Space Harbors Providing Summer time Help to Households, Youth
Families and youth in need of counseling, tutoring and other support services over the summer are reminded that the Harbor juvenile assessment program is here to help.
The Harbor has five locations in the Las Vegas Valley operating seven days a week from 8 am to 10 pm to assist families coping with problem behavior and other concerns. Signs that children and teens may need help include depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol use, isolation, bullying, delinquency or changes in behavior. Appointments can be made by calling the program’s main number at (702) 455-6912. Walk-ins are accepted. Locations and more information about the program are listed on its website at www.theharborlv.com.
“The pandemic took a toll on our community and our families, and the transition back to in-person learning at school was difficult for many kids,” said Jack Martin, Director of Clark County Juvenile Justice Services, which oversees the Harbor program in coordination with multiple community partners. “We encourage youth and families to connect with the Harbor if they are in need of services to get a fresh start over the summer so they can get off to a great school year this fall.”
The Harbor began in 2016 as a pilot program to offer diversion services to prevent youth from entering the juvenile justice system. Counseling, mentoring, substance abuse treatment and life skills classes are top areas of referrals. Community partners that support the Harbor’s operations include the Clark County School District, Clark County Department of Family Services, the area cities and police departments, Nevada Departments of Health and Human Services and Child and Family Services, Clark County Family Court, Clark County District Attorney’s Office, Eagle Quest, Three Square and several nonprofit organizations.
Due to its success in working with youth and families, Clark County expanded the Harbor and created the Truancy Prevention Outreach Program (TPOP). TPOP evolved from the Harbor’s work with families and community partners to address underlying causes of truancy and chronic absenteeism. Student absences are often rooted in problems the program helps address including health issues and family struggles such as housing instability, food insecurity and child-care issues, all of which were compounded for many families during the pandemic.
To date, the Harbor has served more than 23,000 youth and families. About 25 percent of Harbor clients are walk-ins from the community, brought to the center by parents or caregivers seeking guidance with their children. Another 35 percent are families referred to the Harbor by the School District and government partners. Other referrals come directly from police dropping kids off at a harbor location instead of the juvenile detention center or intake staff at the detention center diverting kids to a harbor if they have been arrested for a first-time or low-level offense. Anyone in the community who believes a child or family could be served by the Harbor, including coaches, ministers, and relatives, is encouraged to contact the program for referrals to local resources.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.