WCSD Family Resource Centers spread awareness about free services

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 12:01 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - An office inside the new O’Brien Middle School is being used to connect families with the necessary services to meet basic needs and remove barriers to learning.

“It’s not just for families is for everyone that’s in need right now,” said Jessenia Segura, director specialist at the North Valleys Family Resource Centers. “As you can see, we have many basic resources right here, such as clothing and hygiene items and we can also help them with the application process for Medicaid and SNAP. "

The Washoe County School District (WCSD) currently has five Family Resource Centers and most offer food pantries.

The center in O’Brien also helps with the application for the Energy Assistance Program through the Welfare office.

“We have school supplies, we have a limited number of those but we have some,” said Segura. “Gas money also and we have gift cards that we were able to purchase through the grant funding that we have available.”

The program gets most of its referrals from schools and local agencies but pandemic restrictions significantly reduced visits to the centers.

“We couldn’t have that one-on-one contact, where before were able to see people inside the buildings, we had to change that,” said Segura.

She says a lack of awareness is also driving this trend.

The newest center located inside the new Hug High School has seen a little more than a handful of families. Program Specialist, Brenda Costello told KOLO8 News Now that their services extend beyond the school walls.

“It’s called the Feemster Family Resource Center,” she said. “We actually have parenting education programs within Washoe County School District so I supervised three parenting programs and one of them is for little ones so zero to five. They’re not even in school yet but we serve them.”

She adds that depending on the need, they may even do a home visit.

The program is grant funded and free for families.

“We want our families to keep coming back to us because we don’t want them just in crisis, we want them to be stable and to move forward,” said Costello. “It’s the long-term services that we really want to connect with our families.”

If you’re in need of services, you can visit or call the nearest center.

Central Reno FRC, 1950 Villanova Dr. Reno, NV 89502. Phone: 775- 204-1408 Extension #3

North Valleys FRC, 5000 Silver Lake Road Reno, NV 89506. Phone: 775- 204-1408 Extension #4

Sparks FRC, 921 12th St. Sparks, NV 89431. Phone: 775- 204-1408 Extension #2

Sun Valley FRC
7550 Donatello Drive
Sun Valley, NV 89433
Phone: 775-204-1408 Extension #1

Feemster FRC (Hug High School)
3530 Sullivan Ln
Sparks, NV 89431
Phone: 775-204-1408 Extension #5