RISE stakeholders build our programs by resourcing the strengths of our team members. We make an impact by trying new approaches and succeeding or failing as a team in each endeavor. We encourage listening, accountability, structure, and risk-taking to release the entrepreneurial spirit of our neighbors and volunteers.
RISE brings community buy-in with open channels to serve. We are willing to hear criticism and make changes. We share credit so that more people can take ownership and thrive. RISE brings skills and enthusiasm to inspire leadership and change.
RISE & Dine
For 8 years, RISE hosted a dinner service where community groups cook a meal and share with our less fortunate neighbors. This program hosts 700 volunteers per year. Although RISE & Dine is temporarily on pause while the meal site is used as a socially distanced dormitory, our outreach teams are still bringing food to those who do not have access to healthy meals.
RISE maintains a meal calendar for over a dozen independent groups who serve dinners and lunches. Some of these groups, like We Care Volunteers, have been serving for over 12 years!
Outdoor Meal Providers
- We Care Volunteers
- RISE & Dine
- The Salvation Army
- Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada
- Bring it Home Charities
- TriNet Cares
- Monday Meals
- Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church
- Loka Cares
- Sunday Crusaders
- The Serving Point
- Sikh Seqa Society Reno
- Migrantes Unidos Region Valles
- Verdi Posse
Hosted community meetings, provided the location, maintains restrooms & garbage donated seating, installed storage, lights, & handwashing stations
- Washoe County Sheriff’s Office
- Washoe County
- Truckee Meadows Water Authority
- City of Reno
- The Home Depot, Carson City
- City of Sparks
4TH STREET LOCATION ON HOLD WHILE THE SITE IS USED FOR EMERGENCY COVID HOUSING. INDIVIDUALLY PACKAGED MEALS ARE BEING DELIVERED TO THOSE IN NEED.
Daily meals are still served by City of Reno, Reno Gospel Mission, and Catholic Charities for those staying in the temporary tent.
Voices of Inspiration, Courage, and Empowerment
All too often, policies are created with a top-down model that continues to exclude those on the margins – including people experiencing homelessness. These policies may be based on public assumptions of homelessness and the people experiencing life without a house. This project was created to educate the public, challenge assumptions, and provide humanity to individuals who are often dehumanized by the media and policies that criminalize aspects of their lives.
It is our hope that storytelling will foster a better understanding of the lives of people living outside, humanize us, invoke empathy & compassion, and assist in creating more inclusive communities. VOICE began in 2016 and writers have been published, participated in events, and have presented their subject matter expertise on homelessness. VOICE now meets weekly at Our Place to engage in therapeutic narrative, advocacy, creative writing, and poetry.
A writing group for people experiencing homelessness and those who have come inside.
Our free store is run along-side the RISE and Dine event each Saturday and at satellite locations. Free Market depends on donations and help from the community. The Free Market volunteers meet to sort and transport donations from storage, Our Place, and our nonprofit partners such as The Women and Children’s Center of the Sierras. Needed items may be found on our donation page.
Peer recovery support specialists (PRSS) are persons with lived experience in successful recovery from a substance misuse, mental health, or co-occurring disorder who have been certified through the standards set by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).
PRSSs have essential understanding through their lived experience that enhances connection, empowerment, empathy, and relationship building with the individuals they serve with their unique expertise and perspectives. PRSS workers break down power differentials to remove barriers to accessing care and are able to share hope through their successful recovery experience. Peers help through emotional, informational, affiliation, and instrumental support and are resource brokers, truth-tellers, mentors, advocates, role-models, outreach workers, lifestyle consultants, and tour guides of the recovery community.
PRSSs guide individuals to identify personal strengths and barriers and define personal goals in each of the eight dimensions of wellness as defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The PRSS assists by identifying resources to support these goals, monitoring progress, and developing self-efficacy. They excel at increasing “recovery capital” which are the person’s internal and external resources that assist in sustaining recovery as well as motivational interviewing to explore motivations and reduce ambivalence.
RISE is invested in hiring people with lived experience who are trained as PRSSs and certified or working towards certification. In the state of Nevada, peers are certified under the title of peer recovery support specialists (PRSS). Other terms used in the industry include peer specialists and peer recovery coaches. In Nevada, certification requires forty-six hours of training, 500 hours of volunteer or work experience, 25 hours of supervised experience within specific domains, and a passing grade on the certification exam.
These individuals are equipped with a scope of practice, core competencies, and are bound by ethical guidelines of practice. These individuals are trained on advocacy, recovery & wellness, mentoring, and education. The certification requires continuing education units (CEUs) at twenty CEUs every two years. Classes include training on harm reduction, motivational interviewing, substance use & special populations, medication-assisted recovery, HIV & STIs, De-Escalation, and others.
State of Nevada Certified Peer Recovery and Support Specialist (PRSS)
RISE’s Outreach Director holds a weekly group for people adjusting to living inside. Harder than any program rules, one thing people report dealing with is loneliness. Transitioning to an apartment or indoor living space comes with loss and loneliness. In this critical time, communication and friendship prevent failed housing. Outside, the world is noisier than a person’s thoughts and inside, those thoughts can be overwhelming. InsideJust is a place to let those thoughts out and to connect with others who might be going through the same thing as they transition to new things in life.
Advocacy and Training (@ symbol) are core competencies within RISE. RISE seeks to support solution-focused leaders in the community by investing as much work into other nonprofits or community-wide efforts as their own programs. For the last three years, @RISE helped recruit, train, and support volunteers at the winter overflow tent. This included in-person meetings, video recording, editing, marketing, filling in for last-minute vacancies, and IT management. Strong relationships with volunteer groups helped communicate their concerns to decision-makers in order to maximize the outcomes of this life-saving resource.
Additionally, training sessions equip housing volunteers. These open workshops have been attended by regional case managers, aspiring social service students, and volunteers who want to go deeper than dinner to meet people where they are at. Trained community members improve the outcomes of those who need a housing voucher or just need someone in their corner. Instead of placing this burden on caseworkers alone, it is our philosophy to build unique resource circles around each person. Trained volunteers can help people reach out to family, friends, and new groups who support and motivate them to reach their goals.