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Las Vegas Homeless Ordinance

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Today the LV city council is voting on a new ordinance to ban "camping" on the public right of ways and other things that homeless people generally need to do, as long as there are beds in shelters available.  Some call it criminalizing homelessness.  Anyway, a very heated discussion is taking place at council right now about this. Personally, I'm torn on the ordinance and issue. I live on the edge of downtown and every day see the increased crime and garbage the homeless are bringing into to my neighborhood.  Nobody wants that but I feel like for this to be enforced with any morality at all, the city needs to provide proper services for shelter, rehabilitation, health, etc. Would like to hear the thoughts of our esteemed peanut gallery.

https://livestream.com/cityoflasvegas/events/8869289

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Same problem here in Spokane (and everywhere out west besides maybe Boise).  The 9th circuit ruled it unconstitutional to criminalize camping if no shelters were available - which IMO created a pretty big problem.  There are already tons of services for the homeless community and there isn't a solution to the homelessness problem. The individuals in the situation need to take care of themselves, whether that means overcoming laziness to get a job, or taking their required mental health medications to function normally, or having the desire to get clean from drug and alcohol abuse.  

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Same problem in Portland. As long as not enough shelter space is available, banning public sleeping is unconstitutional, so the cities will have to step up their affordable housing/shelter game. That said, I have very little sympathy for those homeless who camp in parks, residential neighborhoods, on public lands etc. and make a giant mess. I get that public shelters aren't for everyone, so my preferred solution in areas with friendly climate would be designated camping zones that provide basic sanitation, security, and a mailing address for people.

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1 hour ago, bsu_alum9 said:

Same problem here in Spokane (and everywhere out west besides maybe Boise).  The 9th circuit ruled it unconstitutional to criminalize camping if no shelters were available - which IMO created a pretty big problem.  There are already tons of services for the homeless community and there isn't a solution to the homelessness problem. The individuals in the situation need to take care of themselves, whether that means overcoming laziness to get a job, or taking their required mental health medications to function normally, or having the desire to get clean from drug and alcohol abuse.  

I think that's where lv is at. There are services but the homeless are not using them. I think these ordinances are a way of saying you cannot choose to be on the street and be an economic and safety burden in this manner. 

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34 minutes ago, I am Ram said:

Same problem in Portland. As long as not enough shelter space is available, banning public sleeping is unconstitutional, so the cities will have to step up their affordable housing/shelter game. That said, I have very little sympathy for those homeless who camp in parks, residential neighborhoods, on public lands etc. and make a giant mess. I get that public shelters aren't for everyone, so my preferred solution in areas with friendly climate would be designated camping zones that provide basic sanitation, security, and a mailing address for people.

Lv has a place like that. They provide security, showers and other services. Many homeless choose the streets. The city wants to force them to the courtyard, as they call it.

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1 hour ago, toonkee said:

Today the LV city council is voting on a new ordinance to ban "camping" on the public right of ways and other things that homeless people generally need to do, as long as there are beds in shelters available.  Some call it criminalizing homelessness.  Anyway, a very heated discussion is taking place at council right now about this. Personally, I'm torn on the ordinance and issue. I live on the edge of downtown and every day see the increased crime and garbage the homeless are bringing into to my neighborhood.  Nobody wants that but I feel like for this to be enforced with any morality at all, the city needs to provide proper services for shelter, rehabilitation, health, etc. Would like to hear the thoughts of our esteemed peanut gallery.

https://livestream.com/cityoflasvegas/events/8869289

It’s a mental health crisis and not so much housing. If you fix the mental issues they can work and pay for their own apartment. 

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27 minutes ago, Nevada Convert said:

It’s a mental health crisis and not so much housing. If you fix the mental issues they can work and pay for their own apartment. 

Yes, but can you force a person to get help?

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No, but you can still help a lot of them with incentives to talk to counselors leading to treatment that don’t cost a lot. 

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1 hour ago, toonkee said:

Lv has a place like that. They provide security, showers and other services. Many homeless choose the streets. The city wants to force them to the courtyard, as they call it.

I support the requirement that public  housing be available to homeless, but like you said, many of them would rather live on the street.

I would support the proposed legislation in my community, under those conditions.

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59 minutes ago, Nevada Convert said:

It’s a mental health crisis and not so much housing. If you fix the mental issues they can work and pay for their own apartment. 

