Program helps homeless people afford apartments

By Sara MacNeil 

 

The city of Las Vegas added 10 apartments this month to a program that provides transitional housing for homeless people.

The Las Vegas City Council approved spending $93,500 to rent the units for one year. Program participants pay 30% of their monthly income for rent.

“The need for affordable housing does continue to increase for our participants who are just getting back into the workforce trying to get things so they can transition out of homelessness into stability,” said Kathi Thomas, the city’s director of community services.

There are 23 individuals or families living in homes through the program. In just over a year since the program launched, 90 individuals or families have participated.

Many participants have evictions on their records or are sorting out legal issues, such as custody battles, Thomas said. Some are on disability or pension plans, she said.

“There really aren’t a ton of landlords looking to support those kinds of needs. We work with landlords who will give people a second chance,” Thomas said.

Participants must be seeking a job, agree to work with a case manager and follow a case plan.

Thomas said homelessness in Las Vegas, steadily rising over the past 10 years, has jumped amid the coronavirus pandemic.