Feeling Bad about Being Homeless
"I'm not feeling too good my knees are bad and my ankles are bad and I constantly have to go and get them checked because I don't know what’s wrong with them. They are swelling up and I can't stand too long and that really hurts," Greg said when we met him.
He tries to help others who need help on the streets and gets some help for food from local aid programs and relatives, including two younger brothers and cousins, but he says he's just in a deep hole right now. He has a secret spot in downtown Reno where he usually tries to sleep, as best he can.
He says he doesn't like staying at shelters. "I don't like it there," he said. "Not the way they have it right now. I'd rather stay out on the streets so that I could have a better way of protecting myself."
But he says being out on the streets is also very challenging. "I don't like when you go to sleep, you know, you're looking at a place and then when you finally go to sleep and you wake up and sometimes you don't realize where you are. You are homeless. You just pack up and it's another homeless day," he said.
Ideas for a More Caring, Accessible Reno
Greg says he doesn't like the direction things are going in Reno for people suffering.
"They've knocked down most of the motels that we could afford," he said. "So, you’re starting to see more and more homeless people and that's bad. It's just, you know, they're knocking those down to make money and those guys (at City Council) are saying 'hey you know we got a homeless problem now.' But you're making it kind of like a little worse than it is. Reno's got to step up and either help or quit knocking them down."
He would like to see more affordable housing options, and also more jobs accessible to those with disabilities.
Dreams and Regrets
"I'm hoping to get better so I can go back to work and do what I'm supposed to be doing you know supporting myself for retirement and you know get everything ready," he said.
He regrets not going further in school. "When I was younger, I regret not graduating from school, you know I sort of went back and tried harder. I got my GED. But you know that was one of my regrets, not getting a high school education or college. The other ones were just like little regrets where you know you make the wrong decision this way and then you have to go that way."
He also has a son who he thinks lives in Las Vegas who he misses terribly and hasn't seen in 20 years.
"I hope that he's making it. I'm hoping he found a wife, had a family and had a good job you know supporting them. If he can come back and contact me that would be nice. I want to make sure that you know he's doing okay."
Reporting by Prince Nesta for Our Town Reno