Vegas outlaws feeding the homeless

Las Vegas has made it illegal to feed homeless people in city parks after residents complained about the large numbers gathering in the public facilities.

    Las Vegas has banned feeding homeless people in parks

    David Riggleman, a spokesman for the city, said: "We're trying to empathise with both camps.

     

    "We're hoping we can improve their lives and improve the lives of people living around the park, some of whom have people urinating and defecating in front of their door."

     

    The law, which went into effect on Thursday, targets mobile soup kitchens. It carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

     

    Riggleman said that by shutting down such soup kitchens, homeless people will be encouraged to go to a centre or a charity that offers services such as mental health evaluations or job placements.

     

    Critics

     

    Gail Sacco, who operates a mobile soup kitchen, said the city does not have adequate homeless services and that she is undeterred by the new law.

     

    "There's no way for people to get out to those services in triple-digit weather," she said, referring to the soaring summer temperatures in the area.

     

    "My plan is to do anything I feel is needed to keep these people alive."

     

    The law defines a homeless person as someone "whom a reasonable ordinary person would believe to be entitled to apply for or receive assistance".

     

    Allen Lichtenstein, a lawyer with the American civil liberties union of Nevada, said the language makes the law unenforceable.

     

    He said: "The ordinance is clearly unconstitutional and nonsensical.

     

    "How are you going to know without a financial statement who's poor and who's not poor?

     

    "It means they can discriminate based on the way people look."

    SOURCE: Unspecified


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.