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.
I want to say I am a survivor and was an Office Manager and Victim Advocate at another nonprofit domestic violence program. I asked for a tour of this facility. I was shocked - and not in a good way. I was shocked that a program that is supposed to help victims escape their violent abusers has their address publicly listed. This place seems to be pushed/promoted as a domestic violence shelter, but they take in homeless people. There were no real security measures (1 camera outside) and men working there. This is not a place of warmth, hope or healing - it reeks of hopelessness and has a prison feel to it. I couldn't work there simply because it is utterly depressing. It doesn't matter how much paint and inspirational sayings you put on cinder block walls, it feels institutional and prison like. When you leave abuse you want to go somewhere that allows you to catch your breath - breathe, let your mind settle, try and not be hyper vigilant, try and figure out what to do next. You can't do that there. You can't do that in a shelter that kicks you out at 7:30 in the morning and doesn't allow you to return until the afternoon. I didn't see the bugs or mold; but I don't doubt they are there. My first thought after I walked out was "If this had been where I had to go, I would have gone straight back to my abuser." This nonprofit needs MAJOR help, restructuring and overhauling. Women and children of abuse cannot go there to heal. That was a visual nightmare and I feel for the women and children that have to stay there. A high number of women and children that have passed through the doors does not equal actually helping them to escape and stay free of abuse.
Review from Guidestar
I had a friend with two little girls that had no where to go so I called Shade Tree and they had an appointment for her to go to the next day! That was amazing how quick they got her and her children in
An amazing organization with an awesome staff that impacts thousands of lives every year. As a former staff member, I've never had a job more rewarding than The Shade Tree. Having the opportunity to impact someone's life in a positive, caring way is a great responsibility that The Shade Tree doesn't take lightly. This organization lives its mission of providing safe shelter and life changing services that promote stability, dignity and self-reliance to homeless and abused women and children.
I have had experience with the beautiful workings and mission of The Shade Tree; each staff member puts every ounce of their heart into helping these homeless and battered women get back up on their own two feet and reach self-sufficiency. My experience is even more well-versed at The Shade Tree's Noah's Animal House, the animal kennel temporary "home" to several of the Shade Tree women's pets. Noah's Animal House was the pioneer of adding an animal facility to a Battered Women's Shelter, and the difference it is making in these women's lives is tangible. Being able to bring an animal with them when fleeing an abusive situation is very often the "make or break" of an animal owner leaving a terrible situation. Once safely in the bosom of The Shade Tree, the women seek refuge and therapy from their furry family member, greatly aiding in their progress of their own case plan at The Shade Tree. Finally, time and again, statistics have shown that the recidivism rate on these animal-owner women is greatly reduced when compared to the woman who are not pet-owners or whose pets are not housed with them while in-shelter. I have seen this magic happen in-person, and I know that Noah's Animal House and The Shade Tree is changing lives in the hundreds on a daily basis!
As the previous Volunteer Coordinator at The Shade Tree, I was humbeled and proud to see how the members of the Las Vegas Community came together to assist and support the women and children of this shelter. It was amazing to see how volunteers teaching life skills classes or music lessons in the children's activity center could lift the spirits of residents and provide life changing skills that help women to get back on their feet.
The Shade Tree not only is a place to sleep and get a hot meal, it is a place where residents are offered case management, job referrals, health and nutrition information, support groups and so much more. The Shade Tree is truly unique and one of a kind. Thank goodness for the caring staff and volunteers who serve them.
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.
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.