Homelessness is a serious problem in our community and across the country.

On any given night about 6,000 people are homeless in Southern Nevada, and more 16,000 local residents will experience homelessness at some point during the year.

Homelessness is costly for all of us as Nevada taxpayers spend approximately $73,000 for one year of services for one homeless individual. This amount is based largely on the costs of emergency room visits, more than 70 percent of homeless individuals use the emergency room for common medical treatments; contact with law enforcement, including arrests and incarceration; as well as street cleaning and other public service costs.

Homelessness also puts a strain on the police, fire and ambulance companies in Southern Nevada who combined respond to more than 100 homeless related calls every day.

By contrast, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that it costs about $21,000 per year to house a homeless individual. For more information about homelessness in our community visit www.helphopehome.org.

If you are planning to donate money, food, clothes or other items, or looking to volunteer to help the homeless, make your donation lead to meaningful change in someone’s life by donating directly to a cause or organization that works with the homeless. Help Change Lives. Donate Responsibly.