LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Two years ago, and with only four bags in hand, Navy veteran Shandimar Robinson arrived in Las Vegas.
“I was in a really rough relationship, and I ran away from Baltimore and my niece bought my plane tickets,” Robinson said.
Shortly after arriving, Robinson’s niece moved, and she was left looking for a place to stay.
While attending a Zumba class one day, Robinson says she learned about the North Las Vegas Veterans and Community Resource Center.
“They did help with furniture because when I moved here like I said I didn’t have anything,” she said.
The center, which opened about a year ago, offers resources that have helped rebuild the lives of some veterans who were hitting a wall after serving. Those veterans hope being transparent about their journey will help others get the assistance they deserve.
“I actually run a small business where I resell children’s clothing online. So I come here, I use up their ink and use up their tables because I can do big sales,” Robinson said.
Robinson thanks coordinator and Navy veteran Walter Lescano for not giving up on her.
“Since we opened, we’ve helped over 900 veterans so far in the area,” Lescano said.
The center at 3090 E. Centennial Pkwy., just west of Pecos Road, has become a one-stop shop for veterans.
“Here in North Las Vegas there were really no other resources available,” he said.
The center offers help with housing, education, finances, legal, employment, mental health and wellbeing, as well as providing free weekly workshops.
“So, we have about three to four events here to help our veterans,” Lescano said.
He said the center will eventually get bigger. “The more veterans we help the more space we need,” he said. “Building a brick and mortar building actually that will provide a variety of more resources.”
Lescano said for many, like Marine Corps veteran Stephen Bradley, it’s the only place they have to turn to.
“I showed up around an hour before the place opened because I didn’t have a thing to do that day. I met Walter,” he said. The center provided Bradley with the tools he needed.
“It was going to be my last week until I got evicted from my place,” Bradley said. The help allowed him to get back on track.
“They’re willing to help me out. That’s why I would have people come here,” Bradley said.
“Don’t be shy,” Robinson said. “They are veterans also. They know what you’ve gone through.”