[Hpn] LAS VEGAS HOMELESS ADVOCATES COMPLAIN OF PLANS TO HOUSE EVACUEES
William Charles Tinker
Thu, 8 Sep 2005 16:48:24 -0400
Today: September 08, 2005
Las Vegas homeless advocates complain of plans to house evacuees
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Some southern Nevada homeless advocates are complaining
that poor people are being bumped from public housing waiting lists while
officials make plans to shelter Hurricane Katrina evacuees.
"I sympathize totally with the evacuees, and I agree we should do something
to help them," said Veronica Dunn-Jones, a West Las Vegas community activist
and member of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
"But to put our own people on the back burner again would just be another
Officials have said as many as 213 public housing units and federal rental
vouchers would be made available to Gulf Coast evacuees in Nevada if the
Federal Emergency Management Agency follows through with plans to fly 800 or
more people to Las Vegas and Reno.
"Unfortunately, we're going to have to bypass the current waiting line and
serve the evacuees first," said Ken LoBene, director of the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development office in Las Vegas. "They're the ones who
have absolutely nothing."
The department already approved housing for 81 families who were vacationing
or staying with relatives in southern Nevada when the hurricane hit on Aug.
LoBene told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that housing for Katrina evacuees
became available through "usual turnover." He said evacuees who were on
public assistance in their home states would get first priority, and said
the agency expects to provide evacuee housing for six to 12 months.
Linda Lera-Randle El, an advocate who runs a southern Nevada outreach
program called Straight from the Streets, said those homeless in Las Vegas
are just as needy as those fleeing flooding and damage in New Orleans and
"It's a crying shame we have to go through a catastrophe to find out there's
access to housing here," Lera-Randle El said. "We've had clients who
actually die waiting. We've buried people before they get their voucher or
William Charles Tinker
New Hampshire Homeless / Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.