I visited Food Not Bombs in Las Vegas today. I was told to park where the gate was open, so I did. Turns out that’s an employee parking lot for the homeless shelter next door. Security and a city employee stopped me from recording.
As I walked to the food distribution, I started a conversation with Brian, a homeless veteran. Brian says he has never seen any city treat homeless people as callously as Las Vegas, and he has traveled all over since 1973.
If you didn’t know, Las Vegas has made everything related to homelessness illegal. Homeless people cannot sit or lay down or panhandle without risking arrest and being fined $1,000 or 6 months in jail just for being homeless. In addition, food and clothing distribution are illegal. But even worse, Las Vegas uses a courtyard model leaving homeless people to sleep outside in mats inches away from each other.
Brian was passing through and ran out of gas. He now has to wait until the first of the month for his VA check to get back on the road. Brian is lucky to have some income, but after paying child support, he is left with $500 a month, which is not enough to live on and pay rent.