Washoe County last week shut down the Sun Valley “Karma Porch” house that was providing food and clothing to needy people in the community.
“A neighbor had a problem with the amount of traffic coming from my house (guess they don’t notice the drug dealer next door) [and] has turned us in to code enforcement,” Karma Porch’s Jennifer Elliott wrote on Facebook upon receiving the notice of violation by Washoe County. “We are not zoned for business even with our non-profit status.”
Washoe County’s Bethany Drysdale said the county is trying to work with the homeowner to get them into compliance.
“Based on a possible code violation complaint, we inspected and found the property to be in violation, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t support the owner’s good intentions, and we would like to work with this property owner to find a way to still serve her neighbors while being compliant with health and county codes,” she said.
Elliott, however, said she is leaving for vacation so her operation would not be providing resources for the time being. The issue appears to remain pending, and Drysdale said officials reached out to Elliott for ideas on how to get her in compliance.
The situation raised alarm on social media. Commenters made comparisons to longtime community champion Evenlyn Mount, who for years donated food in her neighborhood. Mount, however, was based in Reno, not Washoe County.
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 in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.