RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Monday morning, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful in partnership with GSR cleaned the Reno side of the Truckee River, in an effort to make the city a better place. Meanwhile, on the other side, Sparks was giving the homeless population 24 hours notice to accept the resources provided by the city or find another place to live.
“If they choose not to, that’s their choice; we can’t force them to do this, but that would be our greatest hope is that they would take us up on that,” says Sparks city spokeswoman Julie Duewel.
For many, the homeless population is to blame for much of the waste found along the river.
“There are always bad apples. Unfortunately the bad ones ruin for the rest of us,” says Bryan Pettibone, who is homeless.
Overall, Sparks has been helping many people find the help they need, but for some, a homeless shelter isn’t an option.
“Where can we go where we won’t be bothered by the distance by the river, the football field that is required, they say there are places for us to go, but where can we put our tents and live the way we want to live?” asks Pettibone. "My plan is to go little further down river as far as I have to stay away. I guess they are just pushing us further and further out, there isn’t anywhere for us to go,” he says.
The efforts to keep the area clean and safe will continue. The ordinance says it's illegal to camp within 300 feet of the river. Sparks Police, Animal Control agents and Volunteers of America are walking the banks, contacting each resident giving them the word, but also offering help.