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Bags left as donations creates trash in homeless corridor

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 12/22/2013 1:41 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Good intentions can lead to unexpected consequences.

That's what Metro police and Las Vegas charities are finding this time of year.

Marie Mortera has a story that may make locals think twice about where they give and how they give to the needy.

There is a mess left behind streets which is linked to people with generous hearts.

These donors may not even realize what's happened but today, News 3 was given a first-hand look.

Past the glittery lights of Fremont Street are the shelters on this Wednesday, the roads are fairly clear. After the weekend it is a different story.

There is the usual homeless in tents that hide the sidewalk but on this day there is an added element of garbage bags torn open with clothing littering in the area.

The source may surprise you.

“We were by here at 5 a.m. and there was the normal garbage we expect to see, but these bags of clothing were not here,” said Officer John Schutt. “So what I would guess, and what I’ve seen, is people who will come by and drop off bags of clothing but this is what happens with it. It’s just left."

The community, touched by the cold weather and season of giving, may not realize their gifts are not all used, says metro. For local shelters, it's frustrating.

“We have people come by, see them gathered and bring them sandwiches or fast food while waiting for a meal that donors and the community that helped us provide.

"As it is, we can't take the clothing now because it's spoiled or the food is spoiled or the clothign is dirty," said Catholic Charities' Steve Meriweather.

Instead of giving these clothes and food to people, what is left is wasted.

“It's a waste of donation and manpower and it ends up costing the city, county, us for something they thought was helping somebody,” Meriweather said

Come Friday, Metro will help the city cleanup crews get rid of what's left behind. It's a weekly task that kicks up as during the holiday giving season.


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