Women’s and Children’s care center receives upgrades

It isn’t a big change, but it is one that could make a huge difference.

That’s how development consultant Arnold Stalk characterizes approximately $600,000 in renovations started at WestCare Women’s and Children’s campus in Centennial Hills last month.

Stalk, who has worked on similar projects for Veterans Village and The Samaritan House, expects upgrades on everything from walls to ceiling fixtures and lampshades will make WestCare’s decades-old location at 5659 Duncan Drive feel a little more like home, a move he and others hope will bolster the recovery of more than 100 women housed on site.

Stalk introduced the project with a personal touch, mentioning a family member who found sobriety at one of West Care’s four Southern Nevada campuses.

His experience, Stalk said, should serve as a testament to the work of hundreds the nonprofit now employs nationwide.

“I have very personal ties to this organization, and that’s the basis of my commitment,” Stalk said. “I believe in the work they do because I’ve seen it, and I think it’s important that it continue.”

The problems many WestCare campuses work to address — substance abuse and addiction treatment — are not ones attorney and longtime nonprofit board member John Moran takes lightly.

Speaking in front of dozens gathered at a Sept. 17 ribbon-cutting to mark the start of Stalk’s building-wide overhaul, Moran lauded Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent push to soften the Justice Department’s stance on some drug-related prosecutions.

The former police officer said he couldn’t be happier to see a rehabilitation model — not unlike the one offered by WestCare — appear to find a toehold at the federal level.

“As a lawyer and police officer before that, I’ve seen about every type of effect drugs can have,” Moran said. “From domestic violence, to murder, to crimes against property, all these things stem from the addiction process.

“When we have a place like WestCare where people can come in and get treatment, that is extremely, extremely important.”

WestCare served more than 20,000 abused, addicted or homeless adults and teens in Southern Nevada last year, according to former Women’s and Children’s campus director Darlene Terrill.

Terrill, who has been with the organization for 23 years, said numbers like those speak to the necessity of renovations such as the one already underway at the 30,000-square-foot Women’s and Children’s center.

She said the fact that such projects tend to be underwritten by those who, like Stalk, have a personal affection for the place speaks volumes about the nonprofit’s impact.

“We’re now in 16 states and two territories,” Terrill said. “If it wasn’t for the work in Nevada, we wouldn’t be there.

“So the stuff that’s done here — especially at this facility, where we have 130 beds and many infants, teenage homeless girls and pregnant women — is very important.”

WestCare officials, backed by a grant from Home Depot, hope to complete renovations at the facility by the end of 2014.

For more information, contact the organization at 702-385-2090 or visit www.westcare.com.

Contact Centennial Hills and North Las Vegas View reporter James DeHaven at 702-477-3839 or jdehaven@viewnews.com.

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