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Addiction recovery center in downtown Las Vegas seeks to expand, increase beds for women

The Las Vegas Rescue Mission will erect a new women’s facility with 118 beds for those who want help with substance abuse.
Naoka Foreman
Naoka Foreman
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The Las Vegas Rescue Mission is expanding and revamping its 50-year-old downtown building, doubling its capacity after receiving city approval to build a new “Shelter of Hope” for women, children and families. 

The $12 million redevelopment project will add 118 beds for women and their family and includes constructing three floors that include children’s play areas, a computer lounge and a family room.

Heather Engle, CEO of the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, said the project had been three years in the making, adding that they have been focused on raising money privately since 2020 through a campaign called “Beyond the Bright Lights.” She said the organization plans to fully redevelop the building and that the 30,000-square-foot Shelter of Hope is the first phase.

“Right now, I only have 24 beds for women's recovery,” Engle said of the capacity for treating women seeking drug and alcohol treatment. “And I have 90 for men. So we're going to be adding many more beds for women's recovery.”

She said the new changes — approved Oct. 18 by the Las Vegas City Council — will allow the facility to operate more efficiently because services will be centralized. Engle said with the help of a Clark County grant, the Las Vegas Rescue Mission is the only place in the state running an “intact family program” that allows couples and their children to stay together while they receive shelter and recovery services.

A rendering of the Las Vegas Rescue Mission’s planned expansion. (Courtesy of The Las Vegas Rescue Mission)

Engle said people in the Rescue Mission’s drug and alcohol program live and receive addiction recovery services on-site and that the organization turns people away from treatment services because it has a limited number of beds.

“We do not warehouse people here,” she said. “Everybody's here for a brief period of time, in whatever homeless program that they're in.”

Engle said those seeking emergency shelter can have access to beds overnight for up to 30 days. If those in need are seeking an extended stay, she said they are immediately set up with a case manager who will help them find jobs and housing, and that they then can stay up to three months.

The Las Vegas Rescue Mission is one of many organizations in Clark County that seeks to help those experiencing homelessness get on a pathway toward stability.

Engle said the center is used to help people in need of temporary shelter while rehabilitating from substance abuse or other conditions. The Las Vegas Rescue Mission’s website says the goal of the Beyond the Bright Lights fundraising campaign is to build “a modern campus that will serve the homeless and empower them to rebuild their lives.” 

“In the last two years, our shelter team has an 80 percent success rate at placing people into permanency [or permanent housing],” she said.

To fully renovate the space, Engle said it would take at least $40 million, which includes refurbish outdated infrastructure and developing five new buildings including a retail store, a women’s center, a warehouse, a security intake building and a chapel. 

She declined to say how much the organization has raised so far but said that she is excited to serve people in a “bigger way.”

“We have to turn women away that are really ready to get sober and have help,” she said. 

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