Emilio, a Native American from the Ute tribe, with an affinity for punk rock, and dreams of becoming a professional boxer, says he has to watch out for other homeless and police as he sleeps on the streets of Reno, trying to get by amid rising rents, motels and hotels he prefers to avoid, with a cart full of possessions and a small dog, which he always feeds before himself.
Listen to an audio documentary of Emilio describing in his own words his current life on the streets of Reno:
As City Council discusses new anti-vagrancy laws, Emilio says he's already constantly told by police to move on, a reality of living on the streets he finds difficult.
Cat and Mouse with Police
Every morning, Emilio says he wakes up and packs up very early to move before any cops can get to him.
"I gotta get ready before the cops come ... so they don’t give me a citation. I’ve got a citation already. You know next time they told me if I’m camping here by the river within 300 feet they were gonna bust me and put me in jail so I have to be on my toes."
He says he gets by with free food at the shelter or some people will give him food as well. He always gives his own dog the first bites.
The Cargo Trailer Option
His parents made it on their own, he says, so he doesn't want to depend on them anymore. He thinks living in trucks and cargo trailers should be allowed for those who can't afford rising rents.
"I want a good-sized truck along with a cargo trailer and convert it into a home.... those cargo trailers .... I think they are really cheap and the parts are easy to get and they ‘re cheap too, to replace an axle it ‘s like only two to three hundred dollars .. You can get a good sized cargo trailer for like seven-gs maybe even five ...."
Photos and Audio Reporting by Prince Nesta for Our Town Reno