The Fernley Reporter
USDA Rural Development has announced that Community Chest of Storey County has received a $375,000 Direct Loan from the Community Facility program to purchase and renovate a new office in Fernley located at 415 U.S. Highway 95A South.
“I am proud to see our agency funding work to help build and sustain strong families and communities in such a direct way,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Phil Cowee. “This is an agency that educates youth, provides counseling, and helps with job placement. They are passionate about their work, and we are proud to help them succeed.”
The interior of the building, which was previously a beauty salon, is now a bright, cheerful open office, with lots of space in a comfortable and professional setting.
The small staff of five had been renting an 80—square foot-office space, but now have expanded operations to include a classroom for youth education, multiple private offices for counseling, a computer kiosk for job searches, and a thrift store and food bank.
Erik Schoen, Community Chest Director said the expanded space provided by the purchase of the building is the difference between night and day.
“This will allow us the opportunity to provide blended services — mental health, education, case management, employment training, and more — under one roof,” Schoen said. “We were only able to see approximately 15 clients a month in our old office space; and now, the sky’s the limit.”
The loan is one of nearly 400 projects that USDA invested in to provide essential services for more than 7 million people in rural areas across the country in fiscal year 2017. USDA infused $1.5 billion into rural areas in 2017 through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program for projects such as schools, libraries, municipal centers, first responder vehicles and equipment, social service buildings, recreational activities and other community needs.
“Partnering with our small towns and cities to support essential services that rural residents need is one way USDA is facilitating prosperity in rural America,” Perdue said. “USDA’s investments will help communities significantly improve their schools, hospitals and public safety facilities, and improve the quality of life.”
Community Chest is a non-profit agency that has served Storey, Lyon and Nye County children and families since 1991, providing a variety of counseling programs, education and mentoring and employment placement services. With the help of volunteers, agency staff, and public and private revenues, Community Chest develops, offers, and sponsors services that provide a family support network.