Of­fer­ing hand up to home­less

Event aims to help peo­ple on path to­ward em­ploy­ment

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - NEVADA - By Michael Scott David­son Las Ve­gas Re­view-journal

Mneeded a suit. The 43-year-old has been job hunt­ing for six months, but he’s heard a friend of a friend could be hir­ing soon. Hop­ing for an in­ter­view, Young headed to a re­source fair at Cash­man Cen­ter on Tues­day.

Young browsed through racks of do­nated cloth­ing and set­tled on a blue shirt, gold tie and brown pants. It took a lit­tle longer to find a jacket that would fit his wide-shoul­dered frame.

“You want to be pre­sentable,” he said. “They say your first im­pres­sion is the best im­pres­sion.”

Young was among thou­sands of peo­ple who at­tended Project Home­less Con­nect, an an­nual event that serves as a meet­ing place for more than 150 ser­vice providers and peo­ple who are home­less or at risk of liv­ing on the streets.

Spread across the sprawl­ing event cen­ter floor were sta­tions for free hair­cuts, cloth­ing and job train­ing. Med­i­cal, den­tal and vi­sion care were pro­vided as well.

Aar­ion Franklin, 26, came Tues­day morn­ing hop­ing to find a place to live.


Since then, the health dis­trict has re­ceived no­ti­fi­ca­tions of the ill­ness among guests who left Las Ve­gas and were di­ag­nosed in their home­towns, ac­cord­ing to Kim­berly Hertin, the health dis­trict’s dis­ease sur­veil­lance su­per­vi­sor. The tim­ing of those ex­po­sures is not clear, so the dis­trict leaves the in­ves­ti­ga­tion open while those re­ports trickle in, she said.

In ad­di­tion to the Le­gion­naires’ out­break, an Oc­to­ber re­port from the health dis­trict said there were 56 sus­pected cases of in­fluenza-like Pon­tiac fever, a milder ill­ness caused by the same bac­te­ria, at the ho­tel, for a to­tal of 92 con­firmed or sus­pected cases re­lated to the out­break.

Rio staff launched a third dis­in­fec­tion pro­ce­dure on Nov. 3 as a pre­cau­tion. All re­cent tests of the ho­tel’s wa­ter sys­tems showed low or no pres­ence of the Le­gionella bac­te­ria, and guests are not cur­rently at risk for in­fec­tion, Cole con­firmed.

Re­sults from the lat­est dis­in­fec­tion will be avail­able by the end of the month, Cole said.

Jen­nifer Fork­ish, a spokes­woman for Cae­sars En­ter­tain­ment Corp., which owns the Rio, said the ho­tel-casino is han­dling cus­tomer con­cerns re­lated to the out­break “promptly and con­fi­den­tially.”

Le­gion­naires’ dis­ease spreads when wa­ter droplets in the air con­tain­ing the Le­gionella bac­te­ria are in­haled, usu­ally around show­ers, hot tubs, sinks and wa­ter foun­tains.

The dis­ease presents as pneu­mo­nia and in­cludes symp­toms such • High fever • Chills • Cough • Mus­cle aches • Headaches Other types of pneu­mo­nia have sim­i­lar symp­toms. You will prob­a­bly need a chest X-ray to di­ag­nose the pneu­mo­nia. Lab tests can de­tect the spe­cific bac­te­ria that cause Le­gion­naires' dis­ease.

Most peo­ple ex­posed to the bac­te­ria do not be­come sick. You are more likely to get sick if you:

• Are older than 50

• Smoke

• Have a chronic lung dis­ease

• Have a weak im­mune sys­tem as high fever and cough. Prompt treat­ment with an­tibi­otics usu­ally cures Le­gion­naires’ dis­ease, but if left un­treated it can be fa­tal.

Con­tact Jessie Bekker at jbekker@ re­viewjour­nal.com or 702-380-4563. Fol­low @jessiebekks on Twit­ter.

Rachel As­ton

Las Ve­gas Re­view-journal @rook­ie__rae Vol­un­teer Norma Slav­ish hugs An­toine Phillips at Project Home­less Con­nect, a ser­vice and re­source fair for peo­ple who are home­less or at risk, on Tues­day at Cash­man Cen­ter. Slav­ish was Phillips’ nav­i­ga­tor through...

Ju­lia Keogh cuts the hair of Joy Si­mon at Project Home­less Con­nect at Cash­man Cen­ter on Tues­day.

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