Photos and Interview by Jose Olivares for Our Town Reno
Smith, a 19-year resident of our community, is homeless because he doesn't have a job. He sometimes gets work in construction during warmer months, but he's had health problems, dealing with ruptured disks in his back.
On our community: "People have good hearts. They tolerate us. Some people don't.... If we don't have greed in front of us and we help each other then everything should be allright."
On city leaders: "I think they need to make a place, not just the homeless shelter, where people can be safe, where they can camp."
On his health problems: "You can save your money, put it into a bank account for 20 years and have it wiped out in a second due to medical problems. That's what you have to understand. You can have a life and be on your feet and not be homeless your whole life and then have something wipe you out."
On sticking together: "If you don't have friends and you don't have a lot of family that starts another set of parameters. Then you're dealing with people who don't know you and that's when you start having issues... We're a community. Everything in this community, one thing will affect everything else. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. We just need to deal with it."