Washoe County Our Place Women and Family Shelter Receives Prestigious Award

by | Mar 31, 2022

News release reposted on behalf of Nevada Taxpayers Association.

Reno, Nev. March 30, 2022. Our Place Women and Family Shelter, Washoe County Human Services
Agency, has been awarded the 2022 Cashman Good Government Award, presented annually by the Nevada
Taxpayers Association (NTA). The Award was presented by Tim Cashman during the 24th Annual
Cashman Good Government Award Presentation in Reno on March 30, 2022.

The Award was established in 1997 to recognize superior stewardship of taxpayer dollars by government
employees and/or agencies. Nominees can be any non-elected, full-time employee, team or department
that has gone beyond the normal scope of their job duties to achieve efficiency and savings in Nevada’s
state or local governments, including school districts and the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Washoe County saw its unsheltered population increase 180% between 2017 and 2019. Overcrowding and
mixed populations created many challenges and poor outcomes. Women and families were separated from
the men’s population, hence the creation of Our Place Women and Family Shelter. Washoe County has
invested more than $16 million to rehab unused State buildings/land to better serve women and families
with Our Place. Facilities were opened in the summer of 2020. Onsite services include food, housing,
benefit specialists, mental health therapists, health care, daycare, and case management.

The first full year of operations resulted in 58 families successfully transitioning out of homelessness with zero recidivism. For women, 133 successfully transitioned out of homelessness with only four returning. Our Place is a joint venture between Washoe County and the State. It is helping end homelessness for hundreds of guests and saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

Our Place Women and Family Shelter, Washoe County Human Services Agency, the winner of the 24th Annual Cashman Good Government Award, was selected from a group of five finalist entries which included the City of Sparks Police Department HOPE Team, Elko County Manager Amanda Osborne, the UNR/Great Basin College Winnemucca Building Project, and the Clark County Recorder’s Office Information Technology Unit.

Two notable entries, while not selected as finalists, were each recognized with an Honorable Mention: Fernley City Treasurer Denise Lewis and the TRPA Tahoe Interagency Executive Steering Committee of the Environmental Improvement Program. The finalists were determined by a Selection Committee, chaired by Tim Cashman, after reviewing 18 nominees.

The NTA, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded in 1922, has earned a reputation for thorough, credible, objective and comprehensive analysis and advocacy focused on fiscal, regulatory, and tax policies. It serves as an important source of information to its members, both in terms of historical research and for current events.

Washoe County Commissioner Alexis Hill and Washoe County Human Services Agency Director Amber Howell said the following about Our Place receiving such high recognition:

“This award highlights Washoe County’s investment in our most vulnerable people, all while providing a long-term cost savings to the taxpayer. We believe a project like Our Place is the humane and right thing to do,” said Washoe County Commissioner Alexis Hill (Dist. One). “I’m proud of the work that HSA does to lift our community members up to realize their potential”

“We are so very grateful for this recognition. Everybody longs for a place to call home and to feel safe. Everyone’s path from homeless to housed is paved with different material, but all outcomes and wishes are the same, which is to be safe, secure and healthy. That is Washoe County’s core principals and the Our Place project embraces that belief,” said Washoe County HSA Director Amber Howell.


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