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Laying the Foundation: A Look Back at the 2021 Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit

Laying the Foundation: A Look Back at the 2021 Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit

Published 11-22-22

Submitted by Las Vegas Sands

Las Vegas Sands

On November 17, Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) and Sands will co-present the 2022 Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. Now in its sixth year, a key focal point of Summit 2022 will be the launch of the Movement Institute – a hands-on advocacy training to galvanize community members in the fight to end youth homelessness.

Arash Ghafoori
Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth CEO Arash Ghafoori provided attendees with highlights of important accomplishments in The Movement to End Youth Homelessness, which included increasing educational support for youth experiencing homelessness, introducing innovative housing solutions and new housing resources, and passing two laws to help young people experiencing homelessness obtain drivers’ licenses, ID cards and birth certificates to aid them in attending school and obtaining employment and strengthening unaccompanied minors’ access to healthcare services.

Sands and NPHY have co-presented the annual Summit since 2017 to drive innovative and collaborative strategies and solutions to address the high rate of youth homelessness in the Las Vegas Valley. The 2022 Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit will build on tracks laid in 2021, when the community examined the evolving post-pandemic environment and the exacerbated challenges vulnerable youth face.

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Summit 2021 featured a robust panel discussion with public and private leaders addressing insights and ideas emerging from an unprecedented time of challenge and change and how to use key learnings to adapt plans outlined in the Southern Nevada Plan to End Youth Homelessness, which aims to make the incidence of youth homelessness rare, brief, non-recurring and equitably addressed. Pictured (L-R): Nevada Assemblymember Howard Watts; Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Lamarre, Esq., Title I Programs Director & Federal Liaison, Nevada Department of Education; Tim Burch, Clark County Administrator of Human Services; Christina Vela, Chief Executive Officer, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children; Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones; Theresa Butler, Outreach Coordinator, Young Adults in Charge (YAC).

The 2022 Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit will further build on these discussions by tapping community leaders, youth with lived experience of homelessness, and experts and thought leaders in homelessness and urban issues to further outline and address the complex challenges vulnerable youth face resulting from today’s rapidly changing employment landscape, a scarcity of affordable housing, heightened mental health needs and breakdowns in support networks. Summit 2022 will also feature the unveiling of the first-ever standalone Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Needs Assessment, an update to the Southern Nevada Plan to End Youth Homelessness’ needs assessment created by a team of national experts and local cross-sector stakeholders throughout 2022. Amid this backdrop, Summit 2022 will launch The Movement Institute – an innovative, inspiring and hands-on advocacy training to empower community members to “Be the Movement to End Youth Homelessness.” The institute has been designed to educate community members – both those involved in The Movement and newcomers who want to champion positive change for vulnerable youth.

Yvanna Cancela
Yvanna Cancela, Chief of Staff for Governor Steve Sisolak, listened to input and questions from 2021 Summit attendees who were asked to share ideas and lend perspectives on how the state can help meet the needs of young people experiencing homelessness.

The Summit is a key part of Sands’ long-term commitment to ending youth homelessness in Southern Nevada and one facet of the partnership between NPHY and Sands that has included more than $2 million in Sands Cares support for NPHY since 2014. In addition to co-founding and helping produce the Summit, Sands has helped NPHY provide immediate relief for youth in crisis and build the organization’s capacity and capability to achieve its five-year strategic plan to address youth homelessness in Southern Nevada.

For more information and to register for the 2022 Southern Nevada Youth Homelessness Summit and The Movement Institute, visit

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Ghafoori and NPHY staff with a group of young leaders with lived experience of homelessness, who performed an original and thought-provoking presentation to showcase how to authentically engage youth in the Movement to End Youth Homelessness.


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