Michelle Sterling is currently living in Reno’s tent city. She’s concerned about getting off the streets as overnight temperatures begin to plummet. And as a mother of five, she’s struggling daily to find a job so that she can get her kids back from foster care.
Right now housing that would have kept the family together during this difficult time is hard to come by, but the opening of the new Community Assistance Center will change that. One, two, even three bedroom areas, though still cramped and short on amenities, will prevent the shattering of families that have fallen on hard times. The secure new building also has dorms for pregnant and nursing women, and an area where young residents will eventually find a play set.
But Michelle Sterling says the most important thing this new facility will provide is a chance. "When you're looking for a job, it's at their convenience,” she says “if you're not easy to get hold of they'll pass you up."
The family shelter is expected to open October 15th with staggered openings for other resources housed in the building including transitional housing for single men and women, a health clinic, and “ReStart”.
The city has contracted with "volunteers of america" to operate the facility. That 9 month contract comes with a price tag of $975,000. With the current economy, the city is still struggling to develop a plan that will cover cost of operation after that contract expires.