Homeless people sleep in a temporary parking lot shelter at Cashman Center, with spaces marked for social distancing to help slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Las Vegas, Nevada, Monday, March 30.
Homeless people were directed to sleep in rectangles painted on the pavement in the makeshift parking lot camp, a move that is stirring outrage by some on social media.
Former Obama administration housing chief Julian Castro suggested in a post on Twitter that the city’s homeless should be temporarily placed in empty hotel rooms.Added actress Alyssa Milano in a tweet: “In Las Vegas, homeless people are sleeping on concrete floor of a parking lot — six feet apart—while all the hotel rooms are empty.”
The white-lined patches of pavement were created by officials in the city known for its hospitality after a homeless shelter closed when a man staying there tested positive for the coronavirus.
City officials said they decided to temporarily place the homeless in a parkinglot of a multi-use facility rather than inside buildings that include a stadium, a theater, exhibit space and meeting rooms, because officials planned to reserve them for potential hospital overflow space if needed.
City spokesman Jace Radke said Tuesday that the open-air shelter was an “emergencysituation” and the lot was chosen because the city already owned the property. It’s expected to be used until Friday, when the closed shelter should reopen. The state has1,141 confirmed cases and 26 deaths as of Wednesday. (Reuters/AP).