homeless foremaster

People are seen on the sidewalk of Foremaster Lane in Las Vegas on Jan. 19, 2020. (FOX5)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A controversial city ordinance aimed at keeping Las Vegas streets clean went into effect on Sunday.

Those against the law have called it an attack on the homeless population.

“It’s going to help, but it's going to hurt,” Edwin Fitzgerald Rainey Sr. said. Rainey Sr. has been homeless on and off in Las Vegas.

Empty bags, clothes and other trash are just some of the things the mayor and city council members said they wanted to get off city streets.

“Shopping carts full of stuff - that's too much,” Bruce Blaha said. “It should be clean. I don't think tourists want to come and see that.”

Blaha is homeless but he supports the change, and he said he doesn’t like to live in a mess either.

“Most of them, unfortunately, have become lovers of stuff,” Rainey Sr. said.

The polarizing bill passed earlier in the week. It allows the city to charge people with a misdemeanor if they sit, sleep or obstruct city crews from cleaning the sidewalks during designated times.

“This time they're saying it's a 'street cleaning' bill,” one protestor said outside City Hall. “But we see it for what it is, an anti-homeless ban,” another said.

Those against the bill said it’s just the latest in the city’s attack on those less fortunate. Mayor Carolyn Goodman doubled down, saying she has compassion for the homeless, but she needs to take care of the city as a whole.

She added these ordinances are meant to help the homeless and direct them to the shelters and more resources.

Blaha just came back to Las Vegas. The last time he was here was a decade ago. He said back then it was much easier to live on the streets.

“More laws, which are smart,” Blaha said. “Fremont is a lot cleaner than it was.”

Now Blaha said he only carries the essentials.

“Toilet paper, things like that,” he said. “I got my pajamas to change, pants. I went to church today, some nice clothes like that.”

The rest he stores in a suitcase at a church.

“If they just throw them in jail that's one thing,” he said. “If they try to help them out, that's a different thing.”

If the city wants to help, Blaha said he wanted to see more resources for people like him.

“Some people don't want the help,” he said. “If they don't want the help, then you have to do something about it.”

The city said it is expanding its homeless corridor near Foremaster Lane. Set to break ground later this year, the space will reportedly offer more resources and more beds for people to sleep.

In November, the city passed a similar law creating a misdemeanor to sleep or set up tents in public spaces if there’s enough room at a shelter.

Police are expected to start enforcing the ban on Feb. 1. though details of how enforcement would happen have not been released.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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(7) comments

Paris

Get a job. And if you can't get a job here, move on to the farms in California and work off the grid there. Plenty of illegals seems to do all right with it.

bottom and company

Oh come on liberals! If they push um' along, they'll no longer be "SEPERATED FROM THEIR LOVING FAMILIES!!!"

stephenrblv

Hoarding is real. It is probably the base mental disorder these people suffer from. It kills any will to "roll with the punches of life". They cling to their stuff, any stuff as their anchor. The TV show is worth watching btw "Hoarders". Lesson for all of us about hanging onto the past too much.

Hawks15

Use the school buses to dump them off in the desert right outside another town. Searchlight! Overton!

Jimmy coors

Good job ! Those grocery carts are $300 + and those loosers steal them ! Dump those bums out in goldfield & let them live in old mines!

Redline57

They seem to be able afford drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. They are resourceful in that aspect, but get a real job? Nooo

stephenrblv

For many who feel this current Techno life has given up on them, this begging existence is their life now. Low expectations low needs. BTW there are more drug addicts etc IN homes than on the street. The real question is as a society are we going to allow our fellows to camp in public areas not designed for that? No so why is this tolerated? because of all the made-up reasons which hold no weight once you look at them. Panhandling is lucrative, lets all admit that. All of us have seen people make 5-10-20 while at a light. I say a guy yesterday make about $20 plus a water and what was left of a boxed pizza. All in 1.5 minutes at a light.

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