Nevada officials give grants supporting 5 nonprofits

Alma Lopez, a crisis advocate at SafeNest, demonstrates their new dispatch technology on Monday ...

Several more Nevada nonprofits were selected Thursday to receive grants from the state’s allocation of coronavirus-related relief funds.

Nevada’s Interim Finance Committee approved about $3.5 million in funding from the community recovery grants program by the governor’s office. Grants approved ranged from $100,000 to $2.6 million.

In December, the state created a $30 million grant program from American Rescue Plan Act funding to support nonprofits that provide educational, health, housing services and more in Nevada.

More than 330 nonprofit organizations requested $445 million in funding from a state program to help their organizations, the state said in January. The Interim Finance Committee approved the first four grants — including two to Las Vegas-area groups Baby’s Bounty and Goodwill of Southern Nevada — in February.

A panel from the executive branch evaluates and scores applications by taking into account their urgency, purpose and effectiveness, number of people served, where and how services will be provided, and whether the grant complies with federal guidelines for distributing pandemic aid, Sisolak’s team previously said. The legislature’s interim finance committee approved the grants with little discussion, instead using most of its meeting to discuss and approve of $250 million for the ‘Home Means Nevada’ initiative to address affordable housing.

Here is the breakdown of the approximately $3.5 million awarded:

— Safe Nest received a $100,000 grant to help in providing mental health services to victims of domestic violence in Southern Nevada.

— Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada was awarded a $2.6 million grant to help provide legal advocacy to address pandemic educational deficiencies for vulnerable youth with disabilities.

— Moxy Up was awarded a $169,565 grant. The Minden-based group helps serve middle and high school youth who need a safe space to complete distance learning and receive mentoring in Douglas and Mineral counties.

— Carson City Senior Center and Helping Hands of Vegas Valley received a $652,618 grant to allow the Carson City Senior Center to continue the Senior Nutrition Program while the kitchen is closed for repairs. It will also support Helping Hands of Vegas Valley to continue its Rural Home Delivered Meals Program.

SafeNest CEO Liz Ortenburger said her organization’s grant will bolster counseling and other mental health services for the next year, cutting into the urgent need waitlist of about 44 people, including children. The nonprofit saw a 20 percent increase in requests during the pandemic, she said.

“There’s no new news that our state has a need for increased mental health services,” Ortenburger said. “COVID, I think, just exacerbated for SafeNest the level of danger and what kids have witnessed during this time.”

Ortenburger said she hopes that the grants are a starting point for expanded services in the state. She said the historic funding from ARPA is an opportunity to pitch transformational ideas to address Nevada’s biggest problems. One such idea is a large-scale center for domestic violence support and services in Clark County.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at Follow@mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.