Offering hand up to homeless
Event aims to help people on path toward employment
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
• 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.
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 the different services.
Julia Keogh cuts the hair of Joy Simon at Project Homeless Connect at Cashman Center on Tuesday.