Local Heroes: Project 150 co-founder, inspired by News 3 story, helps homeless teens
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
There are currently more than 1,300 homeless youths in Clark County. Many of those kids sleep in cars or motels – or couch surf at different homes.
News 3 caught up with a group trying to help these students by supplying clothes and other necessities to the teens to help them get through school. It’s called Project 150, and its inspiration came from a story that aired nearly five years ago on News 3.
Co-Founder and President Patrick Spargur says he was touched by the story which led him to create an organization dedicated to helping teens make the grade.
“On Channel 3 back in December 2011, Denise Rosch did a story about 150 homeless kids at Rancho High,” said Spargur.
And the rest is history.
“We decided to do something just for the holidays during the Christmas break, and little did we know this accidental project became a full time charity,” said Spargur.
Patrick collaborated with friend, Don Purdue to create Project 150 – the group got its name because it started off helping 150 teens. Since then, the number has grown to more than 8,000 over the years.
We got a tour around the facility they bought about a year ago through money given to them by generous local donors. It’s at Betty’s Boutique where teens can come pick up all kinds of clothing, shoes, food and other items for school.
“A nice pair of pants or shoes or nice outfit just allows these students to fit in a learning environment,” said Spargur.
A lot of the clothing items come from companies like Zappos, which has even custom-ordered shoes for kids with bigger feel (size 16!) just so they can fit in like everyone else. Patrick says outlets in Primm have also donated clothing and other items.
They help students in need at multiple schools in the valley.
“We’re in 47 high schools in Las Vegas,” said Spargur. Also being helped are 15 high schools in Reno, schools in Laughlin, Moapa Valley and they’re looking to expand services out to Pahrump.
“Our goal for these kids is one pretty simple. Just graduate high school,” said Spargur.
Patrick says he couldn’t have grown this organization without the hundreds of volunteers who help organize and deliver throughout the year. He says anyone can make an impact just like he and his partner Don did! Their next plan is to reach out and work with corporate sponsors to grow the organization even more.
“Everybody has something to give and the smallest idea that you have may not be so crazy,” said Spargur.
Project 150 also provides food for families of homeless teens during the holidays and scholarships in the spring.
The group is hosting a scholarship soccer tournament in October. For more information on the Velasquez Memorial Scholarship Soccer Tournament go to www.Project150.org or contact Senia Roybak at 702-721-7150. The deadline to register is Sept. 24.
The tournament will be held on Oct. 9 at Tropical Breeze Park, 1505 E. Tropical Pkwy. in North Las Vegas. Costs are between $20-$25 per player.