Plastic Food Drive collecting gift cards to help homeless teens

There are more than 15,000 documented homeless teens in Southern Nevada and possibly many more. It’s hard to get a good estimate of how many there are in the Las Vegas Valley because, unlike the majority of the adult homeless population, most homeless teens expend a lot of energy in keeping their homeless status hidden. The holidays can be particularly challenging, and the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth is reaching out to the community to help feed the teens with plastic: food gift cards.

The nonprofit charity hopes its annual Plastic Food Drive will provide the more than 11,000 Clark County homeless youths with a hot meal for the holidays. To meet that goal, the partnership is asking the public to purchase and donate $5 or $10 fast-food restaurant gift cards or $25 or $50 grocery store gift cards.

“The holidays can be especially unsettling and scary for homeless youth,” said Arash Ghafoori, executive director of the nonprofit. “They aren’t able to be in the traditional family setting, compounded by the fact they’re always wondering when they’ll eat their next meal. Without access to stable shelter, a stove or microwave, donation of fast-food restaurant and grocery store gift cards is the easiest way to ensure these kids receive a hot meal.”

He added that a $5 fast-food restaurant gift card equates to one meal for a homeless teen, and a $25 grocery store gift card provides meals for several days.

The partnership provides its clients at its William Fry Drop-In Center with outreach programs, emergency shelter, food, toiletries and other necessities. The center provides a lifeline for teens, many of whom have been let down by the adults in their lives. The goal is stabilization and integration back into a life that is more secure and stable. Many of the clients complete their high school education and move on to college or employment.

At an event on Oct. 29, 13 of the nonprofit’s clients were honored at the partnership’s fourth annual Graduation Dinner at its offices and drop-in center, 4981 Shirley St. The event celebrated their graduations from high school, GED completions and technical programs and/or the partnership’s Independent Living Program or other programs.

“I’m not sure what I would have done without their help,” said 18-year-old Tyric Collins. “The people here — the staff and the other kids — have been my support, and they’ve really been there when I needed them.”

Collins, who graduated from the nonprofit’s Independent Living Program, is working two jobs and now lives in an apartment. Other graduates have earned diplomas at their high schools, gained employment, received driver’s licenses, enlisted in military service and in general moved forward to responsibility and adulthood with the help of the partnership.

This year, the Plastic Food Drive, co-hosted by the nonprofit and UNLV, is set to culminate with a tailgate party before the UNLV-San Diego State football game from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21 at Sam Boyd Stadium, 7000 E. Russell Road. Entry is free, but donations are required for refreshments and the raffle. Those who bring fast-food restaurant or grocery store gift cards or other donations will be eligible to win food, game tickets or other prizes.

Prior to the tailgate party, gift cards and/or other cash donations can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at the drop-in center, 4981 Shirley St., or at any business in the Village Square Shopping Center, 9400 W. Sahara Ave., during its normal operating hours. Donations can be made online at tinyurl.com/nphyplas, and businesses are encouraged to implement an employee or customer plastic food drive by contacting the nonprofit.

“With the growing number of homeless youth in Southern Nevada, the community’s support for the Plastic Food Drive is more important than ever,” Ghafoori said. “This initiative does make a powerful difference, and we are so appreciative of everyone’s help in feeding these vulnerable kids for the holidays.” Visit nphy.org/PFD or call 702-383-1332.

— To reach East Valley View reporter F. Andrew Taylor, email ataylor@viewnews.com or call 702-380-4532.

