Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Las Vegas Hotels Are Empty: The Homeless Are in a “Socially Distant” Parking Lot

Multiple sources reported today that in Las Vegas, authorities have built a “shelter” for the homeless in order to respect “social distancing.” The images coming out of Nevada, however, tell an entirely different story.

Jimena Vergara

March 30, 2020
Facebook Twitter Share

The “shelter” is nothing but an open-air parking lot in which lines have been painted to demarcate spaces for people to sleep. The “social distancing” is a lie — the lines of the grid are much less than six feet apart and are barely large enough for an adult to lay down in. Homeless people are huddled together on the concrete, with no means of protecting themselves from the outdoors or infection.

The outdoor shelter, located in the parking lot of the Cashman Center in Las Vegas, opened Saturday after the Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada shut down after a resident contracted COVID-19. The 500 residents of the shelter were forced out of the shelter into the open air to avoid spreading the potentially deadly disease.

Capitalist hypocrisy knows no bounds. They are leaving these people to die.

About the makeshift shelter, Lisa Morris Hibbler, the Chief Community Services Officer for the City of Las Vegas said: “we have it spaced so that they’re social distancing,” as if these horrendous conditions were nothing out of the ordinary.

Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones also said: “We’re proud to be working in collaboration with the city to meet the needs of our homeless population and appreciate the quick response of the participants in standing up the facility so soon.” 

There are over 100,000 hotel rooms in Vegas. The vast majority of these are empty as a result of the pandemic, yet homeless people are sleeping close together on the ground in a parking lot. According to official figures, there are at least 14,000 homeless people in Nevada. There is more than enough room to house them all. 

Homeless people are of course among the most vulnerable to the pandemic, but the virus is not the problem. The problem is a system that is organized so that the ruling class is more than taken care of while the working class cannot get social assistance.  Capitalist and government barbarism has never been so exposed. 

Unions, workers, and community organizations must demand that the needs of people who are homeless be addressed by emergency measures such as adequate and clean housing; they must be guaranteed food and healthcare in the face of the pandemic. 

The capitalists and governments will say there is no money or no space to house these people. But that’s simply not true. We must expropriate empty hotels in Las Vegas and the vacant properties of the rich immediately so that everyone has shelter in the midst of this crisis.

Facebook Twitter Share

Jimena Vergara

Jimena is an author of the collection "Mexico en Llamas" and lives and works in New York City.

United States

A horizontal testing scantron with almost all of the bubbles filled in

The Changes to AP African American Studies Are “Absolutely Political”: A Former College Board Worker Speaks Out

A former College Board worker explains how the company's "apolitical" pedagogical approaches privilege right wing ideas, even as the right wing accuses them of spreading "wokeism."

Jess DuBois

February 4, 2023

Massive Looting of Public Resources at Stake in District Detroit Redevelopment Scheme

Billionaire developers in Detroit have proposed capturing almost one billion dollars in public money to fund their newest project. The deal is far from sealed, but organized community opposition will be necessary to prevent approvals from sailing through.

Rita Singer

February 3, 2023

In Standoff Over Cop City, Police Are the Real Terrorists

For over two years, the protests and occupations against a police training center in Atlanta, Georgia flew under the radar of the mainstream press. Now, after the police murder of land defender Manuel Teran and the arrest of 19 protesters on charges of domestic terrorism, the standoff has gained national attention. But in the battle to defend the Weelaunee Forest and the people of Atlanta from the development of the massive “Cop City” training center, it is the Atlanta Police Department and the state that have been acting like terrorists.

James Dennis Hoff

January 27, 2023

Say His Name! Justice for Tyre Nichols

As the video footage of the police murder of Tyre Nichols is released today, it will be important for everyone who is against police violence to stand in solidarity and defend and join in the mobilizations demanding justice for his murder.

Tristan Taylor

January 27, 2023


Protesters after the murder of Tyre Nichols.

‘We Shall Not be Moved’: Maintaining and Uplifting Black Struggle during Black History Month

This Black History Month, let's raise the banner of Black liberation and the need for a revolutionary socialist strategy that, among other things, shows the inextricable link between class exploitation and racial oppression.

Tristan Taylor

February 6, 2023
All That's Left, the podcast from Left Voice.

#AllThatsLeftPod: A History of the U.S. Revolutionary Left and Trotskyism

In this episode of the podcast, we're joined by historian Bryan Palmer to discuss the origins of the U.S. revolutionary left and Trotskyism, James P. Cannon, and socialists' role in class struggle in the 1920s and 30s.

Left Voice

February 6, 2023
High-angle view of protests in France on January 31 against President Macron's pension reforms.

Historic Protests in France: Where to for the French Working Class?

After two of the largest days of protest in over a decade, with unprecedented union support and student turnout, the workers and youth of France must push unions to take up a militant strategy to defeat not only this latest pension reform but also Macron and his government.

Antoine Ramboz

February 6, 2023
Polish soldiers, a zoom-in on a Polish flag on their uniform.

Poland Plans to Become the Most Powerful Military Power in Europe

The war in Ukraine has become a powerful driver of the militarization and rearmament of NATO member countries. Poland now plans to double its military spending with the goal of building the largest land army in Europe.

Otto Fors

February 6, 2023