Last week in Reno I read their newspaper and contacted the reporter who had written a cold weather/homelessness story. I emailed her to ask about the adequacy of family shelter options in Reno.
She replied (which scores points in my book) and forwarded me the HUD shelter link, which I had already checked to see if I was missing something. HUD's list makes it look like solutions abound. Not.
In this city of over 220,000 people, they have 3 rooms in a church for 3 families. Yup, 3.
They're building a family shelter on the heels of opening the men's shelter. Men first, don't you know.
Not that shelters are the answer, but a family in a crisis needs a place to go, preferably safe and decent, with help to find something permanent.
Yeah, I'm worried about the family I met last week, and the unknown families in Reno and elsewhere that struggle mightily to keep a roof over their heads and to keep the kids from suffering ill effects of this nomadic lifestyle.
I have reason to worry, because HUD, the federal agency charged with providing housing to our brothers and sisters in need across the land, has decided that eliminating visible homelessness is their #1 task. Families, well, they're invisible and besides they don't count. HUD's definition of homelessness is clear about where families stand.
Seems to me that word should get out on Reno's and other communities lack of help for families. It might put a damper on the holidays, but my guess is that families in this situation would find the damper an improvement.