Life at the Shelter, Waiting for Better Days
Lori’s job search in Reno got derailed as she says her new Reno boyfriend encountered serious health issues. At the time of our meeting, she said she hoped to pool resources together and find a place with him.
“He's been dealing with cellulitis in both legs,” she told us during our interview. “His legs look like an elephant's legs, and his feet, look like an elephant’s, but now he's better. So I'm hoping tomorrow he'll be out (of the hospital) and then … I won't be homeless anymore. We met when I kept asking him like a million questions because I'm new here and then that's how I met him. He lives in the shelter just like me. “
She has found shelter life in downtown Reno difficult.
“They try their best, but there's not enough staff,” she said. “There's not enough bathrooms. It's cramped, it’s crowded. People argue. You're thrown in with random people and it's like we really need more blankets and towels and I know the workers and the staff do the best they can, but there's just not enough of them. It is just cramped, crowded….”
More Resources Needed to Get Back on Track
Lori would like to have more resources on location at the downtown shelter if possible.
“My recommendation would be a larger homeless facility,” she said. She would like the shelter to have more computers so people can look up jobs quickly. She thinks it would also be useful to have a service for immediate access for job interview clothes.
“It's like you don't always have money to buy your interview clothes, but you need the interview clothes to get off the street and maybe have someone help people on their job interviews and stuff...”
She says her boyfriend did find housing before he went to the hospital, but it took him three months, due to the local housing crisis, and lack of affordability. Meanwhile, while her boyfriend sorts out his health issues, she is still homeless, dealing with getting kicked out of bathrooms, ticketed if she falls asleep outside, and hearing mean things said about her.
“They told me I need to be on the grass area and avoid restaurants,” she said of her interactions with Reno’s police. “It's ice cold out here and I'm fighting off all these germs from everybody (at the shelter)….”
Brushing Up Her Resume at the Library
Lori has been trying to write a new resume for herself, she says. She’s gone to the library to get help from books but says it only got her more confused.
“I was reading these articles and they're like, use this font and use that font. And I'm like, oh my gosh, you know, I'm not sure which one is the best,” she said.
She has had experience helping her Dad work on cars and motorcycles. She’s also worked in the fast food industry, and as a personal cook. If given the opportunity, she’d love to find work cooking for the disabled.
Lori also said she wanted to remind Our Town Reno readers that her birthday is January 6th, and that she hopes they will have good thoughts for her.