LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With the county’s 2023 Homeless Census set to be released in the summer, outreach teams across the valley are working hard to get those experiencing homelessness off the streets and into a stable environment.

“It feels good to come back to the streets where I used to run and gun back in the day,” shelter outreach specialist for Vegas Stronger, Alex Cortes said.

“I walk into the encampments, and I give them an opportunity to have a conversation with me,” Darlene Cui, shelter outreach specialist with Vegas Stronger said.

Cortes and Cui are making a difference on Las Vegas Streets. Both are recovering addicts and are now helping those who are just like them, find a way out.

Along with Vegas Stronger’s Outreach program, there’s also the city’s MORE team (Multi-Agency Outreach Resource and Engagement).

MORE team coordinator, Mario Guzman, said their team works seven days a week and the areas they target are always changing.

“The majority of resident complaints are on the east side valley on Bonanza and 28th street, where there are empty lots out and people get comfortable,” Guzman said.

Each year, the County issues a Homeless Census where they go out and count the sheltered and unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness.

Data from 2022 shows the percentages of those experiencing homelessness broken down by subpopulations with over 5,600 people reported as homeless that year. This was done through a homeless point-in-time count. 

The reason for the one-day analysis is that if the county did it throughout the week or months, people who are traveling to different agencies may produce a duplication in the count or over-inflate the numbers.

As for those who are homeless and reported a disabling condition in 2022, the highest percentage were those with substance abuse with mental illness coming in second.

Both Vegas Stronger and the MORE Team work hand in hand and the county has their own CARE team that handles a broader spectrum of areas across Clark County.