Business owners fight growing tent city in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - Five makeshift homes built from scrap wood and other materials have taken over a vacant lot near a Las Vegas shopping center.

Business owners in the Historic Commercial Center District say the homeless who have slowly built their camp are driving away business.

"Within the first week or two our customers were coming in asking if it was safe," Paula Sadler, owner of A Harmony Nail Spa said.

Sadler said the camp started off small with a couple shopping carts but didn’t stay that way for long as more people moved onto the vacant lot near Sahara Avenue and Maryland Parkway.

"Every day it was getting larger and larger," Sadler said.

The business owners have since reached out to the property manager and the county.

Clark County Code Enforcement has opened a case on the property and is working to get the camp moved.

An employee at the property management company said they should have everything cleared early next week.

The employee said they are moving a little slower to allow the county and police to offer those on the property services to help keep them off the street, adding they don’t want to push the group to another property to inconvenience others.

Those who have been carefully crafting the makeshift homes say they are already packing their shopping carts knowing their days are numbered.

"They did give us fair warning and I appreciate that," a homeless man named Charles told 13 Action News. "30 days is a darn good run."

Many on the property said they will likely be heading to another location to set up a similar camp when they are finally forced to leave saying they find it safer and cleaner to live in places like their makeshift homes than in the apartments or rooms they can afford.

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