Alaskan makes holiday trek to Las Vegas to help the homeless

Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 6:05 AM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Heidi Hanson has a holiday tradition. She visits Las Vegas around Christmas and New Year’s from the Kenai Peninsula, not far from Anchorage, to help the homeless. Her recent trip is her fifth trip in a row. Hanson recently walked the Las Vegas Strip to give out care packages to homeless people. The packages included a little money, food, lip balm and socks.

Hanson says an ex-boyfriend moved to Las Vegas several years ago, and it’s the reason she says she helps homeless people, specifically those impacted by alcohol addiction.

“A lot of the mental health stuff. I lived with an alcoholic for 15 years who committed suicide by cop down here. So, when I come back it’s kind of, it’s reliving that but it’s learning to live again from the tragedy,” said Hanson.

Five years ago Hanson gave out cookies to homeless people which were made by seventh and eighth-grade hockey players in Alaska. After she gave them all out, she then bought items from the store to give to people on The Strip.

One person Hanson recently gave a care package to was Nathan Nusser. He says he’s been homeless in Las Vegas for about three years.

“Changing your socks every day and washing your feet with handy wipes is pretty necessary because your feet start to stink and hurt and be sore,” said Nusser.

He added, “I have chapped lips from the wind so the chapstick will help me out.”

Nusser said he recently lost a friend who had an alcohol problem and said he appreciates what Hanson does.

“We were just talking about a friend of ours that passed away on Christmas morning. They have a picture of him over at this daiquiri bar. I was already choked up when you guys walked up and made me a little more choked up,” said Nusser.

Nusser thanked Hanson with a hug. She gave out several dozen care packages before returning to Alaska.