LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Las Vegas is among the top ten cities in the country with the highest homeless rates, according to a new study.
Conducted by Safety.org, the study used data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Point in Time (PIT) count, which calculates national, state and local numbers related to homelessness. From the data, organizers compiled the 32 cities with the biggest homelessness problems.
With a rate of about 272 homeless individuals per 100,000 people, the city of Las Vegas ranked seventh among the cities with the highest homeless rates.
As noted in the study, "among the major cities with the highest rates of homelessness, eight are located in the West and four are in California alone." California and New York account for about 40% percent of total homelessness nationwide, the study found.
Topping the list was Eugune, Oregon, with a rate of about 432 homeless individuals per 100,000 people. Los Angeles came in at number two with a rate of about 396 people per 100,000 residents, while New York sees about 393 homeless individuals using the same measurement.
Reno just barely missed the top 10 mark with its ranking at number 11. The city of Reno, according to the study, has about 253 homeless people per 1000,000 residents.
The rankings come as the city of Las Vegas will soon discuss a proposed ordinance aimed at the homeless. If passed, homeless individuals could face a misdemeanor when sleeping on the city streets or sidewalks when beds are still available at the shelters.
According to Steve Schmitt, COO of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, which is the Las Vegas Valley's largest homeless shelter, the proposed ordinance could pose a security risk at the facility.
“If we have capacity, it creates a security issue a lot of times if we try to put people in here that don’t want to be here,” said Schmitt. “Depending on whether they are dealing with an addiction issue and so forth -- we just don’t have the capacity with 525 other guys here to take somebody that doesn’t want to be here and address that person individually.”
To read the full study: https://www.security.org/resources/homeless-statistics/