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Light Out In Las Vegas

Las Vegas mayor closes park and bans feeding of the homeless.

A recent article printed in a Salt Lake City newspaper, "Feeding Homeless Is A Losing Bet In Las Vegas", stated that the Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has ban feeding the homeless in the parks, he has in fact totally closed a park that the homeless would frequent.

Mayor Goodman is not at the top of list of most of the homeless or their advocates. This is a man who wanted to ship the homeless 30 miles outside of the city to an abandoned prison. He has been noted to say he'd like the homeless to be moved "as far away from Las Vegas as possible". He now states that "Until a light bulb gets lit in my head," the park will remained closed. Isn't there enough light bulbs in Las Vegas already?

Las Vegas has been known for tough policies toward the needy and homeless so it doesn't come to surprise me on the mayor's actions. It was nearly 20 years ago when I last visited "the city that never closes", when I was given a free ride from a paddy wagon to the city jail for jaywalking. I had been staying in a downtown casino hotel and had checked out to go to Los Angeles, when I walked across the street to grab one of Vegas's well known cheap breakfast buffets, of course wearing my backpack, when a van pulled up and out jumped two guys who grabbed me zip tied my hands behind my back and tossed me in the back of the van to sit with a couple of others. We toured the downtown area stopping to pickup anyone who looked homeless or had a backpack on, then went to the city jail. At the lockup the desk person asked me to empty my wallet, which contained over $500 and 2 credit cards, they then ask why I was being held and I explained for jaywalking, I guess. Not one person had actually told me what was going on. This person then proceeded to apologize and said it was a case of mistaken identity and I was free to go. Later that morning I learned that President Regan was visiting that day and the city had conducted a sweep of their streets to rid it of "Unwanted People". This was the last time I visited and I'll never return to this city again.

Today I challenge Mayor Goodman to devise better methods in helping the homeless.

Here in Salt Lake a park which the homeless have hung out at, been fed, clothed and ministered at also holds a very successful farmers market where 1000's attend each saturday during the summer months. There are high end condos, businesses and retail stores nearby and yet the homeless are still fed, clothed and ministered here. In fact one business owner has said that having the homeless close by has added more flavor to his business and for his customers. I'm sure that in a town that never sleeps, wastes tons of food and has more money roll through it in one night that you can shake a stick at could managed to get along with its homeless population.

Are the homeless in Las Vegas that bad?

Scanning today's news an article stood out to me, "Homeless man hailed as a hero". Yea here is one of those guys that lives on the streets of Las Vegas who helped to save a small childs life after a car hit her and it came to rest setting on top of her. This homless person along with 2 others lifted the car from her. These guys rock! They are just a glimpse of how compassionate the homeless can be, yet Mayor Goodman wishes hold them down and not show any respect.

If you're reading this I ask that you write the Las Vegas Mayor and voice your concern at: City Hall, Tenth Floor 400 Stewart Avenue Las Vegas, NV 89101 or you can email him. I also suggest to avoid visiting Las Vegas until Mayor Goodman can find his light bulb.

SL Streets is back and bringing homeless news and articles.

homepage: homepage: http://slstreets.ifastnet.com


An update to this story 15.Dec.2006 08:48

CatWoman

Yes indeed. Oscar (mouthpiece for the mob) Goodman and the gracious authorities of Las Vegas did, in fact, pass an ordinance to make it illegal to share food with others. It remained legal to sell food, but not to give it away for free. (Kind of reminds me of Officer Meyers mowing down the Children's Garden and everything else green here in pdx to make the city "less hospitable to homeless people." Maybe he will get ideas from Goodman.) People were actually cited under this ordinance, including activists from Food not Bombs.

However, on a more positive note, I understand that at least one judge down there called them on the carpet for this idiotic deed. I am told that, when a person who was cited for feeding someone showed up in court, the judge glared over at the prosecutor and demanded an explanation. When a feeble one was offered, the judge stated flatly, "Get out of my courtroom with that nonsense."

From what I understand, though I do not know for sure, I don't think anyone is being prosecuted under the ordinance at this time.

By the way... 15.Dec.2006 09:02

Cat

I just wanted to add that, like almost everyone on the planet it seems, I lived in Las Vegas for a short time, and I can tell you that city has lots of things that make it a gross place to be, but homeless people was not one of its problems. The monumentally greedy developers, the drunken, weepy, barfy, nasty tourists, the stingy and mean-spirited gambling industry, the pimps on every street corner handing out lurid color catalogues of their wares, the pollution, and hands-down, the shittiest school system in the nation... These are issues that the Mayor might have focused on. But derision toward homeless people is so much easier.

Las vegas has become nothing more than a gluttonous shopping mall, stretching on for miles and miles into the desert. But as Sin City festers in the sun, the source of its power and water (and therefore the only thing that makes life possible there), dries up like a raisin in the sand and no one is paying attention. The water levels in Lake Mead have gone down so far that the marina had to move away from the shore, and the water no longer reaches the spillways on the dam. Only a matter of time....

on-the-nickel 15.Dec.2006 22:07

just left vegas

i met a man named superbum while there in that forsaken town, who has a blog, on-the-nickel. it is just getting started but it is real and straight from the streets. the above mentioned topics are covered in more detail (las vegas is top ranking in meanest states on the homeless). there has been talk of a "homeless" news paper being started, but like everything else in sin city its blinding lurid lights and slick talk posing as sincerity, baby.

can't give away free food? 16.Dec.2006 09:31

x

what about a family or church or school picnic? no wonder the judge throws these cases out of court - they're hardly enforceable. keep handing out those sandwiches to all our brothers&sisters.

... 04.Sep.2007 08:39

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