By Bob Conrad | Photos by Dana Nollsch
City of Reno staff said today that a temporary overflow shelter to house the homeless will open soon.
Elaine Wiseman said a month-to-month lease is being signed now, and the permanent overflow shelter could be open in about two months as repairs are being completed.
The overflow shelter was shut down in February after damage to the facility made it uninhabitable; however, the City had temporary overflow at different locations until April.
Wiseman said that the owner is making repairs to the overflow facility that shut down in January.
The building needed to be secured, she said. “There was ongoing theft.”
The current shelter is full. Councilwoman Neoma Jardon said that being at full capacity has led to more camping and trash along the river.
“This is a huge priority on so many levels,” she said.
More resources announced
More support the homeless was also announced today at the Reno City Council meeting. Wiseman said that a new funding formula approved in April increased funding for homeless services by 48 percent.
“(It’s) just phenomenal,” she said. “That’s a big number.”
The increase will allow for more resources, including a new housing specialist and a new employment specialist.
The Council also approved a contract with Volunteers of America to continue operating the homeless shelters through June 30, 2019 with funding not to exceed more than $2.5 million for the first year of operations, according to the city. The city will fund about 25 percent of that amount.
Washoe County and the City of Sparks are partnering in the effort and providing funding.
“I think the big story … is the fact that we do have this regional partnership, so I’m confident that I can speak for everyone up here … that we’re very appreciative of that partnership,” said Councilman David Bobzien.
Coucilwoman Jenny Brekhus noted that the county is bringing in the most amount of money.
“I think that if we can move this forward with the county taking what I hope (is) that lead role, then we can focus on what is our wheelhouse under the way the dollars flow through with this intergovernmental (relationship) — and we can focus on being the lead with the subsidized housing,” she said.