The Shade Tree of Las Vegas is a non-profit organization that provides shelter for women, youth and their pets in southern Nevada. Originally established in 1989 as Jubilee Ministries, providing a roof over the heads of the homeless in the basement of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church. Wanting to expand, in 1990 they opened a permanent shelter in a building owned by catholic charities. With 364 permanent beds, The Shade Tree provides over 100,000 nights of shelter per year.
Their mission: “To provide safe shelter to homeless and abused women & children in crisis; as well as, offer life-changing services promoting stability, dignity, and self-reliance. We accomplish this by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of community partners and donors.”
The Shade Tree isn’t just a shelter, but an organization that provides an array of services to those in need, including life skills and workforce readiness training, various fun and educational activities for the youth, mental health service coordination and housing assistance. One of the main things that stood out to me about this place, is their willingness to take in pets. We often see homeless men and women who are hesitant about going into shelters because they don’t want to abandon their pets. I commend The Shade Tree for opening their doors for these animals.
I had the pleasure of sitting in during a women’s empowerment workshop, where guest speakers including Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and 3 Las Vegas UFC fighters. These people shared some personal and inspiring experiences with the women and children of Shade Tree. They talked about victimization, and how to gain the courage to protect yourself in dangerous situations. They even included a few tips for self-defense that were very helpful! Listening to them speak was amazing, and I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to witness this and get a glimpse of the amazing things they offer at Shade Tree.
These women and children need more than just a hot meal and place to lay their heads at night. These women need mental, and emotional support to get their lives back on track. These children need the confidence to step out into the world feeling safe, and able to become the best versions of themselves. The Shade Tree does an amazing job at making sure these needs are met. I left this Shelter with nothing but positive feelings towards this organization.
July’s Book royalties will be going to The Shade Tree, and I will also be partnering with Konnect With Resources and their Konnect with Kindness campaign to do a creative writing & arts workshop for the youth at Shade Tree, as they prepare for the 2018/19 school year!
To learn more about The Shade Tree and how you can help support them, visit theshadetree.org/
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