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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Shade Tree Incorporated

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Domestic Violence, Family Violence Shelters, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services

Mission: To provide safe shelter to homeless and abused women and children in crisis and to offer life-changing services promoting stability, dignity, and self-reliance.

Results: In 2015, we sheltered 6,502 total clients, 2056 of those were children. We sheltered 148 pets. Our total bed nights was 100,661. 152 Women secured employment, 503 accessed our free clinic and we served 165,068 meals. All these numbers were significantly increase from 2014.

Target demographics: Women, Children and pets who are victims of sexual abuse, assault, human trafficking.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 6,500 Women and Children

Geographic areas served: We are the largest facility of our kind in Nevada

Programs: Emergency Shelter, Transitional Shelter, Survivor's Service Center, Workplace Readiness Program, Life Skills, housing assistance, Children's Activity Center, Stallman Touro Clinic, and Noah's Animal House.

Community Stories

62 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It’s hard to believe all the services Shade Tree offers to the ladies. When I think of shelter, I imagine cots lined up on the floor and people sitting around just to get off of the sidewalk. I volunteered for about a month for school and I have learned that this place is so much more. Shade Tree is not just a shelter. It is a place to get what you need to start again. They have a variety of services available. When you are hungry, you are fed. And not just soup and sandwiches. You can have cereal and milk for breakfast or oatmeal and coffee. I was there during lunch time and saw once they served pizza and another time they had turkey. If you want to take classes to learn about finances they have a bank come in to teach it, if you want to exercise they have yoga (Yoga at a homeless shelter is amazing!), you want to learn computers, they have a class for that. If you want to get a job, they have a program to help you do that, too. It seems as if anything you might need to help you get back on your feet, Shade Tree has is for you. In regards to one of the other comments, while I volunteered there I did see one altercation between some of the ladies there and I think the staff handled it well (I couldn’t do there job) but I would think that when you get that many people living in the same place together stuff like that is bound to happen once in a while.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Shade Tree strives to fulfill the needs of the homeless and abused women and children. Not only is housing and job assistance offered, but the shelter has a Children's Activity Center where kids can experience childhood while bonding with their mothers. Furthermore, life skills classes are offered to improve the skills of the women. There are holiday parties, career fairs, and fitness classes to cheer the women and children up. The Shade Tree even has an animal house which was opened in 2007 with the purpose of keeping families together. Women no longer have to give up their animals or leave their pets behind. The residents' animals are able to live right next door. The Shade Tree is a great organization.

1 Sara37

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of volunteering at The Shade Tree on several occasions. The safety and comfort that they provide for women, children and also their pets is incredible. Marlene Richter and her staff are warm, caring people who work to give homeless and abused women and children stability and skills for self-reliance. I was so moved by my experience.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became aware of the Shade Tree several years ago and the work that Marlene and her people are doing is wonderful for women children and their pets. Each year that I visit them, I come away feeling so grateful to know them and to know there is a safe harbor at the Shade Tree for families in need.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am honored to be a part of the Shade Tree because it ofers more than a safe, warm place to sleep. Since opening its doors more than two decades ago, women and children have been given the tools to experience a genuine sense of pride in achielving independance. The program is constantly evolving to address the changing needs and issues of homelessness in our community. From job development to healthcare, to a co-located animal shelter for the furry family members...the Shade Tree reinvents itself over and over again as the needs of the clients change. I am so grateful to be able to watch the women and children flourish because The Shade Tree is mroe than a shelter!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One of my friends invited me to attend their annual walk last year then again this year. It was such a great time. Seeing the staff, kids, babies, friends, family, pets; walking together, talking together, laughing together all in support to raise money for the shelter. Staff at the shelter talked about stories of their clients with such passion to help that definitely rubbed of me, making me want to help more. If you don't take away anything from the experience, at the least it reminds you to count your blessings. I look forward to helping in other ways and will continue to support these events.

Donor

Rating: 4

When I lost a bunch of weight, I had all these extra clothes. Without a doubt, the shade tree was my shelter of choice to donate to. I see them on the news asking for help and I can tell they really want to help. I donated a bunch of dresses usable for work and play in addition to shoes and other items the ladies can wear in the workforce . I received a thank you letter and I know its always the right decision to send my items to shade tree.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I remember the Motther's Day Event!! It was sooo much fun! We got there early and started to set up the items..there were things from body wash and lotions tto scarfs and sweaters for the moms. After set up, each child was called and accompanied by their own "shopper" to pick out what they wanted to give their moms. The why's behind their reasons were priceless. Thank you Shade Tree for making moms and ladies feel special because holidays can be extremely difficult.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I started to volunteer at The Shade Tree it was for school, as I continued to go there twice a week and serve the families lunch, it became a part of me. They would talk to me sometimes about how blessed they feel to have a home within the shelter, and how they learn things such as how to write a resume or tot use the computer while they're here. I moved, but when I get back, I'll definitely visit and volunteer again.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Shade Tree always have events to drive success in the women and children. As recent as the back to school drive where all the kids received school supplies for the upcoming school year. I'm glad to help!

