We recently had a chance to speak with Jennifer Hedland, the social worker and community resource liaison assisting with the city’s current outreach program. We first told our readers about the program HERE. Here is what we learned:
- I am not aware of homeless outreach center being planned for Boulder City.
- Me and the program manager, who is also a Fire Analyst, continue to go out weekly to conduct homeless outreach. This is an effort to build rapport and provide resources for shelters, mental health, substance abuse, work programs, cooling stations, food pantry info, etc.
- I have been able to get some on Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- Have referred many to the Workforce Program through Department of Health and Human Services which their case worker with that program is in Boulder City twice per week.
- I connected an unhoused individual with the Metro Help Team who was able to get him into transitional housing.
- Help of Southern Nevada’s homeless outreach team (County program) will be assisting us monthly with outreach. They have come out two times so far and were able to assist an unhoused gentleman get access to mental health and conducted housing assessments for other unhoused.
- During outreach we may see an individual one time and not again or may not see them weeks or months later. We are often told just “passing through.” Many are transient and float into Henderson and Las Vegas where they can find more assistance.
- Most of them say they do not like the shelters in Las Vegas and describe having things stolen from them and being fearful.
- Several report they prefer staying in Boulder City as they feel safe here.
- Many have some source of income whether from social security or employment but do not make enough to rent an apartment. There is an affordable housing shortage nationwide, but Nevada has the greatest shortage of every state in the nation with only 19 available units for every 100 extremely low-income households per the Nevada Homeless Alliance.No future plans currently. I am sure as our efforts continue; plans will develop.My role is to not only help the unhoused but to help anyone needing assistance here in Boulder City.
Since Martin Luther King Day just passed, I thought fitting to leave this: “It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”
For residents seeking assistance with housing, medical care, or food assistance, may contact Jennifer Hedland at her office. Her phone number is (702) 293-4111 Ext. 1680.