78°F
weather icon Clear

City works to assist the homeless

People turning abandoned mine shafts into temporary homes is one reason Boulder City officials are taking a closer look at the issue of homelessness in town.

Recently, City Manager Al Noyola put together a task force composed of staff from the Parks and Recreation Department, the attorney’s office, the courts and the police department to create recommendations on how to help the homeless. The task force consisted of 11 members and was led by Julie Calloway, Parks and Recreation manager.

“Our officers found people using mine shafts and camps that had been their ‘home base’ for months, even years,” Police Chief Tim Shea said.

According to Communications Manager Lisa LaPlante, the number of homeless people in town fluctuates.

“The most recent point-in-time count earlier this year found 12 people experiencing homelessness,” she said. “However, there has been an increasing concern in the community, especially on social media.

Shea said the police department recently sent officers to check on individuals who were camping on undeveloped land.

“We are concerned about safety and environmental hazards in these locations. Officers will work with the Bureau of Land Management to encourage the campers to find safe accommodations,” he said.

“As a group, we studied a number of approaches of other communities to find best practices to best fit our community,” said LaPlante about the task force, which began meeting Aug. 29. “Julie Calloway has been a representative on the Southern Nevada Continuum of Care board for several years. She leveraged her membership to get information on how to best alleviate homelessness and paired it with our Police Chief Tim Shea’s experiences in working with the homeless population.”

The task force created five recommendations to help: proactive enforcement of city ordinances, community engagement, city code update, progress evaluation and possibly a court program to help those who are repeatedly homeless.

To enforce city ordinances, Calloway said, the first task is to make sure signs at city parks are properly displayed so that people will know they close at 10 p.m. The task force also suggested changes to city code to ban public urination and defecation and firming up the camping rule to just certain locations.

LaPlante said that the signs have been ordered and staff is looking to propose ordinance changes in the near future.

The community engagement element includes creating and training an outreach team to share resources with homeless people and collaborating with experts.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Historical funds OK’d for tavern despite alterations to site

A local builder’s application for almost $100,000 in historic preservation grant funds was approved despite previously being denied and opposed by a current city leader.

City to update golf cart fleet

Boulder Creek Golf Club is getting a fleet of golf carts for about $200,000 less than originally budgeted thanks to a new five-year lease-purchase agreement.

9/11 Memory: Firefighters’ sacrifices unite nation

Sept. 11, 2001, has had a profound impact on first responders from around the country and I believe it affects each person uniquely. For me it was initially anger toward the people that had done this and a deep sadness for the huge loss of life that would surely come from the attack.

Principals unsure how vaccine mandate will affect staff

Local principals are unsure how the recently approved COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all school district employees will affect them and their schools.

Event to recall events of 9/11, honor first responders

Saturday the brave souls who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks 20 years ago will be remembered during a special event in Bicentennial Park.

Grant to fund purchase of breathing gear

Boulder City Fire Department has received more help in serving the community through a grant from the federal government.

9/11 Memory: Americans united to help each other cope

I never turn the television on in the morning, but on Sept. 11, I got up, had a cup of coffee and turned it on. At the time I was working at Vons and on City Council.