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

The Shade Tree is the poorest kept for the shelter, for Christimas of 2010 there were over a thousand gift card given that were for the women and the women didn't get them. Some how they got in Marlene Ricther hand and a couple of ladies that work there. The place is in infested with bed bugs and Marlene Ricther isn't doing anything about it. The place is is infested with rats and among other things. I don't donate to the shade tree I donate to safe nest where they really need it. The ladies don't half of the items that are donated. The shelter is filthy inside from up to the botttom. The workers are over work and Marlene is a mean and hateful woman. You have have of the the workers popping pills and drinking on the job trying to cope with the bullshit. I feel sorry for the ladies and the children they are getting half of the stick. There is no installation in the bathrooms. And if anyone says the the shad tree rocks you are lying. Thap place need serious help and the ED need to be thrown out and the rest of them. The residents see nothing that comes in at all. The tissues comes from hotels that has been used they are half of rolls. The Health District need to come down and check on the bed bug infestation and the rats down in the basement and on all the floors. Andl they sometimes are in the bed with the babies when there are holes in the mattress and a family of rats are in there and the babies rats drop in the bed with the children. And roaches are infested also dropping from the ceiling with bed bugs along with them. What next when you donate it is all a show that they are showing donors and they feed into that mess. Have the donors tried Child Haven, Safe Nest, or Safe Haven. Over a hundred or more computers lap tops were donated where are they? The residents didn't get them at all. One gentleman donated $2,500 and it was put under Marlene's door and it hasn't been seen since where did the money go. So think twice because the shade tree is not what it is stacked up to be.

6

Client Served

Rating: 1

Shade Tree should be the last place you ever want to go if you're fleeing domestic violence. Security is shabby, getting paid minimum wage. You can't pay security minimum wage and expect them to actually want and be motivated to secure the premises. Staff has a very "brush-off" approach, especially administrative staff. The only ones that seem to actually care are the younger staff. Client advocates are outnumbered and short staffed. Overworked and underpaid as many of them say. Shade Tree continues to receive millions in funding and grants but I see nothing done to use up those funds wisely, such as healthier and more adequate food. Sanitation is also another miss. Lastly, I'm familiar with government funding and from the notices on the wall, Shade Tree is abusing HUD and HIP funding. The government should pull their funding so that way they can actually use the external funding they receive rather than dispensing it amongst the higher ups.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoy volunteering at The Shade Tree I feel The Shade Tree is a wonderful program to help women and children. I believe this program is safe and helpful to the women and Im glad they have The Shade Tree to come to for safety and resources.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to volunteer as a life skills teacher with The Shade Tree a couple of years ago and I had a lot of fun. I honestly learned a lot about how strong some of the ladies.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

There are a lot of families out there that need help; especially those with pets and children. It's good to know there are places out there where people can go to get back on their feet AND be safe.

3

Client Served

Rating: 1

i dont know how any one can write a good review on this place but there are a lot of good staff members but ive stayed a shade tree and i can honestly say its nasty and bug ridden bed bug roaches, theres a fight every other night there are people stealing ,while staff have there pick of who to help 3rd floor is for dv. and transtional and second floor is for single woman and familys ,ive been there for 2 weeks i havnt talked to a counslor yet and im not sure what the programs are they give you resources im told ,wake up time is 6.00 ,2 nd floor have to leave the floor at 8 am ,,,they only give you a bus pass if you have an appointment but not to look for housing and jobs ,the food is nasty most time and this morning the sausage was spolied ,,ive watched more then 8 woman get put out and i saw 10 woman whos time wasnt extended and had no place to go there are woman there that has been there 18 months -2 years ,,and some there leaving wth housing due to shade trees help,, but it seems like it depends on if your liked ,,because there are no programs there only class like relaxation ,resume writing orintation and housing on and two ,k,,some of the woman are really beautiful just feel on hard times ,but most are nasdty and crazy the bathrooms are nadty and the rules are dum ive been calling the health department since ive came ,and i wish i coulod get help to leave and get on my feet cause im at my wits end all day the woman smoke ciggaretes back to back ,they sell pills and cigareetes ,people coe back high and drunk ,,all this i swear is true ,,im sure this will fall on death ears but its a shame that ,,outside people come tour the place in the day time see it empty clean and a fe woman there and not no its like a womans prison with children in it ,,but because that the only real shelter in las vegas nevada and woman ,mossstly need a place like this they will always have funding and supporters ,,but if you ask me an out side agency should look at how many times the las vegas police has been there and then you might get the real story

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The Shade Tree sounds like a HORRIBLE place. Full of discrimination, divisiveness and hatred. They accept some people and turn away others based on infantile notions of body morphology. Dividing families and destroying peoples sense of family unit.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Being a part of this amazing organization for over ten years has been has been as much for me as it is for the women and children we serve. I am reminded daily of the strength and courage that these women have under the worst circumstances. I am also reminded that it is not about destiny, but rather the choices one makes. The Shade Tree not only provides safe shelter and balanced meals for those who are experiencing homelessness and financial crisis, but it is made up of many programs which are offered to provide the tools and resources to break the cycle of homelessness. I can't think of a better inspiration than the women and children who fill our corridors with hope, laughter and tears. Credit goes to the patient and dedicated staff who insure that the shelter is a safe and inspiring space during time of desperation.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Shade Tree is a great organiztion to work with. They helped our company organize a meal service for their clients. They returned calls and emails quickly, answering all of our questions and made us feel welcomed when our volunteers showed up.

