Typically when an individual sees a homeless person they usually jump to the conclusion that the person is there due to drug issues. It was a mentality I was raised to have by misinformed parents.
According to Home Aid America, there are as many as 3.5 million individuals who are homeless in the United States, and of that, one million are children. The leading causes of homelessness in the U.S. is insufficient income, lack of affordable housing, domestic violence and divorce — all of which are causes not related to drug abuse.
In 2017, the US Department of Urban Housing and Development ranked Reno as on the fastest growing homeless populations and was ranked the highest for homeless youth. Nonprofit organizations such as the Eddy House have dedicated their work to eliminating homelessness amongst youth and provide resources for homeless youth.
Since the Eddy House has opened the home has had over 6,000 interactions with homeless youth, 93 percent of which are in between the ages of 18 – 24.
With having been homelessness and now having the fear of not being able to afford where I will live in the coming months, I have to reflect on my past experience and look at resources available to me. Resources that are available to community members struggling to make ends meet or who are currently homeless.
In the 2018 Campus Wide Civic Engagement Survey, the university identified 22 percent of students as having food insecurity— inconsistent or insufficient access to food.
Formerly known as the Associated Students of the University of Nevada Food Pantry, Pack Provisions is an initiative at the University of Nevada, Reno, as a way to help students at the university have access to food, hygiene supplies and school supplies.
Students who need to use this service can either show up at the Joe Crowley Student Union third floor and fill out a form and then take what they need, or they can schedule an appointment beforehand to have access to resources when they show up at Pack Provisions.
Pack provisions always seeking donations and donations. To learn more visit https://www.unr.edu/student-engagement/engagement-support-services/pack-provisions
Emergency centers, resources offered through the City of Reno
The City of Reno has partnered with the Volunteers of America to provide three emergency shelters and resource centers to serve the needs of the homeless community. One shelter is dedicated to families, another to men and one dedicated to women.
According to HUD Exchange, an emergency shelter is classified as a facility whose primary purpose is to provide temporary shelter for the homeless population of a certain community.
The family shelter can house 21 families and 6 pregnant women, or a woman with an infant. To contact the family shelter line call 775-322-9574.
The women’s shelter can house approximately 50 women per night and can be reached at 775-329-4145. The men’s shelter can house 158 males and in events of extreme weather 66 individuals can use the shelter during the day. The shelter can be reached at 775-329-414.
All three shelters are located at the Community Assistance Center on 355 Record Street.
The Volunteers of America have also provided homeless individuals access to telephone use, email access and referrals through the Tom Vetica Resource Center. The center also proves access to the Northern Nevada Foodbank, VA healthcare and Disability Action Advocate.
Furthermore, the city also offers the ReStart program, dedicated to providing mental health services to individuals who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Services include psychiatric services and medication management services.
Despite what individuals are going through there is access to resources on a community level, and there has to be that constant reminder that they are never alone. There are resources available to students on campus and resources available to individuals who are not a part of the university community.
Andrew Mendez can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush