Las Vegas Sun

April 21, 2014

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Group provides ‘touch of love’ for holidays

A Las Vegas organization is making sure homeless teens have shelter and gifts for the holidays.

Just A Touch Of Love is a nonprofit organization that partners with HELP of Southern Nevada and other programs throughout the valley. It was created by Shonna McKnight-Polk last year to provide teens help, including medical care.

The organization also helps pregnant teens find low-cost prenatal care.

McKnight-Polk said she decided to name the organization Just A Touch Of Love because so many teens do not receive unconditional love from family members.

“I love working with youth and showing them things they’ve never seen before,” McKnight-Polk said. “There aren’t a lot of programs that do what we do.”

After spending five years as a foster parent, McKnight-Polk said she decided to develop the program. She said she networked with local apartment complexes and now provides apartments to teens at no cost for 30 days. During that time, she said, she helps the teens find a job so they can afford $200 a month for rent.

McKnight-Polk said she will be handing out gifts to the teens and spending time with them on Christmas Eve.

“A lot of them are excited because if it wasn’t for the program, they wouldn’t have anywhere to be,” McKnight-Polk said.

Last year, the organization hosted a dinner for the teens, but this year it has expanded to more than 50 clients, so gifts and necessities will be given out instead, McKnight-Polk said.

For more information or to donate, visit the group's Web site at justatouchoflove.com.

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