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October 24, 2014

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Count of Las Vegas-area homeless shows numbers dwindling

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Leila Navidi

A woman sleeping on A Street is counted by volunteers conducting a census of the homeless in Clark County in downtown Las Vegas early in the morning on Thursday, January 24, 2013.

Homeless Census 2013

Volunteers conduct a census of the homeless in Clark County on A Street and Washington Avenue in downtown Las Vegas early in the morning on Thursday, January 24, 2013. Launch slideshow »

The number of homeless in Clark County continues to decrease following record levels in 2009.

The results of the 2013 Homeless Census and Survey released on Thursday revealed that there are 7,355 homeless people in Nevada, including 3,034 unsheltered homeless, Clark County spokeswoman Stacey Welling said. However, the survey estimated that 33,882 people in Southern Nevada experienced homelessness at least once during the previous year.

Volunteers and the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition's Committee on Homelessness officials spent two days in January counting homeless throughout the county. They saw thousands of men and women sleeping on sidewalks, next to railroad tracks and in back alleys, said Tyrone Thompson, the regional initiatives coordinator for the coalition, in a press release.

Yet the data also showed that the county has seen a 45 percent decline in homeless over the past four years, following a record-high 13,338 homeless in 2009, Welling said. Programs and services from the state, local government and nonprofits have helped place more people in homes and assist the homeless, Welling said.

“The results of the 2013 homeless census show that we have made great strides in our efforts to help families and individuals get back on their feet, but there is still a lot more work to be done,” Thompson said.

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  1. I don't believe these statistics. Because they are based on somebody driving around and counting people who are sleeping on sidewalks and park benches.

    To prove my point, I spent almost two years documenting the "squatters" who took up residence in a house outside the north wall of my community, desperately trying to get someone to boot them out. The population of these "squatters" was anywhere from 5 to 10 people at all times living in this small house. They were homeless. They didn't rent from the owner. The owner didn't occupy the house. He lived out of State.

    Those people victimized our community by trying to steal water, cut through our gated community as a shortcut to get somewhere else, threw stuff at our residents, cursed at our residents, stole from them, destroyed our property, broke windows, and tried to break into places.

    Finally, Metro PD cleared them out. After paying attention to my letters to them. And from other surrounding residents in homes around them.

    Even after clearing them out, other homeless who travel came by thinking they could still live there. They, in turn, were chased away.

    My community has returned to normal. FINALLY.

    I guarantee you those people were not counted in this homeless tally for Las Vegas.

    I guess what I'm saying is that people need to pay attention to their communities. Or you will face what we faced here in northeast Las Vegas.

    I hate to say it, but I don't feel sorry for the plight of the homeless. Not after how a few terrorized our community for years. And I guarantee that, as I'm typing this comment, other communities in Las Vegas are facing the same stuff that we have experienced.

    I've always said that if you want to be a community, you have to ACT like a community. And I guarantee that if you do that, the county officials and police will bend over backwards to help you.