When nights get colder and snow falls, more houseless people need to find shelter in our area, but on these particularly bitter and dangerous nights to be living outside, Reno's main shelters, run by the Volunteers of America, quickly fill up, as do religious and abuse shelters.
One option then is a temporary overflow shelter, also run by the VOA, which has been temporary for a while now, after the previous overflow shelter was vandalized last winter.
Long Waits, Bare Conditions
People waiting for the overflow shelter can wait for hours late into the evening before a van picks them up to take them to the overflow location. Its exact location isn't publicized, and the only way to gain access is to be taken there. Some give up before the van arrives. Late arrivals are sometimes told there isn't enough room for everyone at the overflow, where conditions are really bare. When busy, homeless people say the last van sometimes doesn't get to the overflow until near midnight. They say everyone is woken up at a quarter to five, and back on the streets in the early morning hours.
These photos and testimony from last night were shared with Our Town Reno by an anonymous contributor.
Our contributor says the ground inside can be dirty, with many people bringing in gravel with their shoes. The contributor said there is no access to clean water. There are also complaints about bed bugs. Disabled homeless complain the services aren't adequate for their extra needs.
Photos by an Anonymous Contributor for Our Town Reno