The Reno Initiative for Shelter & Equality
The Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Reno, Nevada. Our initiative is to cultivate a greater sense of dignity and humility by providing equal access to shelter, knowledge, and opportunity. We seek to create a stronger community through the use of shared resources and mutual aid.
We are a grass-roots organization founded in 2012 to support un-sheltered people in the Reno-Sparks area through mutual aid. Since our humble beginnings, we have grown and evolved to comprise two main areas of service. Our first area is a continuation of the original outreach effort to provide food, supplies, services, and emergency shelter to our neighbors. Our impact depends on volunteers and donations from the community. Our second role is partnering with Washoe County Human Services Agency to operate the County funded Women’s, Senior’s, and Family Homes at OUR Place. In this role, RISE staff support guests 24/7 as they transition into stable housing and engage in county case management.
RISE is uniquely qualified to serve our community members since many of the volunteers and staff have lived experience and have overcome other life trauma connected to poverty. They can have compassionate relationships with individuals and also provide guidance. RISE does not assume the role of an institution when interacting with an individual. RISE staff and volunteers develop peer relationships which provide needed support and the opportunity for growth.
OUR Place is a low-barrier, housing-first emergency shelter unlike any other campus in the nation. It is specifically designed to provide a warm, safe, and home-like environment where guests feel welcomed and wanted. This holistic approach is meant to remove the stigma of poverty and provide a conducive space for healing and growth.
In partnership with Washoe County HSA, we provide shelter and wrap around services for 138 women, 38 families, 28 seniors, and all of their animal companions every day. The facility is newly remodeled to provide an appealing place for temporary residents. RISE advocates operate these homes 24/7 and support the residents as they work toward their goals.
Living Room is a RISE housing voucher program for those who do not qualify for other local services. We have located local rooms to use during the winter months for temporary housing, and focused on community support to help people work towards their next step.
RISE and other local service providers are working to change cycles of homelessness. In our experience, building a large team of people has been the most impactful strategy.