The city of Las Vegas is studying new ways to connect the homeless community with various social services, which includes efforts to fill available shelter beds.
The Las Vegas City Council will hold a Recommending Committee meeting Oct. 14 where residents can hear firsthand the specifics of a proposed ordinance.
According to a release from the council’s Communications Office, “the proposed ordinance would make it a misdemeanor to camp or sleep in the public right of way, such as a sidewalk, in the downtown and in residential areas if space is available at the Courtyard Homeless Resource Center or another non-profit service provider in the Corridor of Hope. If all beds and spaces are full at the Courtyard and shelters, the ordinance would not be enforced during those periods of the day.”
The Courtyard Homeless Resource Center, located at 314 Foremaster Lane, opened in 2017. It has served more than 6,200 individuals since then.
The services provided at the shelter include “access to housing, medical/mental health services, legal assistance, employment opportunities, income/benefit assistance, food, clothing and additional wraparound services.”
Under the proposed ordinance, law enforcement officers will instruct homeless residents that they are in the public right-of-way and will need to vacate the area. Rather than sending them somewhere else in the city, officers will direct them to the Courtyard or a similar social services agency.
The city has dedicated $16 million to the Courtyard and is drawing additional funding from the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE for campus upgrades and to support the shelter's services.