To provide a safe place for guidance and to be responsive to the well-being of youth, families, victims, and the Clark County Community by providing meaningful services to youth and families to address their immediate needs.
The Harbor is a Juvenile Assessment Center located in Las Vegas that addresses disproportionate minority contact, as it diverts youth, primarily youth of color, from the juvenile justice system. This program promotes positive community-police relations; promotes racial healing and dialogues on race; expands government and institutional representation and access; increases job readiness and employment; and focuses on restorative justice.
A multi-agency collaboration, the Harbor includes staff and supervision from the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice Services, the City of Las Vegas, the Department of Family Services, Clark County School District, and many other organizations.
Through collaboration, these agencies provide a safe haven for vulnerable teens and their families. The Harbor helps mitigate barriers to services by not charging families, not requiring insurance, and by allowing undocumented families to receive services.
The Harbor provides assessments and services to get young people back on track after experiencing troubles with drugs and alcohol, truancy, mental health, etc. The Harbor addresses current as well as ongoing needs for all youth. Youth can enter the Harbor through law enforcement as an alternative to Department of Juvenile Justice Services booking, through community outreach, or through an agency referral.
The Harbor ensures it is responsive to its participants’ needs by including them in decision-making processes by having a youth serve on the Executive Steering Committee.
The Harbor and its Executive Steering Committee members are also members of the Las Vegas My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Alliance, which includes representatives of numerous community partners, the City of Las Vegas, Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice Services, the State of Nevada, and the Clark County School District, in conjunction with several non-profits and religious groups. The Las Vegas MBK Alliance has been divided into three primary task forces: Community Engagement, Educational Equity, and Law Enforcement. Leaders and volunteers from each of these sectors have convened numerous times, several times each month, in task force meetings since May 2017 to work toward specific goals and the development of targeted initiatives related to moving the My Brother’s Keeper mission and vision forward.
The Las Vegas MBK Alliance Community Engagement Task Force is committed to attracting community partners committed to improving life outcomes for youth of color and engaging them in meaningful dialogue and interventions. This task force aims to support youth by developing, implementing, and evaluating existing and innovative programs to empower the community.
Since the opening of The Harbor, over 3,000 youth and families have entered the center. Of the 3,000 youth, 115 have escalated to Juvenile Justice Services, which represents an approximately 96% success rate. 512 families have received benefits through the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, who may have not received these services if The Harbor did not exist.
The Harbor is also part of the Las Vegas My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, which is a partnership of community organizations focused on community engagement, educational equity, and law enforcement.
The long-term vision for The Harbor is to open more sites throughout the valley. A second The Harbor location is planned for the west side of the Las Vegas Valley, where the demographics bear out that the need is there.
Timeline of Project: Since 2016
The Harbor Website
Las Vegas, NV– 2018 AAC Winner: Presentation
Cesar G. Lemos
Executive Director, The Harbor