City of Reno and community partners conduct annual homeless count

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 4:36 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - There is a problem with Reno’s homeless situation.

With people sleeping in tents and under blankets on the side of the road, members of the city of Reno and community partners put boots on the ground to find out how they can help.

“We don’t know what we don’t know,” said Jon Humber, a City of Reno spokesperson. “Days like (Thursday) give us a day to get a feel and a pulse on what’s happening out there.”

The data from the Homeless Count allows the federal government to give aide to communities. Humbert says in other years people with Volunteers of America, and shelter workers, would talk with the homeless to best understand their needs.

The pandemic is keeping information gatherers from getting the best results.

“We have less data this year because of COVID-19 about what our unsheltered population needs,” said Humbert.

Dissecting the data will take more than a month. It is too early to tell what kind of funding the city will get at this point. That dollar amount will give higher authorities an idea of how to help the homeless.

“(The data will tell us) where resources can be spent, where we need to do more outreach, what areas need more attention for clean ups and safety factors,” said Humbert. “It’s a great way to get this one day, snapshot in time to see where things are right now so that we can move forward in the future.”

With some shelters already in place funding could help expand services and give more people more places to go with better care.

“We’re super close in taking the next leap forward on care for the unsheltered populations,” Humbert said. “We already have space and we check this every day, we have space for folks who need it. People can get into our shelter system today, or tonight, if they need a place to go.”

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