Our Town Reno: Formerly Homeless Teen Describes Life On The Streets

Sep 26, 2018

Shawna Roseman was kicked out of her home when she was 17 while going to McQueen high school and ended up living a half dozen years on the streets, sleeping under bridges in downtown Reno, battling drug addiction and constantly running away from cops, before someone outside her family decided to take her in and help her out.

She told her story to Our Town Reno by the Truckee river where she used to sleep.

“I picked underneath the bridge because I thought that was a little warmer than out just in the [open], and I figured cops wouldn’t catch me,” Roseman remembers. “If they would have caught me, I would have gone to jail or I would have gone into one of their programs and I didn’t want to.” 

Shawna says rebounding took a lot of time and effort. To this day, she says people still look down on her due to her time as a homeless youth, but she knows it’s problem that many in our community are dealing with.

“It does surprise me that there's so many people struggling and don’t know where they’re going to sleep. That is very, very scary.”

You can hear more from Shawna as well as others in our community on Thursday, September 27, during a live journalism event called "Where Will We Sleep Tonight?" It's presented by Our Town Reno and KUNR, in association with AIR Media's Local Lore project and the Reynolds School of Journalism. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Eddy House in Reno.