• Local charities face high demand while reports find homelessness decreasing


    Although the number of homeless in Clark County decreases, local nonprofit groups are not seeing a decrease in the number of people seeking services.

    Leslee Rogers, Salvation Army of Southern Nevada spokeswoman, said the number of people the nonprofit organization helps is climbing.

    “We still see more newly homeless or nearly homeless,” she said.

    The organization’s food pantry serves from 225 to 250 families a day, she said. That’s up from about 130 a day in 2012.

    People running out of unemployment benefits and the cut that 362,000 Nevadans saw to their federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program benefits this month, among other factors, have played a role in the increased need, Rogers said.

    Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada is experiencing the same thing.

    Leslie Carmine, Catholic Charities spokeswoman, said the nonprofit group’s overnight shelter, which is available every day, has 350 to 390 people on a daily basis. The shelter has 520 beds.

    “It’s always in between that range and as the weather gets colder, that number will increase,” she said.

    The federal report shows that Nevada is among the five states with the highest rates of unsheltered homeless people in 2013 with a total of 4,745. The other states are California, Florida, Arkansas and Mississippi.

    Catholic Charities averages about 1,000 free meals a day, with a large number of those going to the homeless, Carmine said.

    With the need increasing, these organizations are also in need of support.

    Today, Catholic Charities will be preparing about 1,500 Thanksgiving meals.


    RJ Reporter Yesenia Amaro


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