"Tent City" will include Nevada Lawmakers

At least five legislators and up to 100 other people will be sleeping in tents outside the Legislature overnight on Feb. 18 to draw attention to the hardships that homeless people face in Nevada.

Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, says she's organizing the "Tent City" to publicize the need to provide transitional housing
and mental health assistance to homeless people. She's pushing a bill to appropriate $20 million to assist homeless people, more than double the $9 million spent after the 2005 Legislature.

Temperatures for that night in February usually are in the mid-20s. Snow is frequent as well.

"Folks who are homeless people sleep in conditions like that a lot," Clark County homeless services coordinator Shannon West said.

West anticipates as many as 40 Las Vegas residents, including some homeless, will make the trek to Carson City.

The idea of the tent city and the Homeless Awareness Day set for
Feb. 19 at the Legislature is to bring attention to initiatives to help the homeless.

Leslie's Assembly Health and Human Services Committee will hold hearings on homeless-related bills that afternoon.

Marcus Conklin, David Parks, Steven Horsford and Marilyn Kirkpatrick, all Clark County Democrats, have agreed to spend the night in the tent city, according to Leslie. Others will be asked to participate.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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