About 200,000 people sleep on the streets every night. 25% of them have serious mental disorders.
Last month Police in Henderson, Nevada, found an elderly woman living behind a concrete traffic barrier. Rose (last name withheld) is 75 years old and was wearing a makeshift sling for her fractured arm and carrying everything she owned in a single suitcase. Rose said she had lived and worked in the Las Vegas Valley for years, but circumstances had left her homeless and alone.
The officers Sterling Candland and Carlos Chorens said they felt an instant connection to Rose and wanted to help her get back on her feet. First they connected her with local organizations that help the homeless. They checked back in with those folks a week or so later and were told Rose wasn't coming to the meetings and they believed it was because she had no support system. She said she had a son but hadn't seen him decades and didn't even know where he lived. The officers then turned to their department’s Community Resource Center to try and locate her family.
Officers were able to find Rose’s son, living in Louisiana. He was thrilled and amazed to hear that his mom was still alive! Last he had seen her was in the early 90's in California. She had apparently developed a drug problem and moved to Vegas without telling anyone. The police then bought Rose a plane ticket to go be with her family. So Rose is now living in a loving home with her son and grandsons she didn’t even know she had, all thanks to two police officers who cared enough to help her out.
Councilors there say Rose is doing great now that is connected with family who love her.