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City Council To Hear First Reading Of New Ordinance Designed To Connect Homeless With Services And Off The Streets

Ordinance To Be Introduced At Oct. 2 City Council Meeting, Discussion And Action Will Not Occur Before Oct. 14 Recommending Committee Meeting

A new ordinance aimed at getting the city’s homeless population off the streets and connected with services is scheduled to be introduced at the Wednesday, Oct. 2, City Council meeting. The ordinance is not on the agenda for discussion or action by the City Council, but will be open for public discussion at the Oct. 14 Recommending Committee meeting.

If approved, 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 then the ordinance would not be enforced during those periods of the day.

If approved, law enforcement will be able to notify individuals that they are in a right-of-way and direct them to services at the Courtyard and other providers. Proliferation of homeless individuals in public rights-of-way has resulted in hygiene and sanitation issues, often around businesses and food processing locations.

The city of Las Vegas is committed to helping connect homeless individuals and families with needed services to help them break the cycle of homelessness. Since August of 2017 when the Courtyard opened at 314 Foremaster Lane, more than 28,000 requests for services have been taken. In July of 2019 alone, city staff assisted more than 1,400 individuals at the Courtyard.

The Courtyard is an example of an innovative public-private partnership and convenes a range of service providers to assist homeless clients with access to housing, medical/mental health services, legal assistance, employment opportunities, income/benefit assistance, food, clothing and additional wraparound services.

The city of Las Vegas has committed $16 million to develop and launch The Courtyard, and the long-term plan includes infrastructure such as shade structures, new building construction, beds, landscaping and furniture to outfit a range of spaces from a clinic and kitchen to case management offices. In addition, a portion of this plan includes operational costs such as medical care, intake, social services, security and housing services. Additional funding through the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE will support capital and programming costs to ensure a wide range of services to meet the needs of all individuals and families experiencing homelessness in our community 365 days a year.

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