Las Vegas’ Skid Row


From Vegas Rex:

Homelessness is yet another skeleton in the closet of Vegas.

Las Vegas has an estimated 13,000 homeless people, which for a city of 560,000, makes us #1 per capita in the USA.

D.C. comes in a distant per-capita second at 6,000 homeless (at 581,000 people), and in 2007, Nevada as a whole had the second highest homeless population per-capita, trailing only the city of Washington DC.

This is something that you don’t see in the slick promotional ads.

Now, I get crap quite often for writing about these things.

“Tourists don’t want to see the gloom and doom side of Vegas.”

Perhaps the critics are right, but this is every bit as “real” a part of Las Vegas as the glimmering casinos. You can get the slick, shiny s**t in ten thousand other places, but if you want to see what goes on behind the facade, the choices narrow significantly.

This is where I sometimes come in … to the chagrin of many.

This is the truth, and this is what’s real. I like the beautiful side of Las Vegas as much as the next person, but I’m not a promotional arm of the city. In addition to the Blackjack tables, swimming pools, strip clubs, and shows … this is exactly what I see on a daily basis living here.

Comments

6 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Spiv,

    Seriously? 1 in 43 people in vegas are homeless? At what point in this are we Americans actually ashamed of our inability to take care of our citizens?

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  2. I remember seeing a show or a video once that showed some person that travelled the underground sewers and more to see those people and write about them. He even visited them after some time again to see who was still there or not. It was very interesting.

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  3. Burk,

    I live in East LA, and we call these people Reagan Families. It’s not a coincidence that homelessness became a much bigger issue during the Reagan years. Suddenly when the funding for mental health care and hospitals was cut, folks who had been cared for were suddenly living in cardboard boxes under the overpass. It’s not like masses of mentally unstable people just appeared out of nowhere on street corners and skid rows. People tend to forget that these folks generally have serious mental issues that aren’t being addressed. We like to think of homeless people as somehow being regular folks who are “down on their luck” because they can’t find work, but the real reasons they’re there are much less Mayberry Hobo than that.

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  4. Ironically, we have the highest number of people pretending NOT to be mentally ill per capita in NYC.

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  5. ken bolmgren,

    actually the homeless are a growing problem , reno the sister city to las vegas has a large population of homeless and theqt state seems to just load em up with the anti psycotic drugs and turn em out in to the street to mingle with the normals . sad . seems like we could do better than that but a lot of them wont accept help and want to continue living on the street .. life i guess …

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  6. Annetta Ellis,

    Its a shame to see this in a city that have so much money.

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