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Police warn against taking homeless donations directly to streets

Jacqui Heinrich

Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Police warn against taking homeless donations directly to streets

CREATED Dec. 20, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A lot of people want to donate to the homeless through the holidays, but tonight Las Vegas police want people to know that taking items directly to the streets can be wasteful and in some cases dangerous.

Police say there has been a huge problem with families bringing food and clothing directly to the streets; it ends up strewn in sidewalks and rotting in alleys, which costs the city lots of clean-up money in the end.

Police also warn that the streets where homeless tend to gather can be dangerous areas.

"We don't know who they're dealing with. A lot of them have weapons on them. You've got registered sex offenders down here, it's just not a place you should be bringing your children and having them walk around," said Officer John Schutt of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police.

If you want to help out, volunteer at a shelter, serve food at a kitchen, or bring donations to a charity. Police say these programs not only provide immediate assistance to those in need, but help people get off the street with mental health services, back-to-work programs, and drug and alcohol services.
 
"We can take cash, we can take clothing, we can take food," Steve Meriwether of Catholic Charities told Action News. "We can get it directly to the people that need it and it won't be left out on the street, Nothing will go to waste if it comes to us."
 

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