Homeless shelter for men to open at Stewart | NevadaAppeal.com

Homeless shelter for men to open at Stewart

by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer

Workers are adding finishing touches to a new men’s homeless shelter due to open July 28.

The Dorothy Wylie Men’s Shelter, a haven for men seeking a new start in life, will open its doors to the public for the first time next weekend. The open house will be held between 2 and 4 p.m. and the food, and soft drinks, will be prepared by students from the Orvis School of Nursing in Reno.

The new program is an adjunct to Focus House, a similar facility just a few blocks away.

“Focus House keeps men and women off the street while they look for work, but they must hold jobs to stay at the Dorothy Wylie Shelter,” said Doug Gibbs, assistant manager of both facilities. “This facility will keep the homeless off the street. Men stay here for a nominal fee. It helps them get on their feet.”

The place was bustling Saturday as workers added new windows, sills, screens and flooring have been installed and the sod should be delivered Monday.

Tenant Les Little was conducting the media tour, a hint of pride in his voice as he explained homeless workers had built the bunk beds, set to accommodate 12. Eventually, three more will be housed in a room under the eaves, just up the stairs.

“For me, the shelter means a new start,” he said. “It opens on my birthday, so I’ll have a nice party this year.”

Men invited to join this program will be given access to a wide variety of programs, available through the organization that sponsored this effort, Friends in Service Helping. Medical services, counseling, credit repair, anger management and referrals to community resources are available.

The home is a drug- and alcohol-free environment and special consideration is given to veterans.

Set against a backdrop of huge oaks and elms, sage and blue skies, the small stone structure was once part of Stewart Indian School. A federal facility, the school closed its doors in the early 1980s and the land and buildings now belong to the state.

The project is named after longtime Carson City resident Dorothy Wylie, who often took in homeless people. She asked Friends in Service Helping to continue the work before she died, in 1997.

Friends conducted a capital fund campaign in 1997 and the money, together with a generous bequest from Wylie’s estate, made the shelter possible.

A private, nonprofit program, Friends was founded as an emergency food closet in 1979 by the church community of Carson City. It provides food, clothing and shelter to the homeless within Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties.

IF YOU GO

What: Grand opening, Dorothy Wylie Men’s Shelter

When: 2-4 p.m. July 28

Where: 110 Jacobsen Way, Stewart Indian School complex