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Our Town Reno: Life Along The Truckee River

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Wendy Wiglesworth sits by the Truckee River.

Until recently, Wendy Wiglesworth lived for nine years on the banks of the Truckee River after fleeing an abusive relationship and not feeling comfortable at Reno's main downtown shelter.  In this audio postcard, she recounts details of surviving as a homeless person and creating a sense of community along the river.

Wiglesworth has been homeless since her boyfriend threw all of her stuff out into the street. At first, she tried to go to the shelter, but she found the enviroment too stifling. 

Now, she prefers living outside to being in the shelter and says she established herself within the river community as a resource. 

"I was, like, called by more than one people as the 'welcome wagon,' " she said."I'd show everybody where to go, where to get blankets, where to sleep, when to wake up."

Wiglesworth, who used to run her own salon, said the homeless community takes care of each other. 

"Most of the community that I know will do anything for you if you're hungry; it doesn't matter who you are, if you're scared, you're tired.... 'Here, come, you need a blanket? Are you hungry? Come sit down, you need a ciagarette?' "

Read Our Town Reno's original story on Wendy

This story was produced by Our Town Reno, a multimedia street reporting project run by the Reynolds School of Journalism. Our Town Reno is hosting a series of live journalism events focused on homelessness. The next one is December 21st at 5 pm at Brodhead Park.

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