A Potential Resolution to UNLV’s Homelessness Crisis

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As the Fall semester begins, students return on campus with the same concerns about the homelessness crisis near the Student Union. Being one of the central locations in UNLV, the Student Union faces many interactions among students, staff, vendors, families and particularly those looking for a safe space.

Students have come forward to address their viewpoints on the issue, but the matter remains that the university is an open campus. As long as external visitors follow the building’s rules and regulations, they are allowed to be in the building. 

The homelessness issue has become more prominent in the City of Las Vegas with a 16% increase as of this year according to a census provided by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Students, alongside many who attend the campus frequently, want to be able to attend the university under secure circumstances but understand that many may have nowhere else to go. 

Officials have taken precautions through authorized card access to keep certain facilities for students only, but there is still uncertainty regarding safety. With this in mind, the Nevada Health Centers and the City of Las Vegas offers a potential solution to the crisis.”

Carrie Tallman, a marketing communications manager of Nevada Health Centers, provides assistance within the newest clinic infrastructure known as the Las Vegas Health and Wellness Center (LVHWC). Tallman told the Free Press about the new clinic’s goals and managing the unhoused population since its opening on August 14.

“This particular Las Vegas Health and Wellness Center is about 900 feet, to my understanding from what previously was our location on the Salvation Army campus. So this is great for us because this gives us a little more space than the previous location,” said Tallman. “Through this opportunity with the City of Las Vegas building, we were able to go in, partner with, and provide healthcare. I think we’re geared up to meet the need, and we were fortunate to receive a grant that’s allowing us to expand.”

The city has taken the first step in offering healthcare to unhoused people that is not restricted and ensures access. As individuals visit the clinic, there is the opportunity for them to utilize the resources provided in order to thrive in a permanent environment. Whether it is for mental, physical or emotional health, the new LVHWC location can be a haven for all seeking guidance. 

“Students really need to know and understand that we have an integrated health approach. We feel very strongly that behavioral health is just as important as one’s medical health,” Tallman said.

A helping hand can go a long way, and that may be the action needed to reduce the homelessness crisis on campus. Although it may appear a small act, it is one worth considering as there are many who have never been provided such information before. While there are now security measures for certain facilities, the university may need to work alongside the community for our students to feel safe again.
The new clinic is located at 1450 N. Main St. and is focused on providing services to those from low-income households and those facing homelessness. Their services range from healthcare, family medicine, and support services in collaboration with the Courtyard Homeless Resource Center Complex.

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