82°F
weather icon Clear

Las Vegas picks members of new regional group to fight homelessness

Updated September 4, 2019 - 6:39 pm

Las Vegas on Wednesday named its two representatives to a new temporary working group mandated by the Legislature to address homelessness in Clark County.

The group, which is required to be formed by Oct. 1, was created by the state Legislature in April after a bill that would have authorized tax increases to raise an estimated $20 million to address the county’s homeless was gutted amid concerns that government entities in Southern Nevada were not working together to address the issue.

Assemblywoman Dina Neal, D-North Las Vegas, offered the amendment creating the new working group after having conversations with municipalities about “whether or not they were working together around funding,” she said.

The Las Vegas City Council approved its representatives on the group: Shani Coleman, deputy director of government affairs for the city, and Deacon Thomas Roberts, CEO of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada.

But Mayor Carolyn Goodman expressed frustration that the Legislature opted for another study of the issue rather than provide additional funding aimed at reducing the county’s roughly 5,500 homeless.

“What happens is when there’s a new committee, they don’t realize they’re pulling people away from very significant work,” Goodman said.

Clark County last month appointed County Manager Yolanda King and Fuilala Riley, president of the nonprofit Help of Southern Nevada, to serve on the panel.

Boulder City chose its two appointments — Parks and Recreation Manager Julie Calloway and Beth Kaczmarski, vice president of finance for Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada — last week.

Henderson and North Las Vegas are expected to decide on their representatives at their City Council meetings on Sept. 18.

Mesquite has yet to name its members.

The group will work with the Continuum of Care Program, which is mandated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and consists of regional city officials, nonprofits and homeless advocates.

The Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition, another working group of elected officials created by state lawmakers in 1999, was formed in part to develop a regional approach to fighting homelessness. But it disbanded last week after determining that its efforts to address the issue and others it examined largely overlapped with the missions of other governmental bodies.

The new working group is charged with considering methods to reduce homelessness in Clark County, identifying sources of funding for programs to accomplish that goal, and submitting a report to county commissioners and the governing body of each city by Oct. 1, 2020.

Afterward, county commissioners will accept, modify or reject recommendations made in the report.

“I spent a lot of time on this bill at the Legislature, so I’m happy to continue to represent the city as we move forward with the other jurisdictions and develop a plan to address homelessness at a regional level,” Coleman told the City Council on Wednesday. “It’s a team effort. I’ll be up front, but everyone will be participating.”

“I just want to wish you all the best of luck, and I’m going to pray for you,” Councilman Cedric Crear responded.

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
THE LATEST