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Community Service grants vetting begins

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Nevada Rural Counties Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, RSVP, provides more than 300 volunteers around the city who perform a variety of functions. It’s asking for $50,000 to fund such programs, including Home Companion and Lifeline.

They were one of an array of area nonprofit groups who made presentations to the Board of Supervisors for funding on Thursday evening.

One of the primary concerns aired was whether neighboring communities were paying for their fair share of the offerings.

When Supervisor Richard Staub asked this of Janice Ayres, program director of RSVP, her reply was “yes.”

But, she added, “We only serve the counties that pay.”

RSVP’s Home Companion program helps keep 187 low-income, at-risk seniors from ending up in institutions by providing them living assistance. The Lifeline program allows 100 frail seniors access to a communications system that provides them easy access to emergency assistance by pressing a button on a necklace or wristband.

It would cost a minimum of $62,500 for each indigent senior to be put in an institution, Ayres said.

“We left Douglas County because they didn’t see the benefit,” Ayres said of that county’s decision not to fund RSVP. The group dropped most of its services in Lyon County for the same reason.

Carson, however, “sees the value of what we offer,” though it doesn’t fully fund the group’s citywide efforts. Full funding is achieved through a variety of other grants, she said.

The Community Counseling Center, another group seeking money from the city, offers alcohol- and drug-abuse recovery programs and seeks $168,232 for Spanish-English counselors to monitor clients in various programs and work with recovery groups.

Getting the money and providing treatment “is essential,” said Judge John Tatro.

Partial funding might cause complications, such as waiting lists for services, said Mary Bryan, program director.

Mayor Marv Teixeira hopes federal grants will be awarded to help the center in its efforts to work with methamphetamine abusers and their families. The center received $47,000 last year. Curbing methamphetamine use in Carson is a goal of the supervisors.

Up to 14 different organizations seek money from the city. About $190,000 is for ongoing expenses and the rest, $100,000, is for “one-shot” expenses, such as large pieces of equipment. Requests for money exceed the budgeted amount significantly, topping $477,000.

Decisions about how an estimated $290,000 will be distributed are expected from the supervisors on May 4.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.