27 Feb Las Vegas purchases homeless encampment and transforms it into $5.9million Corridor of Hope shelter with courtyard, bathrooms, sleeping mats and meals
While many cities are clearing out unofficial homeless camps, Las Vegas is making its infamous vagrant strip permanent, re-branding it as the Corridor of Hope.
The city will transform Foremaster Lane, just two miles from downtown Vegas, into a campus for the homeless with an open-air courtyard for setting up camp, bathrooms, structures for shade, sleeping mats, and storage space as well as employment and mental health services.
The city will spend $5.9million to build the campus with the hope of helping the displaced in need of mental health services and support, back on their feet.
Las Vegas has the eighth largest homeless popular in the US.
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In May Las Vegas purchased vagrant strip Foremaster Lane with plans to transform it into a homeless shelter and services center called Corridor of Hope
Las Vegas has the eighth largest homeless population in the US, one vagrant is pictured above in 2013, and has invested $5.9million into the Corridor of Hope city plan
Homeless people have set up camp along the streets of Las Vegas, such as in this image from 2011, with Foremaster Lane being a popular space for displaced citizens
Many homeless live walking distance from the casinos in downtown Las Vegas, such as in this photo from 2011. Foremaster Lane just 1.7miles away from the city center
The council map plan shows in yellow the charities partnering with the city, in green the land owned by the city, orange those in purchasing process, and in blue the areas of interest
Nevada’s head-on tackle of the city’s homelessness problem is a sharp contrast from the array of cities shooing vagrants from loitering and setting up camp.
The Las Vegas council seeks to break the cycle of homelessness with the ‘one-stop shop with access to medical, housing and employment services through a variety partners’ according to the council website.
Former oil executive and millionaire William E. Greehey helped finance the Have for Hope
The Corridor of Hope was approved by city council last May, and was inspired by multi-million homeless shelter called Haven for Hope in San Antonio, according to Next City.
It is expected to open in March.
Haven for Hope, partially financed by oil magnate William E. Greehey, was created in 2010.
The 23-acre homeless shelter cost $101million and addresses homelessness through mental health and medical services to break the cycle of homelessness, drug use, and incarceration.
The Haven has a open courtyard and a dormitory for those the drug and alcohol-free, as well as medical, dental and mental health services.
Vegas officials visited the facility last year and soon after proposed plans to create a similar program.
‘It is a service center,’ Kathi Thomas-Gibson, the city’s manager of community resources, said to Next City.
‘One of the services might be that you need someplace to be overnight, but the intention is that homeless individuals get connected to the services that can help break the barriers to ending their homelessness,’ she added.
Foremaster Lane in Vegas has become a vagrant hot spot due to its proximity to the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities.
Currently the city is buying property on the lane to expand the strip into a homeless services campus.
Some social services are already at work in the area but the expansion will bring more including showers and housing.
The Haven for Hope campus in San Antonio, Texas includes several painted buildings that provide services for medicine, dental work, and mental health
The Haven shared this image of volunteers working in the Haven for Hope kitchen in Texas
Another social media image reveals the wardrobes available for the Haven residents to peruse
Hundreds of shoes are displayed in a large donation to campus and reveal a glimpse and the many people who take refuge in the Haven for Hope program
By May the Corridor for Hope will have 24-hour services available on site.
By the summer it expects to have a permanent mental health clinic, according to Thomas-Gibson.
‘We have a homeless advisory council that is made up of people who own and operate entities in this area,’ Thomas-Gibson said.
‘We’re talking about the homeless that are there in the urban core and being strategic in how we leverage existing resources and bring additional resources to really impact what happens there. And all of those businesses and all of those social service agencies that are already there are part of this conversation,’ she added.
‘The long game is to be sure that there is actually housing available for low-income individuals to rent,’ Thomas-Gibson said.
The CEO of Catholic Charities, which works with the city on this project, said that the mental health services are what the homeless population need.
‘We have ways to get people that have come to us that are really struggling back to some level of independence but we don’t have is mental and behavioral health services,’ Deacon Tom Roberts said.
‘To me it’s pretty simple. You solve for the missing link. The missing link is mental health services,’ he added.