Suddenly Priced Out
Alan says he rented a downtown Reno apartment which he could afford for eight years, up to about $560 , but that recently the monthly price on his unit went up to almost a thousand dollars. He says he tried sharing costs with a fiance but that didn’t work out, so he ended up living by the river for a while.
“Then the police came along and told me I had to get to the shelter so here I am,” he said at a recent outreach event.
Like many others, he calls the recent trend in higher rents the “Tesla” effect. He says he’s happy locals are being employed by Tesla, warehouses and other tech companies, but he says for those depending on fixed income finding affordable shelter has become nearly impossible.
“My check isn’t doing me any good. I can’t pay any rent,” he said. “It’s so that now you can’t afford anything and you are out on the streets.”
Shunning Roomates, Running out of Options
Alan said he considered looking for roommates, but that wouldn’t be his first choice. On the other hand, without roommates, he says he doesn’t like his current options either.
“I want to live by myself, but the only way I can afford that is in a bad neighborhood with cockroaches and everything else,” he said.
He appreciates all the help he’s gotten at the main downtown homeless shelter, but hopes it’s only temporary.
Shelter Woes, Pushed off the River, Trailer Dreams
Alan points out many downsides to nights at the shelter. “(It’s) listening to people yelling, screaming, fighting. There’s lots and lots of people who need mental help although there are less and less agencies to take care of them.”
Alan says living by the river he feels he was harassed by police as part of efforts to hide the growing homeless problem, which has recently worsened across Western states.
A Warning to Others
He wishes he could find a place where he could rent out or share a trailer with costs he could afford. He says he’d be content that way.
He warns others his situation could soon be theirs as well.
“Don't forget it takes just a minute and somebody that has everything could be homeless just like that. So don’t judge or (look at) people badly that are homeless because you don’t know, one minute you can have everything and one minute it could be gone and you see the same people going up as you go down.”