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’Life-changing’: Clark County awards $1.5M in grants

Updated May 28, 2024 - 9:37 am

Emergency housing assistance, case management for individuals experiencing addiction and music education programs are among some of the over 70 initiatives set to receive funding from the county.

County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve awarding $1.5 million in outside agency grant requests, many of which will support specific initiatives of nonprofit agencies and local governments.

Over 200 applications with $14.6 million in funding requests were received by the county, but just 73 were selected for the board’s consideration.

Many organizations requested more than what was approved, but nonprofit leaders said they were grateful for the county’s support nonetheless.

Some of the recipients:

Project REAL, an organization that aims to inform youth about the law, received a little over $47,400 for a teen independence initiative.

Despite the grant amount being significantly less than the approximately $150,000 requested, the organization is “incredibly grateful,” said Mike Kamer, the organization’s executive director.

The initiative provides high schoolers with a 200-page “Adulting 101” book and aims to reduce poverty and improve workforce readiness by providing people with information that hasn’t generally been taught in schools, Kamer said.

The funding will go towards paying a staff member to deliver the books and give a presentation on preventing domestic violence at those schools.

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada, an organization that provides resources to families with children that have been diagnosed with cancer, was awarded $10,000 to support its emergency housing assistance program.

Candlelighters CEO Kimberly Kindig said children’s cancer treatments can last between two and half to three years and often one parent has to quit their job to care for the child, which places a large financial burden on families.

“Having a safe place for their family, especially when your child is medically fragile, it’s the utmost important thing for these families as they’re trying to do this,” she said.

The program allows families with a child currently being treated for cancer locally to request rental or mortgage assistance twice a year.

Kindig said the organization is “really thrilled” to receive the funding.

Life By Music received $75,000 to fund instrument donations, scholarships for music programs and several of the organization’s music education programs, many of which teach children about dance and music instruments.

Ryan Boylan, the founder of Life By Music, said the county’s grant is “life-changing.”

“We’re in Las Vegas, and boom, we hit Megabucks as far as having a support team with the commissioners, the county, to say ‘Hey, we believe in what you guys are doing. We see your track record,’” Boylan said.

“There is nothing more, in my opinion, more empowering for a young child and adult to have the option to express themselves through music and the arts,” he said.

Vegas Stronger, a nonprofit focused on homelessness and addiction treatment, received $20,000 for its comprehensive case management program.

CEO Dave Marlon said the program can mean helping clients obtain housing and identification, which is often offered alongside critical care.

“No one should be sleeping outside while they’re going through a recovery process, so helping them get housing, to sleep in a bed, is of critical importance to us,” Marlon said.

Nevada State University received $15,000 to support tuition needs at its Early Childhood Center preschool program.

Professor of Early Childhood Education Youngae Choi said many students at NSU are nontraditional students, and many have children of their own.

“I think this might be a really great opportunity for student parents,” Choi said.

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