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Home and rental prices continue to soar in Northern Nevada and Northeastern California, leaving more working families and individuals on the brink. Seniors, college students, single parents, immigrants, and the working poor are particularly vulnerable. Some must choose to pay rent over buying food or securing healthcare. The lack of affordable housing in urban and rural areas alike is changing the identity of this region. In response, the KUNR newsroom is examining housing through many lenses, including the economic, political, and public health impacts.You can also subscribe to the Priced Out Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.

Washoe's Senior Lunch Program: 'It's Like A Little Family'

A senior stands at a table with food in front of him.
Anh Gray

Older Americans are much more likely to experience the burden of high housing costs. Washoe County Senior Services provides a variety of programs, serving more than 20,000 people in the region. The lunch program is one of the most popular with many, including Bud Matlock. He lives in public housing and shares his story with KUNR.

Many come to the lunch program for the one good meal they might have all day. Matlock comes for other reasons, too.

“And also a little camaraderie with my friends, so we come out and hang out every day and talk to each other, and it’s a great place to meet friends and people, and also there’s a lot of resources here to help you if you need help. It’s like a little family. We take care of each other and help each other.”

Matlock says he is often reminded of how blessed he is, with good health and an apartment to call home.

“There are times when I get down in the dumps and start complaining to myself and then when I look around I see how blessed I really am."

This story is part of our series called Priced Out: The Housing Crunch.

Anh Gray is a former contributing editor at KUNR Public Radio.
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