weather icon Clear

Pahrump nonprofit gets upgraded through grant from Home Depot

A nonprofit organization in Pahrump is planning the next stages of its growth after a grant helped with upgrading its existing space on the north end of town.

Living Free Health and Fitness, a nonprofit in Pahrump, had more than three dozen volunteers from the community and Home Depot donate their time to upgrading the organization, focused on addiction rehabilitation services, in early August.

The organization was granted $7,500 in materials by the Home Depot Foundation to build the group rooms at the organization’s office space at 2050 N. Highway 160, Suites 600-700, at Mesquite Avenue and Highway 160, behind the Horizon Market.

“They’re basically group rooms, so we’ll have clinical groups in here,” said Shelley Poerio, CEO and founder of Living Free Health and Fitness. “We’ll have education groups. We’ll host sober social support—like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings.”

With the upgraded space, Poerio will also be able to offer more support for adolescents.

Several businesses in the Pahrump area have made the project possible, too: Ken Murphy of Shadow Mountain Construction; Royce Avena of Avena and Sons Electric; and Lou Banuelos of P-Town Air Conditioning, according to information from Poerio.

Home Depot Foundation

Several volunteers from the local Home Depot store came out to help with the upgrade project in Pahrump, including Teresa Aukeman, store manager at the Pahrump location.

Aukeman estimated that there were about 37 volunteers on-site during the project on Aug. 7.

The Home Depot Foundation services “35,000 veterans, and we’ve got $85 million set aside for grants,” Aukeman said. This is the annual budget on the national side, she said.

Living Free isn’t the only project Home Depot has done locally.

The foundation’s grant money has gone to projects at the VFW in Pahrump and the Freedom Reins Ranch, also in Pahrump, among other projects.

“If they come in and let us know that they’re a nonprofit 501 (c)(3), we will work with them any way we can,” Aukeman said.


Among the crowd of volunteers for the project was a trio of women staying at Living Free’s sober living house in Pahrump. The sober living house is for individuals with drug or alcohol abuse.

One woman, Kimberlee Koehler, talked about the program offered by Living Free positively. Koehler said she’s stayed in other facilities over the years in her battle with heroin addiction and other drug abuse.

“This one (sober home) is actually one of the better ones that I’ve been to,” Koehler said. “I’ve been to a couple of rehabs, a couple of sober living houses in Las Vegas, and their really nowhere near this type. It was really bad.”

Koehler said she experienced homes that were overcrowded and encountered individuals that didn’t seem to want to get better in some of these previous environments.

“A lot of the girls here (Pahrump), they actually want to change,” she said. “They want to stay sober and be good, productive people.”

The nonprofit also offers a sober living home in Pahrump for men.

“You are seeking a safe environment with programming, structure and supervision as a way to get your life back on track … and keep it that way!” the organization’s website stated.

According to Living Free’s website, the sober living houses offer a “comprehensive enrichment program delivering proprietary, evidence-based education, lifestyle and life skills curriculum supervised and managed by a licensed clinician.”

A closer look

Poerio founded Living Free in 2013 “after researching — and observing — the benefits nutrition and exercise can have on helping people stay stopped,” according to Living Free’s website.

According to the website, the program has worked for many people, including Poerio, who has been sober since Sept. 5, 2001.

Poerio has been a clinician since 2009 and has experience as a securities brokerage principal and worked as a principal of several small businesses in the District of Columbia.

Poerio wrote a book, “Rebalancing the Addictive Mind: Beating Addiction with Exercise and Nutrition.”

For general information about Living Free, head to livingfreehealth.org or call 775-505-1625.

For information on the sober living houses, call 702-600-2527 or write an email to shelley@livingfreehealth.org

Living Free does an abundance of community service work, according to Poerio.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @MeehanLv

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Pahrump Fairgrounds water applications protested by Great Basin Water Co.

For more than a decade and a half, the town of Pahrump has been working toward development of a huge patch of land with the ultimate goal of turning 427 acres of property into a major recreation facility, the Pahrump Fairgrounds.

Pahrump parcel fee hike overturned by Nye commissioners

Many Pahrump area property owners have been angry these past few weeks about a future hike in the per parcel fee assessed on their property taxes. And owners haven’t been shy about expressing their frustrations either.

Nevada 2020 Democratic caucus includes early voting option

The Nevada 2020 Democratic Caucus, the “First in the West” as it is proudly being hailed, is just over a month away, and the Nevada Democratic Party is preparing for the major undertaking that will help decide the Democratic presidential nomination.

Tourism Commission recommends candidates to lead agency

The Nevada Commission on Tourism has recommended two candidates from Northern Nevada to direct the agency that has been without a leader for more than two years.

Army veteran receives Silver Star medal – 50 years later

The forbidding jungle, hot and steamy on an early March day, shrouded the movement for the North Vietnamese Army as they infiltrated the border from Cambodia to South Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

Nye County employee faces theft, embezzlement charges

A longtime employee in the Nye County Juvenile Probation Department is facing at least three theft-related felonies for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 from the department.

Former Pahrump Arts Council official arrested

The former president of the Pahrump Arts Council was arrested in early January on suspicion of embezzlement. Kristin Swan also was arrested on suspicion of obtaining money under false pretenses and theft, between $640 and $3,500, according to information from the the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.

Nevada redistricting group files amended petition

A group seeking to turn the once-a-decade process of redistricting political lines in Nevada over to a commission rather than the Legislature has refiled a petition with the secretary of state, after a judge ruled the original was misleading.

After roughly a century, bighorn sheep return to Pyramid Lake

Nevada state officials and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe worked to reintroduce desert bighorn sheep to the hills above the lake Monday, the first time since the early 1900s that they’ve been seen in the area 50 miles north of Reno.