Grant Denton of the Karma Box Project is continuing to work with the homeless people who live along the Truckee River. Of the more than estimated 7,000 area residents without a fixed address, nearly 200 are living near the Wells Avenue overpass.
Some of them, known as River Stewards, are trying to keep the area clean. But without the proper sanitation, bathrooms and amenities most of us rely upon, garbage — and human waste — can quickly accumulate.
One River Steward, Santiago, said he’s been living on the river for more than a year. He struggles with addiction but found the River Stewards program helpful in setting goals for the future.
“It’s good to get back to making an honest dollar,” he said. “It does give me a little bit of satisfaction to help out. It makes me feel good.”
Denton said the project, with support from the City of Reno, Washoe County, Truckee River Fund and One Truckee River, removes as much as 20 yards a waste from the Wells Avenue area each week. More than 2,000 bags of trash have been removed since the program began.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor, and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011, where he completed a dissertation on social media, journalism and crisis communications. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time research appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.