(775) 475-9255 marvinn@sntr.org
What a ride! – how things work and evolve in God’s economy is always a surprise. As we’ve been praying and seeking and praying and seeking…well you get the picture; a wonderful opportunity has come our way – one that we have taken advantage of – it allows us to continue to work with youth after they have been released from detention programs, and as the word spreads will include any local youth who wishes to attend. A Voice in the Wilderness Church, one of our Church Partnerships, wholeheartedly embraces the vision and mission of Sierra Nevada Teen Ranch and having come upon this space and moved its church to these facilities and desired to generously and graciously share the abundance of space with us. They have contributed about 2500 square feet of operating space to allow us to be able to follow up with youth that have been released from incarceration from the Jan Evans Juvenile Justice system and other youth in our local community. We are currently developing a relationship with the leadership at Calienti who desire to provide information regarding these facilities to their youth upon their release back to the Reno/Sparks areas. These youth are welcome to participate and grow under the mentoring/pastoring guidance of Chaplain Marvin Neal. The space includes a room for church and worship services, a recreation area (currently housing game tables, foosball, table hockey, TV/DVD, an area for small group meetings, kitchen facilities, storage, and last, but not least an office for Marv that serves as the official in-town business office for Sierra Nevada Teen Ranch. We have been fortunate to furnish these facilities entirely by generous donations from the community. We have named the ministry “On The Edge Youth Ministries” an outreach ministry of Sierra Nevada Teen Ranch. The physical address is 513 E Second Street, Reno, next to the Reno Police Station. The second bit of news deals with SNTR and our ‘Help Us Build” campaign. With the economy the way it is, we are not generating the revenue we had hoped for, nor expected; therefore, we voted to look at leasing property in an effort to start serving youth sooner rather than later. Leasing property has several positive elements which we’ve come to realize:
  1. As the requirements of the special use permit are so financially cumbersome, especially providing the road development, alternative energy, and the engineering process for the foundation, etc., developing a group home on leased established property will allow us to become operational much sooner than holding out to raise the necessary funds to develop on the Ranch site.
  2. We have also found it necessary to be “up and running” for most grants and foundations to provide financial support or funding for capital expenses – they want a proven history.
In summary, our current direction is to secure property and housing that will meet the needs of a “group” home, in a rural area, thus retaining our ranch theme and programs and allowing us to start serving our youth and gain “established equity” towards the further development of the Ranch on the Ranch site; i.e., a proven history. Additionally, it’s much easier (financially & regulation-wise) to establish a “group” home than it is following the regulations of the Special Use Permit as it relates to the current Ranch property. All things considered, we believe this is our best course of action. This has been a very hard decision for me and for our board as it feels a bit like we are giving up on God for the “big financial miracle” – yet we have come to see this opportunity, weigh our current situation, factor in the tough economy and it seems like a God-directed and very wise course of action. Please keep us in your prayers; that we would be functioning in the center of God’s will and thus bless our leasing efforts.