For Homeless, Phone Call Home Offers Hope

LAS VEGAS -- While many people are planning holiday vacations, people living on the streets are without resources to go anywhere.

But for one man who is homeless, a long distance phone call changed everything.

Dozens of organizations in the Las Vegas valley gathered at Cashman Center for the annual Project Homeless Connect to help people get food, clothing and shelter. About 2,800 people attended the event Thursday.

In one area of the convention center, hundreds of people were able to reconnect with family members through free phone calls.

For Mike Neumann, the phone call was a second chance at life.

"They just want to confirm that you'll take me in," Neumann said to a friend on the phone.

Neumann moved to Las Vegas from Michigan six months ago for a job as a painter, only to be laid off with nowhere to go.

"I been kind of sleeping wherever and it's not easy," he said. "It's not easy and a lot of people don't know what they have. To have a warm bed or to have a place to take a shower or be able to make a cup of coffee."

His homelessness was also a wake up call after his 7-year-old son Brice told him what he wanted for Christmas.

"He said, ‘Dad, I'm not even worried about a present,'" Neumann said. "He said, ‘I just want to see you.' You know, I was like, ‘Woah.'

"When he told me that, I about fell apart because I didn't have no money to give him anything. I'm having a hard enough time keeping myself fed."

Neumann said he plans to return to Michigan with a free ticket given to him and others by nonprofit organizations, Family Promise and Catholic Charities, and government agencies, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, the City of Las Vegas and Metro Police.


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