LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — The homeless population is reacting to the news the city will begin charging them with a misdemeanor if they sleep on sidewalks or other public spaces.
Fifty-four-year-old Cynthia Barrios has been homeless for three years after her trailer burned down and she lost her job.
“This morning I sat for hours and only made a $1.50. I know we shouldn’t pan handle, but how are we supposed to get something to eat?” Barrios said.
Barrios is one of many who are worried about a new city ordinance that could land her in jail for snoozing on the sidewalk.
“I don’t know, it’s scary," Barrios said. "The only way I have found to get off the street is if I’m really blessed and I save all week long, I might be able to get a room, but it’s rare."
For money, she depends on the generosity of others.
“I don’t make very much. Most people ignore you. And if you get caught asking for change or something they’ll throw you off Fremont,” Barrios said.
Barrios said she has all but given up on going to established shelters because they are typically at capacity.
The new ordinance, she said, is like making homelessness illegal.
When it comes to sleeping on the street, Barrios said her priority is safety.
“I used to sleep by that light pole until somebody went to the bathroom on it,” Barrios said.
The ordinance will go into effect in early 2020.