The Shade Tree Inc.

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
The Shade Tree
City & State:
North Las Vegas, 
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

To provide safe shelter to homeless and abused women and children in crisis and to offer life-changing services promoting stability, dignity, and self-reliance.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

The Shade Tree assists women and children in crisis in meeting their basic needs: food, shelter, safety. The Shade Tree offers both a short term shelter program (up to 90 days stay) and a long term program (up to 2 years stay). In addition to shelter, The Shade Tree offers many life-changing programs and opportunities: Intensive Case Management, Job Development, Life Skills, and Victim Services for victims of domestic violence, street crime or elder abuse, a Children’s Activity Center (CAC), Mental Health Coordination Services, Housing Assistance and limited shelter services for unaccompanied homeless male and female youth. Through these life-changing programs, women can rebuild their lives, find employment, secure permanent housing and become self-sufficient members of the community. Women and children in crisis can come in for assistance 24 hours per day, seven days a week. All services offered by The Shade Tree are ‘free’ of charge, ‘and accessible to every person,’ regardless of program involvements or length of stay. The Shade Tree (TST) is the largest facility specifically designed to serve the needs of homeless and abused women and children (males and females under age 18) in the State of Nevada. The Shade Tree is one of the few shelters in Nevada with the ability to accept teen age boys allowing them to remain with their mothers and siblings. The Shade Tree’s innovative programs include Noah’s Animal House, which allows women to escape abusive situations without having to leaving behind their valued pet. The Shade Tree is the first women’s shelter in the western region of the United States to provide an animal sanctuary on its property. In addition to providing shelter, Noah’s Animal House provides vaccinations and optional spaying/neutering at no cost to the pet owner. Fiscal Year 2008 Key Achievements

● Served 3, 526 homeless and abused women and children in crisis

● Provided 70,324 bed nights of safe shelter to our residents

● Provided 70,853 meals to our residents

● 57% of the women completing the Job Development Training found gainful employment.

Having very minimal financial resources for Information Technology, all staff computers have been acquired through community donations. This has presented an intensive effort to build our LAN to accommodate a client information management system (CIMS). Prior to our acquiring Microsoft Visual Studio development tools and Microsoft Office Suite of applications through TechSoup, our CIMS used a marginally developed assortment of products in an effort to coordinate client information sharing between staff.

We were able to secure the services of software developer who was able to utilize the Microsoft Visual Studio suite of products along with Microsoft Access and SQL server, to develop a fully integrated CIMS. Our Bridges© application solution was developed by Construsoft Inc., of Las Vegas. This CIMS, allows us to track and report in real-time the number of units of services provided to our clients. We have developed our Access/SQL application which has provided staff with new management tools for operating a 24hr. day facility. Better coordination of service resources received by clients, and the time required to deliver services. It has promoted efficient coordination with other community service providers; as we reach out to access other services and resources available to meet the diverse needs of our clients.

Our Microsoft based solutions have promoted better case load distribution among case workers, and allowed easier tracking of education, job, and housing services received by clients. Bridges© has decrease the amounts of paper work and dramatically enhanced information management, while providing better follow ups and referrals to outside resources. The Shade Trees management team has easy access to program performance indicators, and outcome criteria needed to improve scope and quality of services.

Bridges© has dramatically reduced times required to complete new client intakes, and eliminated redundant information gathering on individuals and families. More time can now be dedicated by case managers to direct clients’ services, due to integrated access to electronic client information. Bridges© has positively impacted our ability to effortlessly report accurately to grantors and governmental agencies. Through the increased informational efficiencies we were able to increase services, without having to add additional staff, in a time of extreme budgetary constraints.

The Shade Tree desires to develop new applications for touch screen kiosk, so that clients can enter some unattended preliminary information and create a service queue. Since we currently operate in a 3 story facility, we want to put digital readout displays in our primary gathering areas. This would promote better communication with clients, so that they could receive updated timely information; without face-to-face interaction from a staff member.

We are hoping to upgrade our Microsoft Office Suite, and our Windows Servers (OS) and SQL applications. We would like to upgrade our workstations to Microsoft Vista® and the new enhancements it provides. Our future interests are to engineer our CMIS using the Microsoft .NET Framework in order to modernize our web based solutions.

TechSoup and all it’s associated companies and corporate sponsors that supply goods and services, have given The Shade Tree an opportunity to acquire products and services that would have been impossible for us to afford! This has certainly been a blessing for a non-profit agency that survives primarily through private donations and small grants.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery