap-around services to children and their families depending on their unique needs, and we are looking forward to working with our community partners to expand the program and make the services even more widely available.”
All Harbor locations operate seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Harbor’s website is www.theharborlv.com, and its main telephone number is (702) 455-6912. Due to COVID-19 concerns, appointments by phone or in person are recommended at each location, though all sites will attempt to accommodate walk-ins if families are in crisis. Face coverings, temperature checks and social distancing guidelines are required to protect the health of visitors and staff. The Harbor has four locations in addition to the new location on Flamingo Road, the Harbor’s other locations are:
- 861 N. Mojave Road near Washington Avenue
- 6161 W. Charleston Boulevard in Building 2 of the state of Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services campus off Jones Boulevard
- 3001 N. Martin Luther King Blvd., south of Cheyenne Avenue
The new Flamingo Road location will be managed by Eagle Quest, a provider of counseling, behavioral health and family preservation services, as a public-private partnership. Eagle Quest also manages the Harbor location on West Charleston and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Some agency partners have staff on site at all Harbor locations, while others receive referrals based on the needs of children and families being served by the program.
Originally based at the Family Court complex on Pecos and Bonanza, the Harbor relocated in January 2018 to its current campus on Mojave Road. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department donated the location, formerly used as a police training center, to serve as a permanent home for the Harbor and the community’s Family Justice Center. The two programs are separate but offer similar one-stop service models to clients. The Family Justice Center, open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, offers collaborative services from multiple agencies to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Victims can file police reports, obtain temporary protection orders, counseling, advocacy and housing assistance from the center.
To date, about 25 percent of The Harbor’s clients have been walk-ins from the community, brought to the center by parents or caregivers seeking guidance with their children. Another 25 percent are families referred to the Harbor by the School District. Other referrals come directly from police dropping kids off at a Harbor location instead of the juvenile detention center or intake staff at the detention center diverting kids to a Harbor if they have been arrested for a first-time or low-level offense. Anyone in the community who believes a child or family could be served by the Harbor, including coaches, ministers, and relatives, is encouraged to contact the program for referrals to local resources. Officials say troublesome youth behavior may be rooted in unmet mental health or substance abuse issues. It also could be symptomatic of issues going on with the family that can be addressed through community service providers.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 9th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.