Homelessness discriminates against no particular group, affecting people of all backgrounds around the world. It also affects children and teenagers, often taking them away from the chance to pursue an education while perpetuating a cycle of lifelong poverty and dependence. In Las Vegas, Nevada, there is a special organization called Project 150, dedicated to homeless, displaced, disadvantaged high school students and their plight to stay on track to graduate and enter adulthood with every equal opportunity available to them.
Project 150 offers a variety of assistance to 6,300 registered and unregistered high school students and goes to great lengths to protect their rights and fulfill their individual needs. They understand the risk of being on the street, prey to human and sex traffickers, gangs, crime, and desperation. By providing them with basic essentials such as food from the pantry that is easy to prepare anywhere and monthly shopping sprees at their boutique clothing store, Project 150 students can focus their attention on school work rather than grumbling stomachs or situations that make them feel insecure. One of their most beloved programs is their Prom Project where students can come and pick out their prom dresses and tuxes while being pampered by volunteer hairstylists, manicurists, seamstresses, and stylists. Another favorite is their scholarship program which awards Project 150 students with the opportunity to pursue higher education and focus on a career path.
During our Global Service Delivery Event in Las Vegas, our colleagues spent an afternoon volunteering our time at the Project 150 facilities, unpacking, sorting, and preparing donated items for their Betty’s Boutique clothing store and packing weekly food bags for students. We even had the chance to help a young man find professional clothes for his newly secured job at the Circus Circus hotel. We also invited Project 150 to attend our Awards Ceremony and presented them with a financial donation which we know will help our Las Vegas teens stay on the right track and focused on what matters most – their future. After all, “High School is Tough Enough.”