Mobile crisis unit helps homeless stay safe during monsoon season


Monsoon season is in full swing, and as we’ve seen, flash flooding can happen in an instant.

The floods can be extremely dangerous for the homeless, who often stay in the washes overnight. There are mobile crisis units assigned to help those most at risk stay safe.

HELP of Southern Nevada’s Louis Lacey says that she’s concerned that there’s going to be a [significant] weather event and doesn’t want anyone to drown.

For example, Dennis has been living at the wash near Flamingo Road and Swenson Street for seven months because he lost his job. 

“My paycheck alone wasn’t enough to cover my rent, and I didn’t have no help, nobody helped me,” said Dennis.

HELP of Southern Nevada is a nonprofit that aims to take care of the homeless. Their mobile crisis intervention team spends monsoon season at washes across the valley getting people like Dennis out of harm’s way.

In addition to the floodwaters that will run through washes, the real issue is the debris.  You can often see it from outside of the tunnels. 

“When it floods, this is the stuff that will kill you,” said Lacey. “Walls of debris and material is just flowing through and then what happens is you get hit with all this stuff? You lose your footing, you go under the water, and you may not come back up.”

That is why HELP interacts with over 300 homeless clients, specifically in the tunnels, throughout the Valley.

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