For one day in January, cities across the country hold a point-in-time count to survey the homeless population in their county. In Reno, organizers recently hosted an event to county homeless youths, specifically. They found that the number of 18-to-24 year-olds without a home is on the rise.
Our Center, a non-profit focused on serving the LGBTQA community, along with a handful of local organizations, put on the 24-hour event in Reno. They focused specifically on surveying the homeless population between the ages of 18-24.
Event organizer Meredith Tanzer said separating the youth from the adults helps them get a more accurate sense of the resources that are needed.
Last year’s count surveyed 66 homeless youth; this year that number rose to 92.
Us having higher numbers will result in us having a shelter; it will result in them having a place to sleep, access to more things,” Tanzer said.
There are currently no overnight shelters specifically for homeless youth. The Eddy House, where the count took place this year, is a walk-in center in downtown Reno that is open during the day only.
Participant Kylie Hernandes said she has been coming to the Eddy House for the last seven months. After completing the survey, each participant received a backpack filled with helpful gear.
In addition to the backpacks, winter coats, hot meals and sleeping bags were also provided.
For a complete breakdown of the Point in Time Count, OUR Center will be holding a presentation later this month.
This report was produced in partnership with NPR member station Reno Public Radio, KUNR 88.7 FM.