Press Release (ePRNews.com) - LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Jul 13, 2017 - Las Vegas summers can be brutally hot, with temperatures in July averaging 92 degrees Fahrenheit. However, thanks to the low incidence of precipitation, almost non-existent humidity, and temperate winters, the city provides a surprisingly hospitable environment for the homeless. At the north end of Las Vegas Boulevard, such individuals have established a semi-permanent ‘tent city’ where they reside full-time. These encampments have a tendency of springing up here and there across the city, leading nearby business owners and residents to complain to city officials about the eye-sore or property damage. Police are sent to remove the offenders, only to see identical campsites spring up in the surrounding areas. This is a common tactic employed by municipalities looking to ‘Do Something’ about the homeless problem, but is far from a solution, and does nothing more than shuffle the homeless population around from place to place.
On a larger scale, many cities, such as San Francisco, Portland, and yes, Las Vegas, even resort to buying homeless individuals one-way bus tickets to wherever they would like to go, as long as it’s anywhere else. After settling a lawsuit regarding this practice, Las Vegas has since begun searching for a more contemporary solution to solving the homeless crisis. In recent months, the city unveiled a project entitled the “Corridor of Hope,” which aims to provide a central base of operations for the delivery of services and aid to Vegas’s homeless population, as well a temporary place of residence for those in need. The Corridor will consist of a plaza of buildings located on Foremaster Lane, between Main Street and Las Vegas Boulevard North, and will contain shaded areas, service providers, a cooling station, port-a-potties, and other amenities.
The Corridor of Hope project represents a dramatic shift in thinking about how to address the issue of Las Vegas’s homeless, and a legitimate step in the right direction. However, a significant portion of that population (designated as “service-resistant”) hold the government, and facilities of care, in suspicion, and avoid them whenever possible. This group is composed of some of the most at-risk individuals: those with disabilities, mental illnesses, and drug or alcohol addictions. It is this group that Las Vegas’s newest Federally Qualified Health Center is focused on. Silver State Health Services, a government-sanctioned non-profit tasked with providing affordable or free treatment to underserved populations, is one of a select few FQHCs to be awarded a grant of $50,000 to be used exclusively to provide the homeless with physical and mental health care.
We met with Senator Heller and his staff, last Thursday. They were extremely receptive, and want to do all they can to alleviate this problem. I emphasized just how important Medicaid is to the continued functioning of Nevada.
The center is currently designing Mobile Clinics in order to reach these service-resistant individuals and treat them where they dwell. Silver State’s CEO, Ryan Linden, offered perspective on the situation in Las Vegas.
“The area north of Downtown has really become the epitome of a tent city. It’s estimated that around 2,300 people are permanently located in this area, primarily due to the immediate proximity of the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and other service providers. The city’s Corridor of Hope plan is a great idea, but they haven’t stopped periodically uprooting homeless groups and relocating them. This practice satisfies business owners and residents, but, for a lot of homeless folks, fosters a lot of distrust of anyone ‘official.’ We want to let them know that, despite any of the city’s actions, we will help you. We want to address any medical and mental needs, as well as assist with housing and government aid. We’ll come to you, or we’ll help you get to us.”
Mr. Linden and one of Silver State’s board members recently accepted an invitation to attend the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council’s annual symposium in Washington D.C., where they listened to panels discussing trends in homeless populations and the latest methods of treatment for at-risk populations. During this time in Washington, Linden met with Senator Dean Heller (R-Nevada) and members of his team on Thursday, June 15, to discuss Nevada’s homeless situation and lobby for their assistance.
“We met with Senator Heller and his staff last Thursday. They were extremely receptive, and want to do all they can to alleviate this problem. I emphasized just how important Medicaid is to the continued functioning of Nevada. The expansion was one of the single most important events in improving the rate of care for our state’s mentally ill population, not to mention for those under or near the poverty-line. If the legislature were to cut Medicaid, it would be devastating for Nevadans.”
The office is located at 1909 S. Jones Blvd., Las Vegas NV, 89146. For those who are seeking expert physicians, Silver State offers primary care, mental health services, and community assistance. Silver State strives to improve the health and well-being of homeless persons and others in need. They are partners of The National Healthcare for the Homeless Council. Social workers at Silver State Health Center are focused on assisting patients with critical needs such as housing, transportation, food, and much more. Silver State Health Services offers appointments via their official website or by phone at 702-471-0420.
About Silver State Health Services
Silver State Health Services, located just north of Sahara at 1909 S. Jones Blvd. is the newest (FQHC) Federally Qualified Health Center in Nevada serving Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Silver State Health Center offers primary care, mental health services, community services, and social services.
Silver State Health Services