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Solution to homelessness needed

I have a small deviation from the regular informational series to address a local issue that has begun to cause a flurry of phone calls and thus demands rehashing. Homelessness. While it is not illegal to be homeless, many activities fall into the legal realm and that begs for some conversation.

Homelessness exists. It exists in Boulder City. It will continue to exist. You will, no doubt, encounter some of the population on your daily movements around town. Some are loud and vulgar speaking, some are traveling with a train of shopping carts, some are setting up tents wherever they can remain unnoticed and some we find only when they perish from the heat.

That being said, there are some hard discussions that need to happen. The stark reality is that a great many of the homeless are suffering from one form or another of mental illness. Like many states, Nevada does not have “lock down” facilities for those suffering the most serious forms of mental illness. The heart of the matter is that most of us don’t like to witness the suffering of another human being, even if it is their own choice.

The fact is many of the homeless are out in the community because the availability of resources for them are combined with rules (drinking, drugs, curfew, work, etc.) and they choose not to participate. This doesn’t mean they have the capacity to understand the repercussions of their choice; however, they do have the right to choose.

Some have found themselves on the street because of lifestyle choices (drugs vs. rent, etc.). Some have alienated family and friends. Some have had some bad luck. There are as many reasons as there are people. The homeless community has a network of communication that helps them keep track of friends and loved ones and for the sharing of information of available resources, such as Emergency Aid of Boulder City.

I would estimate that there are few weeks that go by where we at Boulder City Police Department do not receive phone calls and/or walk ins (after Emergency Aid hours) and the subjects advise us they were told they could take the bus to Boulder City and obtain rooms, food, etc.

We do our best to weed out the local from the opportunistic need but the fact is the requests have been increasing each year. It’s past time for the community to come together to find a solution to the growing issue.

July 19. Welfare check: Officers are called to check on an elderly woman walking up and down the street who appears very confused at 4:01 a.m. in the 600 block of Marina Drive.

Suspicious: The caller states the $100 bill in his front yard appears to have been printed on noncurrency paper at 12:52 p.m. in the 500 block of Avenue K.

Thought for the day: The budding forger clearly needs to find a new line of work.

July 20. Civil: Various family members are embroiled in an estate dispute and ask for assistance in determining a course of action at 12:51 p.m. in the 500 block of Sixth Street.

Assist: Several officers are enlisted to help extract the elderly male’s wheelchair from a flower bed at 2:47 p.m. in the area of Nevada Way and Wyoming Street.

Thought for the day: Please take time to write your wishes down so that, upon unexpected tragedy, past, present and future family members are not left in a battle.

July 21. Assist other department: Officers provide traffic control when high winds dislodge an overhead line and cause it to hang dangerously close to sidewalks and streets at 10:43 a.m. in the 500 block of Avenue M.

Shots: An intoxicated man believes a show of firepower will end the domestic situation at 11:16 p.m. in the 1200 block of Industrial Road.

Thought for the day: It may have ended the argument but it caused a whole new set of issues and a cool set of silver bracelets.

July 22. Disturbance: The caller witnessed people jumping the fence and entering the closed pool area at 2:38 a.m. in the 700 block of Capri Drive.

Accident: Two vehicles meet by accident and a trip to the lake is delayed for a report at 5:17 p.m. in the 1200 block of Boulder City Parkway.

Thought for the day: The felonious swimmers swear not knowing the pool was closed despite their athletic approach to entering the area.

July 23. Suspicious: The caller reports people he does not know sleep walking around his home and boasting of having cult action at 2:18 a.m. in the 600 block of Avenue C.

Welfare check: The elderly woman seems disoriented and told a friend she had no food or air conditioning in her home at 9:46 p.m. in the 1200 block of Potosi Street.

Thought for the day: I’m not sure what cult action is but I’d avoid it.

July 24. Vehicle theft: The caller states he has noticed his trailer missing from its usual location at 8:57 a.m. in the 700 block of New Mexico Street.

Welfare: The caller states they are concerned with an elderly neighbor that keeps returning as she is worried about family that is been gone for a few hours at 9:26 p.m. in the 1300 block Aspen Drive.

Thought for the day: The trailer has been located by another jurisdiction and is returned to its owner the same day.

July 25. Traffic: The speeding vehicle is stopped and the driver has a suspended license, no proof of insurance and warrants at 4:12 a.m. in the area of U.S. Highway 93 and Temple Rock Road.

Assist: The fancy motorhome trip was a great idea but the red light and dead engine leaves the party of 13 in a hot position at 9:21 a.m. in the area of Railroad Pass.

Thought for the day: Metropolitan Police Department declines to pick up on the warrants and the disgruntled driver declines a courtesy transport after the vehicle is towed.

Call(s) of the week: Suspicious: The caller states a man dressed like “Urkel” is welding an invisible sword and darting on and off the sidewalk as he attempts to be named the “Buick Slayer.” The Lincoln driver states it was a close call and would appreciate it is someone came to dissuade the wannabe McJouster to pack it up and take it to a safer location at 4:30 p.m. July 19 in the 1200 block of Boulder City Parkway.

Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.

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