LAS VEGAS — This month's Vegas Stronger Champion helps families with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Diagnosing and treating intellectual and developmental disabilities is the goal of the Collaboration Center, housed on a former horse ranch in the Southwest Valley.
"Some could have autism, they could have Down Syndrome, they could have cerebral palsy, they could have spina bifida, they could have dyslexia," Collaboration Center Foundation co-founder Lynda Tache explained to Channel 13. "We all need to work together because the needs are so great to serve everyone living or touched by intellectual, developmental, learning, or physical disabilities."
A tortoise rescue habitat, a handicapped-accessible working garden, and a playground dot the five-acre campus. The goal is to make the Collaboration Center an enjoyable place to spend time as it serves as a one-stop shop for families in need of resources. There's even a café staffed by Lynda's son Grant, who holds the title of Chief Inspiration Officer.
"This is something that I kind of wish I had growing up," Grant told Channel 13. "I really do love working here, and this is a good outlet for people wanting to get services and other stuff for their kids."
Pathways staffers help families navigate the system to find resources for a variety of disabilities.
"Because there is a lack of services, a lack of providers, a lack of diagnosing providers for kids who need a diagnosis," explained Pathways Coordinator Mayela Rodriguez, "our job is to alleviate that pain for families by helping them scout the community and providing them what is there to offer."
Boys Town Nevada is one of those partners, performing on-site diagnoses for autism and neurological conditions, so kids and their families can then get support. John Etzell is their executive director and is excited to be a part of the Collaboration Center.
"All the other six organizations that are partnering here are coming together to work together, to help solve a problem, to help solve a need for families so they only have to go to one place," Etzell told Channel 13. "So they're not driving from Henderson to North Las Vegas to Summerlin for doctor's appointments, activities, and therapies that their kids may have."
For their hard work, the Collaboration Center is this month's Vegas Stronger Champion, recognized by Findlay Automotive Group's Jeff Giles with a donation check.
"It's so great to be here at the Collaboration Center and understanding more about what you do making a one-stop shop for so many different charities for families that have different needs, so you're not driving across town, but to be able to come one place in a beautiful location and to have everything all at once. We want to highlight you as our Vegas Stronger Champion for creating this amazing place," Giles said.
"We appreciate the support," replied Collaboration Center co-founder Lynda Tache. "This is a big undertaking to serve so many families in Nevada that have different disabilities, and we need everyone's support. And we can't do it without you and everybody else that comes alongside us. We're really excited to keep serving the families in our community."