Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's Good Business To End Homelessness

Present efforts to address homelessness overlooks the fact that many homeless people are currently employed, underemployed or have just recently attained a job. In fact, numerous shelter rules penalize employed homeless people by imposing non-yielding shelter curfews and allow basic services to be provided at specific times.

Last year Clark County spent $25 million dollars and reduced the homeless population by about 10%. In order to eradicate the scourge of this extreme type of poverty it stands to reason the County Commissioners would need to spend $250 million dollars, cross their fingers and hope that no one else lacks the resources to buy their own housing. This wish and hope strategy is best exemplified by the current funding of a summer day shelter at the cost of thousands of dollars which does nothing more then give single men a place to watch TV. The current strategy if followed to its logical conclusion dictates the need to escalate fees and taxes to astronomical levels.

What is never spoken about except in a quiet whisper is the hidden cost of homelessness. There is no scientific method which can calculate the cost of homeless people sleeping in your business doorway or loitering in your parking lot or outside your shop. As a business owner you know this situation hurts your revenue stream but feel powerless to do anything about it short of calling the police which in itself costs you money in the long run.

How much the quality of life in your immediate community is diminished by homeless people sleeping in the parks is also unknown. Common sense tells us when present and potential customers feel uncomfortable with the area surrounding your business they will go somewhere else even if prices are slightly higher.

Our organization is dedicated to developing and implementing a cost effective solution to this problem. For an extremely long time we have addressed the problem primarily by sharing food in local parks and providing limited assistance in acquiring state issued identification. Recently we realized that our present strategy does not completely address our goal of eliminating homelessness and we have now begun to focus additional resources towards five areas.

1) Establishing this website where job listings are posted by area employers. This website also provides information and strategies to finding and maintaining employment.

2) Establish a link between employers and unemployed workers

3) Develop, create and fund self-employment opportunities

4) Providing direct support by providing all employment related documents. Such things as birth certificates, state identification, work cards, etc.

5.) Providing what ever assistance is needed while recently employed homeless people struggle to get their first pay check. This assistance specifically takes the form of transportation, food and shelter.

In short what we tell homeless people is “You go get the job and let us worry about the rest."

What makes our organization truly unique is that from the top to the bottom homeless people run our organization.. It is they who set the tone and direction of what type of services we provide, how they are provided and to whom. In partnership with our program facilitator (who is a formerly homeless person), community organizations and individuals they decide how funds are dispersed.

We are solution based. Our organization is not content with simply handing out sandwiches. We identify the obstacles that block people in their recovery from homelessness and provide the means and resources to remove that roadblock. We actively encourage people to develop a plan of action that will result in them becoming self-reliant. There is not a single program in existence here in Clark County that is run by homeless people and dedicates resources to reducing the ever growing army of homeless people.

By supporting our organization you provide a means for people to pursue economic opportunities so that it is no longer necessary for them to sleep in your doorways and in turn take a pro-active step to protect your business which you worked so hard to build. This is why you should support our organization. For it is good business to end homelessness.



3 months $240.00

6 months $360.00

12 months $480.00

Single page banner

3 months $60.00

6 months $90.00

12 months $120.00

Business Partners

(one time contribution)

Four Star $1,000.00

Three Star $500.00

Two Star $250.00

One Star $125.00

For more information on where to send your donation and other ways you can help, please call Gail Sacco at (702) 355-2764 or e-mail her at: .

To make a donate, visit our website at:

No comments: