Reno Initiative of Shelter and Equality History
The Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality (RISE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Reno, Nevada. Our initiative is to cultivate a greater sense of dignity and humility for all members of our community by encouraging equal access to shelter, knowledge, and opportunity. We seek to create a stronger community through the use of shared resources and mutual aid.
Since July, 2012 RISE has been a hands-on giving project that we believe mirrors the true spirit of Reno. Three Saturdays a month, our team invites volunteers throughout the community to cook their favorite recipes, and together we serve dinner and distribute clothing to hundreds of locals without a home. With the help of our supporters, RISE feeds thousands of Reno’s most poverty-stricken throughout the year. The RISE and Dine and Free Market projects are a truly special do-it-yourself experience that allows everyone to connect with people and families in need.
Beginning 2013, RISE partnered with the Great Basin Community Food Co-Op to increase the access of nutrient-dense, organic produce for our houseless population. Additionally, the Co-Op agreed to serve as a donation drop-off location to collect much-needed clothing and hygiene items. In 2014 alone, we were able to serve over 2800 pounds of locally-grown, organic produce to our neighbors without homes at our RISE and Dine event and distribute over 200 coats at the Free Market.
In the early Spring of 2014, RISE raised funds to install a therapy garden at the Rivendel Independent Living house, a group home in North Reno that services mentally-disabled men. During the 6 month process, we worked with the residents to map out locations where to prepare the soil, decided which fruits and vegetables we would grow, developed watering and harvesting schedules, and assigned routine chores. After the successful completion of the project, we believe both the students and the RISE Staff had a renewed sense of purpose and appreciation for life in all of its forms.
We also partnered with the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project and Build Our Center in 2014 to manage the Youth Free Market at the annual Washoe County Homeless Youth Point-In-Time Count. To capture the number of houseless persons in the United States, HUD requires a PIT count of sheltered and unsheltered persons on a single night in January. We have been partnering with them for three years now.
In 2015 we partnered with The Eddy House and installed a Youth Free Market at the YOUth Resource Center in downtown Reno. “YOUR market” serves 18-24 year old homeless youth in our community and is open Monday through Saturday 10am to 6pm. Because we now have a hub through which donations can travel, we are able to practice sharing resources with other organizations. At this time we provide much needed clothing items to several area free markets, including at the Women and Children’s Center of the Sierra, CAAW, and The Ridge House.
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