LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – As the Las Vegas Mayor called for more homeless shelters across the Las Vegas Valley, FOX5 checked with cities and Clark County during the annual “Homeless Census” to see how local jurisdictions are stepping up to handle the issue in their communities.
In the State of the City address on January 12, Mayor Carolyn Goodman called for the Courtyard to be “replicated” across the Valley and Nevada, describing the city’s facility as a “master plan” to address the Valley’s growing homeless population.
Goodman said not one area should “take over all unhoused people, or you will end up like Skid Row in L.A.”
“We cannot have that here and we won’t, and your council won’t allow it,” Goodman said in her address. The largest homeless facility in Southern Nevada has 550 beds, medical resources and other services. According to city officials, no person is turned away from the facility. The city has expanded services and space since it was created in 2017.
“We know that the homeless or unhoused live without boundaries are in our hospitality corridors, in and out of our business centers, moving into our residential areas…People cannot be left like animals without help and without hope. The entire country is experiencing this challenge. No one area can or should be responsible for the totality here in Southern Nevada,” Goodman said. “The need is growing and more clinics must be prepared and plan for beyond those currently operational in the Corridor of Hope. It will take all of us and we’re committed to it,” she said.
Thursday, as Clark County conducted its annual Homeless Census, FOX5 checked in with jurisdictions on their efforts. Clark County has recorded a rise in the number of unhoused people Valleywide three years in a row.
“[Homelessness] seems more visible this year than in previous years,” Chair Tick Segerblom said about the issue. FOX5 met up with him the day before on Wednesday as he addressed a group of Commercial Center business owners who wanted answers on what can be done about a growing homeless encampment.
“We need places where you can go like my Navigation Center. Hopefully we have several of those around the Valley as intake places,” Segerblom said. Clark County has been converting unused hotels into homeless shelters, and recently converted a property off Boulder Highway into a shelter with beds and services. The unhoused can walk up off the street and get help, Segerblom said.
“We need to have transitional housing where they can go or transitional services. Lots of government, lots of private industry are working together to try to figure out a solution. The legislature gave us $100 million, so we do have a starting point,” he said. “[Facilities] need to be spread around the Valley. They can’t just be in poor neighborhoods. Henderson needs to have one. Summerlin needs to have one. Southwest Clark County needs to have one; Las Vegas could have one in the Northwest. The county could put another one in the Northeast. The impact is minimized wherever they are, because there’s more of them, but also that we share the burden,” Segerblom said.
A timeframe for new centers is unknown, but Segerblom said Clark County has a window of two years to utilize funding.
North Las Vegas sent FOX5 this statement:
“Building upon its dedication to addressing homelessness, the City of North Las Vegas is actively exploring new opportunities to enhance support for the community’s homeless population. In addition to the completion of the Annual Homeless Census Count, the City is focused on implementing initiatives that provide immediate assistance and pave the way for sustainable solutions. In 2022, the City took a significant step forward by opening the Veterans Community Resource Center, catering to the needs of veterans and all community members, including the unhoused. The center serves as a hub for various resources and support services, contributing to the City’s comprehensive approach to homelessness. The City of North Las Vegas is forward-thinking and has plans to open additional types of community centers in the future. These centers will serve as crucial hubs for providing assistance, resources, and support to individuals experiencing homelessness.
Responding to the immediate needs of homeless individuals, the City of North Las Vegas launched an emergency shelter program in 2023. This program allows for the swift placement of homeless individuals into temporary housing while they work on developing an exit plan out of homelessness. Last year, the City of North Las Vegas was able to house over 50 homeless individuals into permanent, sustainable housing. The new initiative reflects our commitment to providing immediate relief and support to those in crisis while simultaneously focusing on long-term solutions.
The City of North Las Vegas is actively engaged in expanding the range of services offered to unhoused individuals. Recognizing the diverse needs of this vulnerable population, the City is committed to going beyond referrals and is continuously working to create impactful initiatives.The City of North Las Vegas hosts quarterly events that serve as a centralized platform to bring together various homeless resources in one designated place. The most recent event, held in January, saw collaboration with 48 community partners, resulting in assistance provided to 267 individuals. The event addressed a wide range of needs, including housing, substance abuse, mental health, employment, clothing, and health insurance. Additionally, The Southern Nevada Health District administered 22 flu vaccines and 33 COVID boosters. Hope Christian Health also conducted 102 HIV tests.
Acknowledging that unhoused individuals may reside in various locations, including tunnels, washes, parks, streets, and deserts, the City’s street outreach team (HOME Team) takes a proactive approach. Beyond providing referrals, the team conducts housing assessments for Clark County’s community queue for housing programs. Moreover, the team distributes essential items such as clothing and hygiene kits directly to individuals where they reside. City of North Las Vegas officials are committed to ongoing collaboration with community partners, service providers, and stakeholders to explore innovative ways to expand and enhance homeless services. The goal is to ensure that the City’s efforts are not only comprehensive but also adaptable to the evolving needs of the unhoused population.”
The City of Henderson sent FOX5 this statement:
“The City of Henderson responds to homelessness in various ways, including regional collaboration and funding support for joint jurisdictional services. Additionally, we established the Henderson Homeless Response Team (HHRT) in 2021, which has assisted more than 500 unhoused individuals, placing approximately 100 individuals in emergency lodging the City has partnered with. It often takes numerous encounters to build rapport and eventually make the proper service connections, whether it be housing assistance, behavioral health services, food assistance, substance abuse treatment, recovery services, etc.
The City of Henderson also participated in the regional 2024 Point in time Count (PIT) by hosting a Henderson Deployment Site staffed by employees to accurately measure the current homeless issue and quantify our needs and future requests for additional funding.
The City of Henderson’s homeless outreach will continue to evolve alongside the unique needs of our community.”
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