Men's only overflow tent raises questions among homeless

Reported by: Madison Corney
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Updated: 7/19/2013 11:17 pm
Reno, NV (KRNV & -- A men's only overflow tent at the homeless shelter on Record Street has some women wondering what their options are.

Sandy Isham with Volunteers of America says, "Historically the need is at least three times larger for men than it is for women."

As Reno's homeless population grows the need for shelter increases. To help prevent people from sleeping on the street, Isham says they have put up an overflow tent, but there's a catch, it's only for men, "There are more men amongst the chronically homeless population, but that's just what we are seeing down here at our campus."

The shelter can now house 188 men each night with the help of the overflow tent which holds 30. There are just 50 beds for women. Isham says there is no overflow tent for women right now. However, there is a place women can go during the night if they don't want to be on the street.

Isham says, "If there are no beds available they can sit up at a table in our very nice day area in an air conditioned room that is also safe, because it's staffed 24 hours a day."

Some women don't think this option is very accommodating mainly because there are no beds, but Isham says the number of homeless men is much greater than women and so far only one woman has taken advantage of the room.

As for the influx of homeless to the area, Isham says it has a lot to do with budget cuts, "More people are out in the street, because there have been so many budget cutbacks particularly in the area of mental health services in our community."

While some women are not happy about the men's only overflow tent, one woman at the shelter says she wouldn't be where she is without the restart program.

Ciara West says, "It's a good place, ya know, if you need help don't be afraid to come down to your local community and find out what resources you have 'cause it's not easy being homeless."

Isham says they are working right now to find a new building that will become a permanent year round overflow facility.

For more about the shelter visit: 
5 Comment(s)
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Mark Neil - 7/30/2013 6:51 PM
0 Votes
You have so many homeless men you need to pitch an additional tent to house them all, and the problem you're concerned with is a handful of homeless women who weren't quick enough to get a bed having to sleep in an air conditioned room rather than in the streets? Are men really that unimportant to you? Do you really have so little compassion?

mcc99 - 7/29/2013 7:20 PM
0 Votes
If there was an overflow tent for women and it wasn't even needed but yet there weren't enough beds for homeless men at the main shelter, the homeless men'd go back to sleeping on the street w/out complaint and in addition, no one would give a hoot. Instead, one homeless woman has been inconvenienced for one night by needing to sleep head-down on a table in an air-conditioned room and somehow, it's news.

Speed - 7/20/2013 2:07 PM
0 Votes
To the EDITOR:Click on "hefner"'s name and see what's been posted-is THAT sort of a clue that this might be a SCAMMER?? Why not do this for each person who comments and eliminate the ones with the SAME CONTENT in several posts?

Kramer - 7/20/2013 2:02 PM
0 Votes
if it were written '"men-only" overflow tent' or 'Overflow tent for homeless men (only)' it would read a little better; 'Men's only overflow tent' kinda confuses the object/subject, and confuses the posessive tense even more. & U know, when we're talking "homeless", "men" and "overflow" it gets kinda dicey...

Kramer - 7/20/2013 1:49 PM
0 Votes
Yo, Reno! Time to move this zoo out to the SuperKmart in NW Reno, where jobs abound detailing classic cars and greasing noisy motorcycles...

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