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Pandemic Exacerbating Problems For Unsheltered Individuals, Advocates Say

A screenshot of a Zoom call featuring eleven speakers.
Our Town Reno via Facebook
Our Town Reno held a virtual town hall on Tuesday, April 13, and the speakers discussed issues unsheltered individuals are facing in the region.

Homeless advocates in Reno say the pandemic has only exacerbated problems for unsheltered individuals in the region.

Community leaders discussed the issues during an Our Town Reno virtual town hall Tuesday. They say unhoused individuals are facing a variety of issues such as the criminalization of homelessness, food scarcity and a looming eviction crisis.

Meghan Simons with the Reno/Sparks Mutual Aid Facebook group says the lack of affordable housing is one of the area’s greatest challenges.

“To rent an apartment now, not assuming any income requirements or anything, but to rent an apartment at this new experience district that’s being built, you would literally put your entire year’s salary into rent if you made $18 an hour. That’s insane,” said Simons.

The Reno City Council recently approved plans to move forward with the second phase of constructing a massive new homeless shelter on East Fourth Street; however, advocacy groups say more needs to be done to address substance abuse and mental health issues within the unsheltered community.

Jayden Perez is a senior studying at the Reynolds School of Journalism.

Jayden Perez is a former web producer and student reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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