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Proposed ordinance hopes to tackle homeless problem in Las Vegas

Don't walk this way: homeless camp takes over pedestrian bridge
Posted at 4:21 PM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 00:44:43-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In just a few weeks you can have your voice heard regarding the latest proposal to tackle the growing homeless problem in the Las Vegas valley.

The City of Las Vegas is trying to move forward with a plan that will aim to get folks off of the streets, with the help of law enforcement.

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If approved, the ordinance would make it a misdemeanor to camp or sleep on sidewalks in downtown and in residential areas if there is space at the Courtyard Homeless Resources Center, or another non-profit service.

“We need a master plan to end this problem,” says Arnold Stalk of Veteran’s Village.

In downtown Las Vegas, Veteran’s Village provides more than 600 homeless folks a safe place to stay a night.

Many, are veterans as well.

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“Your vast majority of people that are homeless do not want to sleep in a shelter, sleep in car, sleep in the hillsides, sleep in the storm drain,” says Stalk.

The 2019 Southern Nevada Homeless Census shows more than 5,200 homeless people on any given day in Clark County.

Stalk knows firsthand how serious homelessness is in the area and says the biggest struggle is finding affordable housing.

In addition to the rooms at Veteran's Village, their next plan is in motion to convert and repurpose ocean containers into houses.

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“This is what's going to solve homelessness, not another Band-Aid or a study or a commission or a report,” says Stalk.

Mayor Carolynn Goodman was not available for an on-camera interview but tells 13 Action News, “The city believes the ordinance will be a benefit to the homeless population, while at the same time protecting the health and safety of the entire community. The city has always demonstrated compassion for the needs of the growing homeless population."

The proposed ordinance will be discussed on Nov. 6.