LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — There have been new efforts to help minimize the homeless problem in the valley. Catholic Charities gave 8 News Now a tour of its renovated Emergency Night Shelter for men, filled with new amenities to help get those on the streets back on their feet.
“It’s sad to see all the people on the streets,” said Edward Williams, a homeless resident.
For the last 6 months, Williams has been calling the streets of Las Vegas his home, and he’s not alone. As of February of this year, the census revealed about 56 hundred homeless men and women in Southern Nevada.
“It’s hard because once you get the help, you have to find a place that will accept you. If you are homeless, they tell you we don’t want you because you are homeless,” added Williams.
That’s where Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada has stepped in with their renovated Emergency Night Shelter for men, to help them get off the streets.
“The great thing about those primary needs that we have of food and shelter is that it allows our case managers to get in touch with people and find out where they are at and get them back to be sustainable,” Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada CEO, Steve Schmitt, told 8 News Now.
The project has been underway for the last year and a half, which includes a renovation of their 400 beds, phone charging lockers, fresh paint, and new plumbing.
“This campus is about 20 years old. With the thousands of people that we serve here every night, it gets worn out,” Schmitt explained.
The 2022 census stated that 52 percent of the total homeless population is white and single, and 51 percent are unsheltered. Over the last 7 years, the numbers have risen.
“My wife is here. We were separated. I’m trying to get her back which is why I’m trying to find an apartment,” said Williams.
For Williams, who is a 62-year-old veteran from Indiana, the renovated shelter along Las Vegas Boulevard and Owens has been a blessing.
“All of the homeless really need to know that someone is out there that cares for them.”
There are ways you can help if you see a homeless encampment in your neighborhood. Southern Nevada has a variety of resources for our homeless population from shelters to food assistance, including the FixIt Clark County tool, which allows residents to report quality-of-life issues and request services.
The latest Census report on homelessness in Southern Nevada is provided below.