As the regional provider of indigent and homeless services, every year Clark County oversees more than $313 million for services such as emergency homeless shelters, transitional and permanent housing programs, and indigent nursing home care.
The Commission has supported affordable housing developments and directed County staff to establish several programs that will create incentives for new affordable housing developments and preserve existing affordable housing for very low-income households. The lack of affordable housing in Southern Nevada greatly affects those working to escape homelessness and those at risk of becoming homeless.
Today, approximately 5,600 people are homeless in Southern Nevada on any given night, and approximately 14,000 individuals here will experience homelessness at least once during the year.
County taxpayers directly provide approximately $63 million annually and another $250 million in grant funding supports programs and services for the homeless and those at-risk of becoming homeless. Additional funding for local programs comes through state and federal grants, including approximately $15 million a year in federal grants through the Southern Nevada Homelessness Continuum of Care (CoC) which is supported by the County, other local jurisdictions, and more than 80 community partners. Organizations supported by CoC funds include the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, St. Jude's Ranch for Children, U.S. Vets, HELP of Southern Nevada, HopeLink and many others.
During Fiscal Year 2022, more than 57,000, individuals were assessed and provided services by Clark County. More than 1,200 individuals were provided with transportation to communities in other states to reunify with family support systems.
In July 2021, the Operation Home! (OH!) initiative was collaboratively launched by the SNH CoC and all Southern Nevada Jurisdictions: Clark County, City of Las Vegas, City of North Las Vegas, City of Henderson, and State of Nevada with the goal to permanently house 2,022 by the end of 2022. As of December 31, 2022, OH! has reached 119% of the goal by successfully completing 13,830 Coordinated Entry Assessments and 2,398 Permanent Housing Placements. The multi-jurisdictional collaborative dispersed a total of over 26.5 million towards these efforts. OH! also accomplished this goal by partnering with 12 community agencies.
As a tool for preventing homelessness, the Community Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) has supported individuals and families facing evictions. More than 54,000 cases have been referred to the County directly from the Courts and more than $50 million has been distributed to these households. Additionally, more than 60,000 households were assisted through direct payments to utility companies for deposits and arrears.
In addition, the County and our community partners support various housing and shelter and programs that provide about 3,200 beds for homeless individuals every day, plus housing for 3,500 people who would likely otherwise be homeless.
But while there have been many successes, there is still more work to be done.
To bolster efforts to address homelessness, County Commissioners decided to provide up to $12 million in annual revenue from marijuana business license fees for homeless programs and services. (This funding is separate from the revenue from marijuana taxes and fees collected by the state, which is used to fund education.)
The specific approvals included:
- On Dec. 3, 2019, the commissioners approved a contract to provide housing, treatment and support services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and dealing with substance abuse and/or mental health disorders. The agreement with CrossRoads of Southern Nevada funds 25 beds for people struggling with homelessness and addiction/mental health issues.
- On May 7, 2019, the commissioners approved spending $1.8 million to support an additional 76 beds at the Shannon West Homeless Youth Center, plus 60 supportive housing beds for homeless individuals with medical issues who are being discharged from a hospital. So far, 57 youth have been helped thanks to this funding, and their average stay at the Youth Center has been 29 days. Between January 01, 2020, and June 30, 2022 SWHYC has served over 900 young adults experiencing homelessness.
- On June 18, 2019, the commissioners approved spending $6.1 million to provide rental assistance, case management, financial assistance, and supportive services for 180 families. Already, 65 families have been assisted with these services. This program, with the support of 3 local non-profits assisted 438 households between January 01, 2020, and June 30, 2022, including aiding in the reunification of DFS families.
- On July 2, 2019, the commissioners approved spending an additional $260,000 to fund a third County-funded homeless outreach team. Outreach teams have provided resources and worked to connect our most vulnerable populations to services. Between January 01, 2020, and June 30, 2022, they have served over 7,000 individuals experiencing homelessness.
- On Oct. 15, 2019, the commission approved $50,000 for a family diversion pilot program which has been supplemented by United Way of Southern Nevada and will be rolled out county-wide in 2023 as the Housing Problem Solving Project.
- On February 04, 2020, the board approved $3 million for the Crisis Stabilization Program, expanding the provision of crisis stabilization to include wrap around services to support clients from the time they enter the program through self-sufficiency. Between January 01, 2020, and June 30, 2022, this program has served over 2,800 individuals experiencing homelessness.
- On December 15, 2020, the board approved $3 million for a Youth Transition Housing – Rapid Rehousing Program to serve 90 units of youth experiencing homelessness through transitional and rapid rehousing. Serving over 200 young adults in Southern Nevada by June 30, 2022.
The traditional funding for homeless services includes direct support of various programs provided by local non-profits such as the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, St. Jude's Ranch for Children, Catholic Charities, CrossRoads of Southern Nevada, and Hopelink
The County also provides funding for significant one-time projects, such as new construction, that will enhance the services available to the homeless and those at-risk of becoming homeless.
The goal of all these efforts is to prevent homelessness when we can and help those who are currently homeless quickly get back on their feet. The initial focus of the additional support is for families with children, youth and the medically fragile. Programs aimed at other sub-populations are expected.
Already, our community has seen success in fighting homelessness among Veterans. In 2015, the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development confirmed that Southern Nevada had functionally ended Veteran homelessness. This means the Southern Nevada community has built a robust service system, and episodes of Veteran homelessness in most cases are rare, brief, and non-recurring.