Virginia6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

On a convention to Las Vegas, I was able to spend a Saturday morning at The Shade Tree. It was the most rewarding event. The woman and the children all smiled and seemed so happy. No one would know the troubles each one had. I spent the time mostly with the children, and I was better for it. God was there that day. They were entertaining and made me feel so welcome. The Shade Tree does so much for all of the woman, children and now their animals that it is great to make donations to such a worthy cause. It has a very close family type atmosphere and helps the woman so much. They are empowered and made to feel they can now have a second chance at life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While searching for charities whose purpose matched those of a non-profit foundation with which I'm associated I found The Shade Tree. I got in touch with the Executive Director and quickly became passionate about supporting their mission, "To provide safe shelter to homeless and abused women and children in crisis and to offer life-changing services promoting stability, dignity, and self-reliance." . My passion has been shared with others and for the past 4+ years we have volunteered through lending a hand where needed at the shelter, doing fundraising events, sending boxes full of urgently needed items and lending moral support to staff and residents. I call it a God-shot that I was guided to The Shade Tree because my work with them has been the most rewarding experience of my life. It even led me to a career change into the non-profit sector.

TheBlonde K.

Donor

Rating: 5

My first experience with The Shade Tree was three years ago. The dedication of the staff to the community is palpable in every one you meet. Although some clients are in desperate situations, the shelter is filled with light and hope. One cannot leave without being affected by the positive atmosphere. A few hours, once a year with the clients and staff of The Shade Tree energizes me to contribute time and money in my home community in a effort to ensure the women, children and pets here also have a haven and are being cared for.

Celine M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Whilst on a vacation trip 4 years ago to Las Vegas we friends I was introduced to TST. I went along to volunteer and help out not really knowing what to expect. After being welcomed and introduced to exactly who and what TST do I was amazed. Not only do they help women and children but also their pets. To me that was something very special, as a dog owner I fully understand the need to keep those beloved fur babies with you. The work that the team do to help the women and children get back on their feet and heal their physical and emotional wounds is exceptional. This year I was honoured to help out in Noah's pet house and see all the work that goes on there. I am still in awe of the wonderful work the team do there in an efficient and professional manner to look after their guests. The women and children are an inspiration and a true mark of the endurance of the human spirit. My journey with TST started 4 years ago and each time I visit I come away a better person. This is truly an amazing organisation run by exceptional people.

1 Holly15

Donor

Rating: 5

Four years ago, I became familiar with The Shade Tree via a charitable organization which had been raising funds on TST's behalf. I was intrigued by the model implemented by TST insofar as it not only provides safe shelter to women and children escaping domestic abuse, but their pets as well. Since my initial discovery, I have consistently contributed to this cause. For the last 3 years, I have volunteered on-site while in Las Vegas for an annual convention. Each time I visit, I walk away more passionate than ever about the people served by TST and its role in the community. I've not only witnessed first hand the impact the shelter has on its "guests", but I've grown to respect those "on the front lines" and running the shelter in the most efficient ways possible. The Shade Tree is truly the shining example of how communities should provide for those in need.

3 Susan103

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am the mother of a daughter who was murdered by the father of her child back in 1996. For years we did not know what had happened and it wasn't until 2007 that her body was identified. Her murderer is now awaiting trial. A few years back I was in Las Vegas for a convention and I was privileged to go to The Shade Tree and see the fabulous job that Marlene and her staff accomplish on a daily basis to help women and children who have been abused and hurt by the one person who is suppose to love and take care of them. This shelter has so affected me that I have joined my local domestic abuse and rape victim organization and my goal is to build a shelter modeled after The Shade Tree. I am so inspired every year now to go to The Shade Tree while in Vegas and volunteer for a few hours and learn from Marlene and her staff what it is like to truly give back to those who find themselves in this horrible situation. If only there had been a Shade Tree available in 1996 my daughter and many others may be alive today.

2 Belinda E.

Donor

Rating: 5

You never realize what you've been blessed with until you see what you're lucky not to have to go through. Everyone have their own daily struggles, however, the incredible sense of hope The Shade Tree inspire upon to the women, children, and pets are remarkable. Seeing the passion in the eyes of the staff reassures the belief they have in The Shade Tree's overall mission. I have been lucky to be a part of various fundraising events and seen them in action. Every 2 to 3 months, I go through my home in addtion to collecting from friends and family for items the clients of TST can benefit from. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to help. Seeing the women and families empowered from programs they went through while at the shelter embrace the world, being a part of that is heartwarming.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful charity organization and the staff and residence are great. I know because I sang at the Shade Tree last Christmas and Valentine's Day. I will be performing again in the near future. Because of the staff and ladies and children, I keep coming back. It is a place where people care for one another. I am proud to be a volunteer at this thoughful and caring place. Thank you, Rosie Sottile