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LETTER: Las Vegas has right idea on the homeless

The city of Las Vegas has produced an excellent initiative to address the issue of homeless people camping or sleeping along roads, sidewalks and in public areas. Making this activity illegal when beds are available at a shelter will benefit the homeless as well as the general public.

The homeless are exposed to fights, rape, murder, cold, heat and rain when camping outdoors. They should not endure this misery when alternatives are available. For example, on Oct. 5, five homeless men were brutally beaten in New York City. Several years ago in Las Vegas, a man was caught who had killed homeless people sleeping outdoors.

Many have addiction issues and/or mental illness conditions. Bringing them to a shelter will allow staff to encourage these individuals to receive proper medical attention and get counseling. Transitional housing may even be possible.

There have been protests that some of the homeless choose to live this way. But in doing so, they have no right to encroach on public property, accost people for money and cause sanitation problems from their bodily waste, garbage and debris.

The city’s proposed ordinance will steer those in need to available community services and help clean up the community. I hope the City Council will adopt it.

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