[Hpn] CHRISTIAN GROUP SEEKING SHELTER FOR HOMELESS TURNED AWAY
William Charles Tinker
Fri, 14 Oct 2005 22:28:25 -0400
October 14, 2005
Group seeking shelter for the homeless turned away
COUNTY COMMISSION RELUCTANT TO PROVIDE STEPPING STONES LAND ON OUTSKIRTS OF
By PHILLIP GOMEZ
A local non-profit organization asked the Nye County Board of Commissioners
last week to provide it with five acres of land on which to build a
multipurpose building to serve as a clearinghouse for a variety of other
service organizations, a large room to provide meals and a shelter for
Pahrump's poor people.
The commissioners said no.
Stepping Stones Inc., a Christian-based organization, wants to become
Pahrump's "one-stop" center for the homeless and others in need of social
services. The non-profit is looking for a large parcel of land that will
enable it to expand in the future.
At present, plans call for a central office staffed by volunteers fielding
and directing incoming calls to the appropriate organization. Envisioned are
a community food bank of commodities and a data bank of information by which
to refer people to other service organizations in the valley.
The intention of the group, according to its mission statement, is to
"manage and/or provide organized and unified services in a coordinated
effort with other groups, organizations, non-profits, churches and companies
to help people and families in need."
Stefanie Charbonneau, president of Stepping Stones and owner of Red Rock
Builders Inc., and Paul Jordan, pastor of Church on a Mission and secretary
of the non-profit, made the request last week. They specified a parcel of
county-owned land the organization wanted to obtain at 3761 N. Stephanie,
near Bannavitch Street and Bell Vista Avenue in northwestern Pahrump.
But the commissioners didn't like that location because it was too far away
from the main artery of town, and would only generate traffic to and from
the distant site.
Commission Chairwoman Candice Trummell also did not like the idea of setting
a precedent in giving land to non-profits, as occurred last year when No To
Abuse asked for and received land to build a new facility and shelter for
women. "That's been my concern in general," Trummell said.
"We just feel we would benefit (the county)," said Charbonneau. "We just
feel ... it's time for a shelter and food bank."
Pastor Jordan said the organization was now feeding 80 to 100 poor families
a week in Pahrump. The group is a recipient of the federal Department of
Agriculture's food commodities program, which are distributed in meals by
The plan is to reduce the duplication of efforts among helping organizations
and increase efficiency in providing services to those in need. Stepping
Stones plans a family "shelter" building and wants to provide counseling
services, self-help programs and seminars with space for future expansion.
Their goal is to take on responsibility for oversight of the Pahrump
Valley's seeming growing homeless population and its food and shelter needs.
"Right now, nobody is doing what we want to do," said Jordan.
Trummell said she wanted to see a central place for Stepping Stones to be
located, but commented, "The Calvada Eye is going to be sold."
However, the Eye failed to generate a single bid on the day after the
meeting with Stepping Stones Inc.
"The homeless population will grow," Jordan said, He wanted the space
offered by a five-acre parcel on the outskirts of the developed town,
indicating that the project was bound to expand. He envisioned up to 30
people at a time needing services or shelter at the site, he said.
Commissioner Joni Eastley said the board should first set in place a policy
for donating land to non-profit, outreach organizations.
The board was unanimous in denying Stepping Stones' request, saying that the
organization could return to the commission at a later time to renew its
request, but for a different, more centrally located parcel. In other words:
Use the experience of getting turned down as a steppingstone toward a
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