With an affordable housing shortage, fewer motels and limited space in shelters, the banks of the Truckee River, underneath bridges and trees, are home to dozens and dozens of local residents. Some have pets, relationships or other reasons preventing them from staying in shelters.
Life along the river is dangerous, though. Flooding and below-freezing temperatures result in deaths each year. Their presence also creates friction with police, tourists, environmentalists and other residents.
Those who have lived or currently live on the river will share their stories during the final Our Town Reno Localore Live event, "Who Does the River Belong To?", on Dec. 21, 2018, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Brodhead Memorial Park in Reno.
This free event will occur on National Homeless Person's Memorial Day and will begin with a vigil to commemorate those who have died living along the Truckee River. Following that, speakers will tell stories of their experiences and perspectives of life along the river. After the presentation, attendees will be invited to share a meal and conversation with each other.
"This event is a unique opportunity to hear from local residents who are rarely given a platform," Reynolds School of Journalism professor and event organizer, Nico Colombant, said. "We hope that by listening to different perspectives and sharing a meal, both speakers and attendees can better understand each other."
Free food will be provided by Thali and Food Not Bombs. Attendees are asked to bring their own camping chairs. Our Town Reno will also collect blankets to be donated to those without homes.
This event is hosted in a partnership with Association of Independents in Radio, KUNR Public Radio, VOICE Voices of Inspiration, Courage, and Empowerment and the Reynolds School of Journalism.
For more information about "Who Does the River Belong To?", visit the Our Town Reno Live Facebook event.