But directly beneath the glitter, hundreds of homeless people live out of sight, in the dark, in a network of foc tunnels running below the city. When census takers tried in September to count the nation's homeless for the census, safety concerns prevented them from venturing into the Las Vegas tunnels.
The tunnels offer just one example of the difficulty in counting the portion of the homeless population eescort does not stay in shelters. A half dozen census takers around the U. America DePasquale, who lived in the tunnels from May until she moved into a detox facility last month, said she never saw census takers visit the area underneath the Las Vegas Strip. DePasquale said she does not blame census takers for not attempting to enter the tunnels, but she said it might have helped if they had tried to go with community advocates who make frequent visits below.
The count of esxort unsheltered homeless was originally scheduled for last spring, but the Census Bureau delayed it until late September because of concerns about the coronavirus. The bureau identified eecort, homeless camps for census takers to visit. The Government ability Office warned earlier this month esscort the delay in the homeless count could affect the quality of the census data given the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
People who may have answered the census questionnaire last spring but later became homeless may not be recorded as homeless and may be living in a different place, the watchdog agency said in a report. In San Francisco, a census taker said supervisors were confused about what to do and where to go.
In Oklahoma City, many census takers did only a headcount without interviewing homeless people, so they missed gathering demographic information. A census taker in Bakersfield, California, said a list of homeless sites they were given was outdated, and they were not allowed to interview people who appeared to be homeless if their locations were not on the list. Census takers were prevented from doing any counts in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, because of racial injustice protests that were happening on the same night.
The Census Bureau said in a statement that the unsheltered homeless count is deed with the safety of census takers and those being counted in mind. In Las Vegas, concerns about the homeless count were raised last October at a city council meeting. Las Vegas, along with surrounding Clark County, has an estimated 4, to 6, people living on the streets. The homeless population could be larger, since shelters are operating at reduced capacity because of pandemic restrictions, said then-City Manager Scott Adams.
It deals with apportionment for legislative seats, formula shares for federal funding, a whole range of issues. Census takers would face a lot of challenges if they tried to enter the tunnels on their own to interview residents, said Paul Vautrinot, who le Shine a Light, a nonprofit that provides housing, counseling and other services to several hundred people living in the tunnels.
Drug use is common and conspicuous, according to community advocates who make regular trips into the dank passages to donate food and supplies. Hypodermic needles, rats and human waste are common sights, as is the low, steady flow of water through the tunnels. Some tunnels have mini-communities where a dozen or two dozen people set up tents or beds and share communal meals.
Those who prefer solitude find their own section in the labyrinth. Some people have few belongings. Others have relatively elaborate setups, with furniture or generators. When Clark County runs an annual count of the homeless population required by the U.
Department of Housing and Urban Development, staff and volunteer counters have a police escort. That effort is less intensive than the once-a-decade census and requires only a headcount, not a questionnaire. Most people living in the subterranean channels would not be interested in speaking to strangers asking questions about their backgrounds, even though it might help bring resources to people living there, Vautrinot said.
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When census takers tried to count the nation's homeless population, they ran into many problems that could threaten the accuracy of the effort. That's what a half dozen census takers around the U. Story continues. Latest Stories. Yahoo News.
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