text, photos and reporting by Jose Olivares for Our Town Reno
Bonnie Pace, who did not want her picture taken, has recently been forced to move from her previous location by the Truckee river, on the Sparks side right by the border with Reno.
Bonnie was living under the bridge by Rock Park until she says Sparks Police informed her that she had to leave the location and be 350 feet from the bridge. Bonnie says there are close to 50 people still living by the bridge and river.
Wednesday this week, volunteers held a "Peace Walk" to clean the area near the river, hoping this would encourage the police to allow homeless folks to continue to live there.
With a huge smile on her face, Bonnie said she would have joined them, if she were able to walk better and didn't have a knee injury.
Pace's three-year-old cat also received help from the activists.
Bonnie's Cat Is Saved
"They got my cat out of the tree! They're awesome."
Bonnie was able to move her tent away from the bridge and river, hoping her new location would dissuade the police from forcing her to move again. But she says the previous situation was better for homeless people.
"When they had tent city, it helped, before they abused it," she says. "People don't know what they got 'til they don't got it."
Bonnie encourages members of the Reno and Sparks community to reach out and communicate with homeless folks.
"Stop and actually get to know them," she says. "Yeah there are some dirtbags out there, but people out here are nice. Come out here and have a conversation. Just because we're homeless, don't mean we're out committing crimes."