Las Vegas’ New Homeless ‘Leper’ Colony?

A Las Vegas activist has launched a brand new proposal to take the great majority of Las Vegas homeless off of Sin City streets, where they’ve been shunned and put down by politicians and others for decades, and build the first planned truly self-contained, fuly functioning and viable homeless community in the United States. 

It would be located on more than 600 acres, just north of the Las Vegas Valley.  The homeless would be able to live and work there without fear of violence or being kicked out as previously when they take up residence on Las Vegas sidewalks, and especially a homeless area known as “Tent City,” bounding and Main Street and Foremaster, where many men, women and familes used to call their Las Vegas home, but now has been shut down for safety reasons. 

With the homeless now scattered throughout the Valley, homeless activist Dr. Joseph D’Angelo has spent years trying to come up with his plan to help the homeless in a way that’s favorable to Las Vegas.  He unveiled it to local leaders yesterday, including Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, long a detractor to the plight of the homeless. 

“Joshua’s Community — would be the first true homeless community in the nation,” D’Angelo said. 

At the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition meeting, D’Angelo proposed a fully self-contained community, 29 miles north of the city, just outside the Paiute Indian reservation. It’s on government land, and D’Angelo is asking Washington to grant 640 acres of land to build pavilion-style homes, schools and everything a community needs to function– far from being a lepper colony. 

“By moving people out of town, away from the lure of the city, they’re going to hang onto their money,” D’Angelo said. 

And the homeless said a place to get back on their feet is the biggest step. “You don’t know who could be that next entrepreneur. You don’t know who could be that next singer or dancer. It could be the one that’s on the side of the road,” a homeless resident said. 

This community would be funded through private grants and not taxpayer money. The Las Vegas board promised it will look into the plan over the next few weeks.   D’Angelo said he’s confident that he can get this project going as soon as possible. He said he just wants the blessing of the planning coalition to help seal the deal. 

The community is also intended to rehabilitate the homeless.

It is planned to support as many as 15,000 people when fully completed.

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