It's both.  We have a housing shortage and much upward pressure on housing costs.  In fact southern nevada is the worst metro area in the country for low income housing affordability. 

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2 hours ago, Nevada Convert said:

It’s a mental health crisis and not so much housing. If you fix the mental issues they can work and pay for their own apartment. 

It is at least in part a mental health crisis, but mental health is only part of the picture. There are plenty of people managing a rough and very complex life on the streets without any major mental health issues. Cost of living plays a major role. If this weren't the case, homelessness wouldn't have skyrocketed as it has in recent years. Our mental healthcare system has sucked for a long time, but housing prices have gone up and up in recent years. When I moved to Portland in 2005, my wife and I paid $600 for a modest one-bedroom apartment. Now the same place is $1,100.

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3 hours ago, toonkee said:

Lv has a place like that. They provide security, showers and other services. Many homeless choose the streets. The city wants to force them to the courtyard, as they call it.

And LV can't crack down on them because the space that's offered isn't enough? Portland has gotten increasingly tough on public camping after growing pressure from businesses and residents. ODOT is going as far to put boulders underneath overpasses to discourage camping there. Band Aids, but it seems to work in those places. 

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Just now, I am Ram said:

And LV can't crack down on them because the space that's offered isn't enough? Portland has gotten increasingly tough on public camping after growing pressure from businesses and residents. ODOT is going as far to put boulders underneath overpasses to discourage camping there. Band Aids, but it seems to work in those places. 

Well that's what the ordinance is supposed to do.  The courtyard is not up to capacity. 

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2 minutes ago, toonkee said:

Well that's what the ordinance is supposed to do.  The courtyard is not up to capacity. 

Does the "courtyard" have any rules? Like no drugs or alcohol?

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1 minute ago, renoskier said:

Does the "courtyard" have any rules? Like no drugs or alcohol?

They actually can bring those things in.

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13 minutes ago, I am Ram said:

It is at least in part a mental health crisis, but mental health is only part of the picture. There are plenty of people managing a rough and very complex life on the streets without any major mental health issues. Cost of living plays a major role. If this weren't the case, homelessness wouldn't have skyrocketed as it has in recent years. Our mental healthcare system has sucked for a long time, but housing prices have gone up and up in recent years. When I moved to Portland in 2005, my wife and I paid $600 for a modest one-bedroom apartment. Now the same place is $1,100.

Well yeah, it doesn’t make any sense for homeless to be in Venice Beach or San Fran. They should be moved to more affordable areas and be treated and housed in expensive places. There’s lots of cheap land & space in eastern CA. 

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Boise has quite a few shelters. There are homeless, but it doesn’t seem to be a pervasive problem. Probably too cold at least from October to April. The last few years rents have started to climb higher. Maybe things will get worse.

If space is available in shelters, I wouldn’t have an issue passing an anti camping ordinance. 

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2 hours ago, toonkee said:

It's both.  We have a housing shortage and much upward pressure on housing costs.  In fact southern nevada is the worst metro area in the country for low income housing affordability. 

It has nothing to do with housing shortage or prices.

It is all about mental health.  

Reagan destroyed the mental health system his first year in office.   That created the homeless problem.  Acerbated the drug crime problem as people self medicate.  Led to our problem with mass shootings.

 

Like babies though the mentally ill don't vote, so democrats don't care.  They are lucky they are not being aborted.

This is one issue the republicans can point at, to act like they are concerned with over spending.   As no one especially democrats will hold them accountable.

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I know Sacramento just recently approved a huge piece of land where they will allow camping, and eventually build some permanent shelters. Seems like a solid first step.

 

I'm just disjointed at this not becoming a major federal issue. Mental health and homelessness has not even been mentioned in any of the democratic debates. These problems are too large for cities and counties to solve (many of them in cities where people making 50k can't afford to live, let alone a schizophrenic drug addict).

 

Our mental health system needs so much reform, and so many of the people living on our streets need to be in institutions. Its a conversation we need to be having, because many of our major west coast cities are looking worse than true 3rd world countries.

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It is the same problem in every city.  Bums gravitate to those areas where they can get a free meal.  All cities have various groups that provide meals and assistance whether it is a church or concerned citizens.  Little towns don't have those types of resources.  In the rural areas the bums would have to depend on the kindness of strangers.  In the cities there are known groups who provide kindness to strangers.  

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