Las Vegas Sun

September 30, 2014

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Plan set to keep homeless services

A day after a downtown homeless center seemed doomed because Las Vegas voted to end funding, Clark County and two of the larger nonprofits in Southern Nevada drew up a plan to keep the center's services alive.

The plan, by United Way, Catholic Charities and several county officials, will move the most widely used services of the Crisis Intervention Center on Main Street near Owens Avenue to Catholic Charities across the street when the center's money runs out June 30.

Attempts to keep the 9-year-old center open at its current location fell apart Wednesday when the Las Vegas City Council decided by unanimous vote to quit providing city money to the center. Las Vegas owns the land on which the center sits and offered to allow Clark County to use it for $1 a year. The county and city in the past had split the center's costs.

"We accept that the city's going to close (the center) ... but this is a way to go forward," Clark County Manager Thom Reilly said.

The new plan involves moving the county's social service department and the state's welfare and mental health agencies into Catholic Charities as soon as possible. The other five agencies providing services in the one-stop center would be relocated to surrounding shelters in what is known as the homeless corridor, Reilly said.

"We hope to have a place for them to park themselves by June 30," he said.

United Way would then convene the agencies to come up with a long-term plan to determine the future of the concept that led to the center being built in the first place -- providing as many services as possible under one roof. At one time, more than 40 agencies at the center offered services ranging from a computer to counseling.

"Since a long-term strategy has eluded the lead of government agencies, it makes sense to have a core group of people who are providing the services develop a plan and then bring in the private sector, nonprofits, and the government to fund it," Reilly said.

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