Local Videos
Butterflies At The Springs Preserve
The butterfly habitat is now open at the Springs Preserve. Learn about butterflies and take in the peaceful surroundings. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
The Bellagio Conservatory's spring display has a Japanese theme
The Bellagio's conservatory is hosting around 65,000 flowers, to form a Japanese theme this spring. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs closes (Caroline Brehman/Kimber Laux)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas officially closed its gates Sunday, March 17, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Honoring a fallen North Las Vegas Police officer at his namesake school
The 20th Annual Raul P. Elizondo Honor Day celebrates the fallen North Las Vegas Police officer's legacy at his namesake school. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Windy day in Las Vegas Valley
The Review-Journal's camera on the under-construction Las Vegas Stadium the was buffered by high winds on Wednesday, March 14, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
March gloom falls on Las Vegas
After a rainy overnight, gloomy skies hover over Las Vegas Tuesday morning. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
John Katsilometes gets his head shaved at St. Baldrick's
Las Vegas Review-Journal man-about-town columnist John Katsilometes gets his head shaved by former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman during St. Baldrick's Foundation shave-a-thon on the Brooklyn Bridge at New York-New York in Las Vegas Friday, March 8, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Blue Angels take flight over Las Vegas Strip
The Blue Angels’ U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron flew their signature Delta formation over a part of the Las Vegas Strip, McCarran International Airport and east Las Vegas and were scheduled to fly over Hoover Dam. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Gross World Records
A group of about 20 children gathered around a TV at Sahara West Library on Feb. 27 for a history lesson on the most disgusting world records.
Graduation for Renewing HOPE program
The Renewing HOPE program graduation for homeless who spend nine months in Catholic Charities program. Graduates are preparing to enter the workforce. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Car crashes into Starbucks near Las Vegas Strip
Lt. William Matchko of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police gives details about a car crashing into a Starbucks at Sahara Avenue and Paradise Road, near the Las Vegas Strip, on Friday, March 1, 2019. (Jessica Terrones/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Car crashed into PT’s Gold
A 60-year-old man who police believe was impaired drove into a PT’s Gold at Silverado Ranch and Decatur boulevards Thursday night, Metropolitan Police Department Lt. William Matchko said. The driver was hospitalized and is expected to survive. A man inside the bar was hit by debris but drove himself to the hospital, Matchko said. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Driver crashes vehicle into PT’s tavern in south Las Vegas (part 1)
A driver suspected of impairment crashed a vehicle into the wall of a PT’s Gold tavern, at 4880 W. Silverado Ranch Blvd., in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Driver crashes vehicle into PT’s tavern in south Las Vegas (pullout)
A driver suspected of impairment crashed a vehicle into the wall of a PT’s Gold tavern, at 4880 W. Silverado Ranch Blvd., in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids Read Books To Dogs At The Animal Foundation In Las Vegas
Kids from local Las Vegas elementary schools took part, Thursday, in a program at the Animal Foundation, where they read books to dogs. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Pioneer Trail highlights historic locations in West Las Vegas
The Pioneer Trail, a 16-site route of historically significant locations in Las Vegas, starts at the Springs Preserve and snakes east until it reaches above the brim of downtown. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutefsya
Vegas Warm Weather Hits Las Vegas Valley
Between Feb. 20-21, parts of the Las Vegas Valley were hit with 7.5" of snow. Less than a week later, it was sunny with temperatures in the 70s. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest at the VA Hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, a World War II Army veteran, was arrested in November after he caused a ruckus at the VA Hospital in North Las Vegas and stole his driver's car keys. He was arraigned on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, and the charges will be dropped after 60 days. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Claytee White talks about Black History Month
An interview with Claytee White, director of the Oral History Research Center at UNLV. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Reflecting on the Moulin Rouge and a segregated Vegas
Former employees of the Moulin Rouge, the first integrated hotel-casino in Nevada, talk about what it was like in the brief six months the casino was open. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices
Home prices rose in every ZIP code in the Las Vegas Valley in 2018 for the second year in a row, according to SalesTraq. Prices grew fastest in older, more centrally located areas. But prices were highest in the suburbs. The top three ZIP codes for price growth were 89119 (29.8%), 89146 (25%) and 89030 (24.6%). The top three ZIP codes for median sales prices were 89138 ($464,500), 89135 ($420,500) and 89052 ($370,000).
Wagonwheel Drive overpass reopens after ice closure
Overpass at Wagonwheel Drive reopens after ice on the onramp caused the ramp to be shut down, Feb. 22, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Keeping warm at the city of Las Vegas’ homeless courtyard
With help from the city of Las Vegas, a Salvation Army shelter stays open during the day Thursday and Friday, offering a safe place for the homeless to find respite from freezing temperatures and snow. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sloppy, Slushy Road Conditions Lead to Slow Traffic
Traffic slowed to a crawl on Jones are near Russell as conditions worsened Thursday. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Winter storm blankets west side of Las Vegas Valley
On Wednesday evening through early Thursday a winter storm dumped more than 7 1/2 inches of snow on some parts of the Las Vegas Valley. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas snow day for children
Las Vegas kids play in the snow that fell on Feb. 21, 2019. (Belinda Englman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow closes Red Rock Canyon, residents enjoy rare snowfall
The greater Las Vegas area was hit with snowfall on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2019. This video shows the areas surrounding Red Rock Canyon and the Summerlin community. Video by: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas kids attend school in the snow
Las Vegas children attend school during a rare snowstorm on Feb. 21, 2019. Staton Elementary School and other CCSD schools remained open. (Glenn Cook/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People enjoying the snow in Summerlin
Fox Hill Park in Summerlin was busy Thursday morning, Feb. 21, 2019, with people enjoying the rare snow that fell overnight. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NHP advises motorists to take caution during Las Vegas snowstorm
NHP advised motorists to take caution during the snowstorm in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
It is a rainy Valentine's Day in Las Vegas - Video
These scenes come from the Las Vegas Stadium LiveCam (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing