After CBS – Action News 8 Las Vegas – aired their story last week about our halfway home, we’ve been experiencing some major push-back from the state of Nevada.
The night this story aired, Nevada Department of Parole and Probations emailed their parole officers stating that all ex-offenders on paper MUST be in a Licensed Transitional Facility (LTF).
Now, if we do not get a state license, the women will be forced to leave our home by July 1st, 2017.
Oh, and do you remember the other unlicensed facilities I mentioned in my previous post? They’re in the same boat.
There are exactly nine licensed TLFs in the Las Vegas area; only ONE of which is currently serving women (twelve beds total). Most (if not all) of these beds are already taken. At least two more of these facilities appear to be permanently closed. Exactly where are these people supposed to go?
Just last month, the specialty courts approved our home and we spent $900 on Commercial Insurance (per their request). Now, the Department of Parole and Probations has decided that we need a state license.
As I explained in a previous blog post, there is a long checklist of items required to obtain the state license. This includes over 5k to start the application process, and a separate process to obtain a special use permit; all before even knowing if we will need to spend another 20k+ on a sprinkler system. Is it any wonder why there are virtually no licensed homes in Las Vegas? If the state is serious about kicking everyone on paper (ie. on parole or probation) out of the ‘non-licensed’ halfway homes, this will put many people on the street…or, in this case (because there are no licensed facilities), they will be sent back to prison and jail.
So, is it worth trying to help these women get out of prison?
Should I say ‘never mind’, ‘C’est la vie’!! My sister is getting out next month. We can just ditch the whole idea and head back to California without looking back. Just act like we don’t care. Pretend the problem doesn’t exist and let them fend for themselves.
On the other hand…the fact that the state is making it this difficult for us makes me want to do it. This whole thing has been somewhat of an experiment anyway. I didn’t open the home because I thought it would be easy. I opened it because there are no homes available and I wanted to see first-hand what it would actually take.
In order to start the application process while keeping our doors open, we’ll need to raise at least 10k by June 1st. If we are unable to do this, we’ll be forced to close our doors at the end of June. So much energy and time has been dedicated to this project (along with thousands of dollars). We finally have the beds and donations necessary to run the house properly, and then this had to happen. At this point, what do we have to lose by trying?
Our mission is to help women transition out of prison and jail while providing a safe and structured living environment. If we’re not able to accomplish our mission, what’s the point? We’ve been playing by the rules as much as we can.
Now is the time to go big or go home!
So, now we REALLY need your help in order to raise money to become state licensed. There are hundreds of women up for parole who are not being released in Las Vegas, and we are dedicated to helping them get out and on their feet. If you know anyone who wants to change the prison culture from the ground up, please send them a link to this blog, and/or our GO FUND ME CAMPAIGN!
Thank you for all of your support up to this point! We truly appreciate the encouragement!