Editorial: Homelessness means NevadaWar on the poor
13,844. That is the number of homeless students that reside in Clark County. We owe it to the thousands of students on the streets to oppose politicians that want to criminalize their existence. Photo Credit: Ahmed Ahmed
Homeless students are also likely to be hit hard-Southern Nevada is home to thousands of dispossessed youth. Our hallways have people not wondering if they passed their latest math quiz, but if they’ll have a place to sleep at night. This policy essentially criminalizes the act of students not being able to find shelter. It’s more than likely that everyone has at least one friend that has been homeless at some point in their lives-and an attack on them is an attack on all of us.
While Mayor Goodman contends that the law isn’t inhumane because the ban only applies when homeless shelters have open beds, it will still cause demonstrable harm against the homeless. Police officers simply won’t be able to know at all times if homeless shelters are full, and this ordinance gives them a blank check to harass people without homes. Is it really fair to expect homeless people to go to each shelter in the valley and verify that they have no remaining beds before they choose to sleep outside?
While homelessness is a complex, multi-faceted issue with no easy answers, what can be said without a doubt is that Mayor Goodman’s prioritization of business interests over human life is unacceptable. Politicians, who would rather shame the homeless than help them, should know that young individuals are not receptive to their scapegoating. Homeless people must be treated as humans, not parasites.