Austin’s House celebrates 10 years |

Austin’s House celebrates 10 years

Rick Lusby
The Denim & Diamonds fundraiser is one of Austin's House biggest fundraisers of the year.

Austin’s House, formerly known as Carson Valley Children’s Center, is entering its 11th year. Austin’s House provides emergency shelter for children who have been separated from their parents or legal guardians because of neglect or abuse.

Austin’s House is licensed by the State of Nevada and is the only shelter of its kind in rural Nevada. Children from Douglas, Lyon, Storey, and Carson City counties are provided safe and compassionate care in the facility located in north Douglas County.

This year has been very busy with the longtime Executive Director Kathleen Miller retiring after 9 years of dedicated service. Miller had been involved with Austin’s House from the beginning and worked diligently to better the care for the children and create a wonderful environment for the staff. Her unselfish dedication is greatly appreciated, and the staff and Board of Directors wish her the best in her future endeavors.

Austin’s House proudly welcomes its new Executive Director, Marla Morris. Marla comes to Austin’s House from the State of Nevada Division of Child and Family Services where she worked from 1995 to 2017. She and her family have lived in the Carson Valley for over 30 years, so she comes with a deep love for her community and its residents. Marla is already taking Austin’s House to the next level making positive changes that are boosting the energy and positive environment for the community’s children. She added five new staff members bringing the fulltime count of caregivers to nine. Austin’s House is very fortunate to have Marla’s expertise and commitment in directing the daily operations of the home.

Since Austin’s House opened its doors in September 2007, it has provided compassionate care for over 500 children. The facility was beginning to show the wear and tear of its intended use, so a facelift was begun in January to include new paint, new furniture for the offices, living rooms, family visitation areas, and the kitchen/dining area, as well as new carpeting throughout. The children have shown great appreciation for the new look and feel of a “home away from home.” Along with the facelift, several kitchen appliances whirred for the last time and had to be replaced. This included a new dishwasher, freezer, refrigerator, and stove.

In May, Terry Palmitier retired from the Board of Directors. Terry is a founding member of Austin’s House and was a member of the Board from the very beginning. Austin’s House has been the safe haven it is due in part to Terry’s dedication the children of rural Nevada all these years. Austin’s House is very grateful for her support, guidance, and the countless hours of work she gave to Austin’s House and is forever indebted to her service.

The Board of Directors invite you to visit the new website, and see firsthand the difference Austin’s House is making in the community. Austin’s House is a 501(3)c non-profit corporation and is overseen by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. Austin’s House is currently looking to fill several vacancies; additional information on how to apply is available on the website.

Austin’s House would not be able to continually operate all these years without the outpouring support of the community. A very special thank you goes out to each of you who donate time and money each year to help keep up with daily operations. Separation from one’s parent or guardian is traumatizing; Austin’s House strives to provide a warm and caring transition until children are reunited with their families or placed in alternate care.

Rick Lusby is president of the Austin’s House board of directors.