In the corner of a former warehouse outfitted with the comforts of home, 21-year-old Tina Harris sits in her hot-pink wheelchair and talks about her goals.
Her wheelchair is parked in the living room, which has a flat-screen TV, butter-colored leather sofas and a coffee table.
Harris, of Carson City, is a client of Reach REM Nevada, a day program for developmentally disabled adults. The business recently finished renovating its 4,000-square-foot office to reflect a more homey feel, something Program Coordinator Sharon Hardin said the previous tenant didn't have. REM Nevada took over the office location and state contract to operate its programs after Trinity Services left Carson City. Reach moved to 2701 Northgate Lane, Suite 1, in mid-July.
REM Nevada is named after its founder, Robert E. Miller, an innovative leader in the field of developmental disabilities. REM Nevada also operates a home and support system for children and adults with special needs.
"We have 14 adults that come on a regular basis," she said. "We help them with enriching their lives and promoting choice. We're a safe environment."
The curriculum, taught by a staff of six, includes workshops on cooking, gardening, computers, current events and client rights.
Harris, who sports a red rose tattoo on her left leg, said she has enjoyed the program since Reach took over in June. She does less television watching and more activities. Harris said she especially enjoys getting out more because Reach has a van to transport clients.
REM invested about $50,000 into the location, the program manager said. That included new carpeting and paint, two computers for clients, an exercise room with an air hockey table, mini trampoline and stationery bike, a sensory room with a stereo and fish tank and a music room with guitars and bongo drums. The karaoke machine was a popular attraction until it broke, said employee Jamie Dyke.
She said the most popular song was "I Love Rock and Roll."
"It's overplayed," Dyke said. "Thank God it's broke."
Harris said she enjoys the computers most of all. She can type her name and her birthday, which was Wednesday. Her goal is to eventually work in a retail store with a job coach.
"I don't care where I work as long as it's a paying job," she said with a wide smile.
Reach operates from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. To contact the business call 841-3111
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.
If you go
What: Open house at Reach REM Nevada for care providers, families and disabled adults
When: 1-6 p.m. Oct. 13
Where: 2701 Northgate Lane
Call: Sharon Hardin at 841-3111
Refreshments will be served