Homeless youth charity keeps county funding

Spencer Lubitz

Homeless youth charity keeps county funding

CREATED Feb. 21, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - A local charity for homeless youth at risk of losing nearly half of its funding was spared by Clark County Commissioners.

The commission was considering cutting funding to the charity after the organization’s founder, Kathleen Vermillion, was accused of misappropriating funds.

Vermillion is no longer with the organization, but the charity's new leader was pleased to learn that the county would not cut anything from their annual budget.

“Obviously, today we are breathing a little easier because of the Commission's decision,” said Arash Ghafoori, Executive Director for the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.

Commissioners found themselves defending their request to analyze the organization's budget.

“I want to make it very clear, for the record, that in no way shape or form were Commissioner Weekly or myself trying to harm this program,” said Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.

The Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth receives a $214,000 grant from Clark County to help the services they provide.

“They used to get $100,000 , $100,000 , $100,000 and then it doubled, and doubled and doubled, and yet the case loads actually declined,”  said Giunchigliani.  “That called in my mind questions, and legitmately so.”

After the county audited the organization last month, and found no evidence that money was misused, commissioners voted unanimously not to reduce funding.

“ At the end of the day, all this effort was for the kids, and to make sure that those valuable services can continue to be provided,” Ghafoori said.

County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth biggest private donor, abstained from today's vote.

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