The Harbor is partnering with Clark County’s Department of Social Service and other agencies on a new pilot program to offer support services to youth and families in rural areas of the County and underserved areas of the Las Vegas Valley. (See fliers in English & Spanish.)
Clark County’s Juvenile Justice Services Department, which oversees the Harbor program with multiple community partners, received grant funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to create mobile outreach teams to bring Harbor services to rural communities and high-needs areas in the Las Vegas Valley. The Harbor offers resources to youth and families through a variety of community providers. Services include tutoring, counseling, healthcare, substance abuse treatment, job training, mentoring, life skills and parenting classes, and recreational opportunities. As part of the new initiative, the Harbor has launched two mobile outreach teams to help deliver services to more youth and families.
“It’s exciting to be able to bring services offered through the Harbor and its community partners on the road to rural communities in Clark County and underserved areas in the Las Vegas Valley where families may face transportation issues getting to an existing site,” said Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick, whose district includes Moapa Valley and Mesquite. “The Harbor does a lot of good in our community and this new effort will help make its services more accessible to youth and families who need them.”
To kick off the new effort, free community outreach activities are being hosted on alternating Saturdays in March in Moapa Valley and Laughlin. Harbor staff will be offering games, raffles and other activities for kids. The informal gatherings also will serve as opportunities for parents and community members to get information about the Harbor, Clark County Social Service programs and other services available through partnering agencies.
“As we launch this new service, our goal is to build on existing partnerships with schools and other organizations in communities throughout Clark County,” said Commissioner Michael Naft, whose district includes Laughlin and Searchlight. “In some cases, staff can connect people to online and telehealth services. We also will be looking for opportunities to tailor programs and services to meet the needs of youth and families specific to where they live.”
Media Client Confidentiality Notice: News media planning to cover these opportunities are asked to refrain from taking photos or video of clients attending the event without their permission:
- Saturday, March 4 and March 18, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Moapa Community Center, 320 N. Moapa Valley Blvd.
- Saturday, March 11 and March 25, Laughlin Junior and Senior High School, 1900 Cougar Drive. On March 11 a youth-decision making workshop will be offered in two sessions, the first at 11 a.m. and a second at 1:50 p.m. Parents can visit with County staff while youth attend the workshops. A family engagement day will be held on March 25 that will include activities for youth and parents.
The Harbor Juvenile Assessment Program began in 2016 as a pilot program to provide 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 troubles. Signs that children may need help include depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol use, isolation, bullying, delinquency or changes in behavior. Officials say troublesome youth behavior is often 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. The program now has five locations in Las Vegas that operate seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Requests for appointments can be made by calling the program’s main number at (702) 455-6912 or through its website at www.theharborlv.com. To date, more than 28,000 youth and families and been served through the Harbor.
Due to the Harbor’s success in working with youth and families and support from the Nevada State Legislature, Clark County was able to open additional Harbor locations in the Las Vegas Valley and create a companion initiative called the Truancy Prevention Outreach Program (TPOP) to address the underlying causes of truancy and chronic absenteeism. Student absences at any grade level are often rooted in similar problems the Harbor helps to address including health issues and family struggles such as housing instability, food insecurity, domestic violence, all of which were compounded for many families during the pandemic. More information about TPOP is on the Harbor’s website.
In addition to Clark County’s Social Service Department and Department of Family Services, other community partners engaged in the Harbor include the Clark County School District, the area cities and police departments, Nevada Departments of Health and Human Services and Child and Family Services, Clark County Family Court, Clark County District Attorney’s Office, Workforce Connections and many nonprofit organizations. Eagle Quest, a provider of counseling, behavioral health and family preservation services, manages four of the local Harbor locations as a private-public partnership with Clark County.
In Las Vegas, about 20 percent of the Harbor’s clients are walk-ins from the community, brought to the center by parents or caregivers seeking guidance with their children. Many Harbor clients are referred by the School District. Referrals also come from police dropping off youth at a Harbor location if arrests have been made for first time or low-level offenses. Coaches, ministers, and other members of the community who believe a child or family could be served by the Harbor or TPOP can contact the program for resource referrals.
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 8th-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.