A Merry Introduction to Serious Problems
As pedestrians approached the Believe sign in downtown Reno on May Day, they came across a tight knit group of people offering small noise makers like kazoos, toy guns shooting bubbles, masquerade masks, bright red clown noses and even a slice of bread.
During their afternoon action, activists from The Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality, homeless folk and concerned community members aimed to inform people and each other about urgent changes needed for those without shelter.
“I hope to see more affordable housing,” Zoe said. “And I hope to see city council start listening to the needs of the people who live here as opposed to the needs of the corporations that are moving in here and starting to pop up all over Nevada.”
A Small Crowd but a Lasting Impact
The turnout wasn’t as high as one of the organizers, Wendy Wiglesworth, had hoped. Though, this didn’t discourage her, she said, because if at least one person stopped by to learn more, in her estimation, that was enough.
“In a perfect world, like tomorrow, we would have inner city camping where you can go and lease a spot with a tent and keep on living your life,” she said.
Wiglesworth lived along the river herself before being able to afford a room in one of the few downtown motels which hasn’t been demolished yet. She said if people haven’t experienced homelessness themselves they might not be aware of how not having a safe space to sleep makes everything else in life so much more difficult.