homelessness

Lexie's Gift: Clothing For Those In Transition

Jul 29, 2019
Lexie's Gift pop-up shop with clothing racks and donation truck.
Kylee Warden

In Reno, countless adults and children are in transition. They may be homeless, in the foster care system, or recovering from substance abuse. A local, nonprofit organization called Lexie’s Gift is helping those in transition by providing clothing for free. Kylee Warden of Reno Youth Radio visited the shop and has this story.

Illustrated by Stephanie Serrano

With high housing prices in Northern Nevada, Reno is seeing community members choosing to stay in motels as long-term residents. The city created a motel inspection program late last year and the team recently conducted its first inspection. KUNR’s Michelle Billman sat down with our reporters Stephanie Serrano and Krysta Scripter to learn more.

Illustrated by Stephanie Serrano

Along the Truckee River, you may spot tents set up by people experiencing homelessness in Reno. One of them is Brandon, a musician in his thirties who has been homeless for a year and recently set up camp. He’s originally from Colorado Springs but has been in Reno for 20 years. In this audio postcard, Brandon talks about relying on his guitar and bargaining to make a living.

A row of canned food on a shelf.
Lucia Starbuck.

Due to rising rents and tuition costs, there is an increasing need for easier access to affordable food and other daily necessities for students at the University of Nevada, Reno. Student contributor Lucia Starbuck explores a resource on campus called Pack Provisions that provided food or clothing to more than 600 visitors during the fall semester.

 

Our Town Reno: Life Along The Truckee River

Dec 18, 2018

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.

Jazmin Dardy presenting her spoken word poem at the Our Town Reno, Where Will We Sleep Tonight event.
Krysta Scripter

Last year, more than 2,000 Washoe County youth experienced homelessness, according to local health officials. Jasmin Dardy, a youth who says she has struggled with abuse and trauma, spoke about what led her to the streets with KUNR's Stephanie Serrano.

Michele Gehr is the director of the Eddy House.
Stephanie Serrano

On any given night there are, on average, 400 to 600 homeless youth living on the streets of Reno. That’s according to Michele Gehr, the director of the Eddy House, a trauma care drop-in center for homeless youth. She sat down with KUNR reporter Stephanie Serrano to talk about the severity of this problem.

“In 2017 we saw at Eddy House 769 unique youth. This is an issue because in 2015, when Eddy House opened as a drop-in center, there were about 100 kids. This year, 2018, we are slated to see nearly 1,000 homeless youth,” Gehr says.

Holly Hutchings

For some, an unexpected family emergency is all it takes to eat up the rent budget, pushing these families close to homelessness. A program from the Reno Housing Authority is meant to catch them before they get there. KUNR’s Holly Hutchings has more.

Nico Colombant guides the live journalism three part series event at the Eddy House, in Reno.
Stephanie Serrano

Nearly 4,000 people in Reno are living in motels, according to the Reno Area Alliance for the Homeless. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano sat down with Nico Colombant to talk about what homelessness looks like in this community. Colombant is an instructor at the Reynolds School of Journalism and the lead organizer of Our Town Reno, a street reporting organization which focuses on exposing the revolving issues of homelessness in Reno, Nevada. 

A woman and a small dog sit on a bed inside a motel.
Our Town Reno

60-year-old Joyce Cowdin lives at the El Tavern Motel in Reno. She used to work but is now in poor health, so her budget is tight. While some of the local motels have issues with drugs, crime, and bug infestations, they offer affordable housing for families, seniors and the working poor. In this audio postcard, Cowdin describes her living situation and says the motels are a safety net for many low income residents. 

Nico Colombant / Our Town Reno

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.

Bree Zender

Our reporter Bree Zender has been talking to various everyday people in the region affected by rising house costs. Today, she talks with one mom whose adult son has a mental illness about her efforts to keep him off the streets.


Krysta Scripter

As a part of our "Priced Out" series focusing on affordable housing, we wanted to find the human beings of this issue. The real people who represent the statistics and percentages.

And we found three of them—a family—at a Days Inn Motel in Carson City. Reno Public Radio's Bree Zender followed their story for about a month, starting at the motel. 

“I kind of had a nervous breakdown about six years ago and kind of got out of the circle of life so to speak. I just haven't been able to pick myself back up,” Jerry Jackson said.
Prince Nesta / Our Town Reno

Jerry Jackson used to be an operations manager for a hazardous waste facility. That was before he suffered a mental health breakdown. Now, he's homeless and lives in downtown Reno. He spoke to our student contributor Prince Nesta about life on the streets and his struggle to find work.

Our Town Reno: Thirty-three And Homeless

Dec 17, 2017
Prince Nesta / Our Town Reno

We hear a lot about the problem of homelessness in downtown Reno, but we don’t always hear from the actual people who are living on the streets. Today, we join Derek Rivera to learn what a typical day is like for him. Rivera is 33, and he was homeless in a handful of other cities before landing in Reno.

This story was reported by Prince Nesta for Our Town Reno, a multimedia street reporting project run by the Reynolds School of Journalism.

Newly Homeless Again

ThisisReno.com

The City of Reno is considering controversial vagrancy ordinances that prohibit specific behaviors. Critic argue that the new rules would target the homeless. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more.

ThisisReno.com

There have been clashes recently between the City of Sparks and homeless advocates. Let’s turn to our News Director Michelle Billman and Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more.

 

The Sparks Police Department has allegedly been telling homeless individuals along the Truckee River to leave the area.

ThisisReno.com

A property in downtown Reno is getting a makeover, forcing some of its residents to look for more affordable housing. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more. 

A recently announced property makeover by Colorado’s Jacobs Entertainment has some residents looking for a new place to live.

Bob Conrad

More than a thousand people attended the Project Homeless Connect fair in downtown Reno this week. Our reporter Bob Conrad of ThisisReno.com was there and has this story.

Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada helps to organize an annual fair to bring together dozens of groups who provide housing, health and educational assistance.

Matt Vaughn of Catholic Charities says that the event aims to provide resources for the working poor and those without homes in the Reno area.

Image courtesy Jay Kolbet-Clausell / ThisisReno.com

The City of Reno has removed 68 benches from downtown using money from its blight fund. Officials say the project is in response to complaints of panhandling. 

Our reporter Bob Conrad has been covering this story for ThisisReno and says the reaction he's received from local advocates for the homeless has been overwhelmingly negative. It's also created some real questions.

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