Shade Tree Gets Much Needed Repair Work

LAS VEGAS -- Hundreds of homeless or abused women and children seek help from the Shade Tree shelter every night. The shelter has struggled with funding cuts, and as the I-Team discovered months ago, it's also had mold and bed bug infestations.

The shelter got some much need help Thursday as repairs were made to the shelter. About 50 Rebuilding Together volunteers built furniture, painted walls, and put in new restrooms and sinks.

The group is focused on helping people in Nevada have a home.

"Everybody is having a lot of fun. We are really happy to have an opportunity to help with it. It's a great privilege for us and it's just a great thing to be able to do for people who could use our help," said Sallie Doebler, a volunteer.

Shade Tree helped 6,000 women and children in 2012 which was more than the previous year.

"On the one side we say, 'Oh my goodness, that is a lot of people.' But they are actually doing what we want, they're escaping the violence," said Marlene Richter, the executive director of Shade Tree.

Future volunteer efforts by Rebuilding Together could be coming to an end. The group is afraid of losing the federal dollars it gets each year through Housing and Urban Development. About 30 percent of its funding is federal and state dollars.

"We need to take care of the funding, the federal and private funding allows us to do that," said Cynthia Baca, the executive director of Rebuilding Together.

For the women and children staying at Shade Tree the help is appreciated.

"I feel like we're cared about, we're thought about. We are not, just because we are homeless, just pushed to the side and swept under the rug. I feel awesome," said one resident who did not want to be identified because she said she is a victim of domestic violence.

The Shade Tree spokesperson would not say if the shelter was able to get rid of the bed bugs and mold problem.


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