Washoe County Prepared to Serve Homeless in Overflow Shelter

In Tuesday's Washoe County Commissioners Board meeting, Commissioners voted to approve the overflow homeless shelter’s lease agreement at 85 Edison Way in Sparks.

They also approved the additional $17,236 provided to the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission to support the operation.

Since its opening on December 8, 2006, the homeless overflow shelter has served hundreds of homeless individuals that may have been turned away due to full capacity at the men’s drop-in shelter at 315 Record Street and the women’s drop in shelter at 355 Record Street.

“The necessity of this shelter is obvious,” Gabrielle Enfield, Washoe County Community Support Administrator states.

“These folks would be out on our streets, possibly freezing to death if it were not for this overflow facility.”

Enfield anticipated the need and began looking for county space for overflow shelter in the fall of 2006.

Working with County resources, and with the cooperation of the Flood Control Project, she was able to identify and convert the vacant building at 85 Edison Way.

The overflow emergency cold weather shelter at 85 Edison Way will provide shelter for up to 60 men from November 15th through March 31, 2008.

Individuals in need of shelter will receive an evening meal, an opportunity to shower, shelter for the night and a light breakfast in the morning.

The women’s shelter facility is expected to be completed this December and single women will be provided cold weather overflow shelter at the Reno Sparks Gospel Mission Women and Family Shelter and the Reno Sparks Gospel Mission building on the Record Street Site.

The Reno Sparks Gospel Mission will provide the same services to homeless women during the cold months that are provided to men.

Washoe County is committed to addressing our community’s homeless issue and since 1996, has provided more than $3 million in funding.