Elizabeth Warren, this week announced her opposition to a measure introduced in the Las Vegas City Council that would criminalize homelessness, joining fellow Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro in coming out against the ordinance.
“We should be fighting back against measures that criminalize homelessness – not proposing ones that will only perpetuate it,” said Warren. “I strongly oppose this proposed ordinance, which caters to the interests of business groups rather than our families and our communities.”
“These measures disproportionately harm communities of color and LGBTQ+ people, who as a result become further entangled in the justice system and face more barriers to finding supportive housing,” Warren continued. “We must focus on investing in affordable housing and supporting programs that will connect people experiencing homelessness with the tools and services they need to get back on their feet.”
“We should be fighting back against measures that criminalize homelessness – not proposing ones that will only perpetuate it.”
The proposed ordinance would make it a misdemeanor to camp or sleep in certain public areas downtown if there is shelter space available. According to the Nevada Current, there are approximately 2,000 beds available in Southern Nevada, and “of the nearly 6,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night, more than 60 percent are unsheltered.” Additionally, nearly half of the homeless youth in Clark County are members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Warren has previously released a plan to make it easier for people to access affordable housing, advocated for the repeal of laws that criminalize homelessness, and committed to developing a comprehensive LGBTQ+ youth homelessness prevention program.
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