While glowing media reports about police outreach were quickly followed by citations to homeless living along the Truckee River in Sparks, activists with the local Food Not Bombs chapter decided to increase their presence there.
This past Monday, in addition to holding their weekly evening food and water distribution at Fisherman’s Park, activists also pitched a tent within other tents further along the river path to have a permanent, around the clock place for monitoring and support teams.
The activists also started guerrilla gardening cucumbers and tomato vines.
Our Town Reno interviewed Niesha, who also works in Reno with Resource Action Programs, building kits to teach children how to save energy and water.
What was your reaction to last week’s positive media reports about police outreach within the encampments?
The media portrays the police as trustworthy so of course no one is going to question it. Second, the police are trying to be looked at in a better light because of everything that’s happening in America right now. Anytime they have a good story they put it out there.
How do you think most people view the homeless among us?
Everywhere in America right now people are thinking of homeless people not as people but just as a thing, a homeless, not what their name is. When they do see the homeless they usually don’t know how much they are in need. They don’t bother to find out. Most of Reno doesn’t know about the situation here.
Why is it important to help the homeless?
We all have our time when we are down and out. We all need help, whether we want to ask for it or not. Homeless people need that same help. Even just talking to them. If you don’t have time to come join us on Monday evenings, you can still come here and pass out your own water bottles and sandwiches.
Photos and Interview by Our Town Reno, July 2016, along the Truckee River in Sparks