Safe Embrace faces reduction in services after cease and desist order

Safe Embrace
Safe Embrace(KOLO)
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 4:08 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A shelter for victims of domestic and sexual abuse faces temporary closure after the non-profit said a judge issued a cease and desist order.

The order stems from a lawsuit filed in October 2019 alleging Safe Embrace and the City of Sparks improperly followed procedures when the shelter’s license was issued.

“Safe Embrace is currently a codefendant in a lawsuit, along with City of Sparks and Washoe County, which was filed in October of 2019,” Executive Director Afshan West said in a statement released Tuesday. “The shelter neighbors are attempting to have Safe Embrace’s shelter business license revoked. The lawsuit is based upon the City of Sparks improperly following procedures when the license was issued in 2017, which allowed the expansion from 18 beds to 32 beds,” explained West.

Following the cease and desist order, Safe Embrace said it is currently working with Washoe County to expedite a Special Use Permit application.

“We are finding it heartbreaking having to turn victims in need away, because of Judge David Hardy’s order for us to close our shelter,” West said.

Safe Embrace said it has a contingency plan to continue providing shelter to current residents and new clients if the shelter is temporarily shut down. They are also working closely with the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence to continue to provide essential services.

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