Peace at the Eddy House
Carlton, 23, who came to Reno from Sacramento last year, trying to escape what he calls a very complicated family dynamic and his native state with just 200 dollars, is hoping to enlist in the Marines. He was hoping to find a job in Reno, but that didn’t happen fast enough, trapping him into homelessness.
“I ran out of money and ran out of food and options and then I happened to hear about this place,” he said of the Eddy House where we met him during the recent homeless youth count. Carlton says when the drop-in center is open during weekdays, he can work on getting some of his life back on track, rather than feeling constantly chased around.
He’s been homeless previously in Sacramento, where he lived off of top ramen noodles and fountain water, but he says he prefers being homeless in Reno because of the services provided by the Eddy House.
Carlton says he now avoids regular homeless shelters, so he sleeps outside at a location he prefers to keep secret. “After the sun comes out that's where like security usually comes around and after that I go and look for food,” he said.
“I can't sleep in a room full of strangers. I can't do it and there have been numerous times when people have their stuff taken and when you are in there people would just scream and scream and no one would stop,” he explained as to why he avoid shelters.
Harder when the Eddy House is Closed
When the Eddy House closes every night and on weekends, he says life for him becomes much harder.
“I walk around and people see my backpack and I just get profiled. The don't make eye contact with me, I’m not asking for anything I just want to be treated like a human being. It's like I’m not even a human being anymore. Also getting food is pretty slow, like sometimes you got to eat questionable food.”
He also says he avoids panhandling, but that without a job right now it’s difficult. “I like to live life without regrets. After all this it’s just going to be a memory one day, a learning experience …. I might be homeless but I’m not a bum….”