LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In less than three weeks, the city of Las Vegas will start enforcing the city’s new homeless camping ordinance. Several organizations are making sure those living on the streets are informed before it takes effect.
“I was once homeless myself for two years on and off,” recalled David Lock of Real Change for Homeless.
Lock’s life experiences prompted him to create a nonprofit: Real Change for the Homeless.
“We go out, we do outreach and try and get the community as involved as possible,” said Lock.
He said many of the homeless are unaware of Las Vegas’ new camping ordinance.
“A lot of them do not have phones. They do not have access to TV or news or newspapers. Nobody comes and talks to them.” He said he goes out daily to make sure people know, “We want to move them out before the ordinance does take effect and they start getting fines or put in jail.”
On Feb. 1, the city will enforce the ordinance, banning homeless from sleeping on the sidewalks and streets when shelter beds are available. Violators can face a $1,000 fine or six months in jail.
“Every night, we are completely full,” noted Juan Salinas, director of social services for the Salvation Army.
The organization is one of many shelters and has 111 beds. New donations will help the, add nine more to the LGBTQ Center before February.
“Perfect time to be able to do that and be able to offer those services. To us, it is an everyday thing,” Salinas said.
The ACLU is working right now to update their “Know Your Rights” material to include rules of the new ordinance.
“I don’t know if people are admitting it; I think a lot of people are actually scared about it,” revealed Darryl Grimes, who stays at the Salvation Army Shelter.
Grimes said many are still wondering what will happen. “Don’t know if they are even going to fully follow through with it. I am praying that they don’t. I am hoping that they don’t.”
The goal of the ordinance is to help the homeless get off the streets and get connected to resources to help break the cycle of living on the streets.