Our Town Reno

Our Town Reno

This is Our Town Reno audio street chronicles, a podcast by Our Town Reno. Here, you’ll hear raw unfiltered stories and opinions from the streets of Reno. We do live reporting and spoken word. We address issues of homelessness, the affordable housing crisis, the disappearance of public space and the value of helping each other out. As Reno rebrands, what happens to our most vulnerable?

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    Tim Doss, Recycling and Going Undercover for the Homeless

    “It's eye opening and changes your world. It humbles you,” the entrepreneur said of going “undercover homeless” in Reno. Tim Doss operates the JunkUber.com removal service, but unlike others in his business field, he donates back to the homeless and those without many means moving into new residences. He also took part in an outreach initiative for the homeless several years ago, going undercover and walking in their shoes for a few days. The reporters for this episode are Prince Nesta and Jordan Blevins.

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    The Greek, Dreaming of Another Life

    The Greek says he wants more out of life than being a bartender and a drunk. Now without a job, he's on the streets of Reno, trying to get sober, and dreaming of other lives, such as living on the water and working with boats. He almost died of cold during the most recent winter, but still clings to hope his life will take a turn for the better before it's too late.

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    A Millionaire's Daughter on the Streets

    When we caught up with her, Jody, whose father was a rich developer, but who fell on hard times herself, and her teenage daughter had been living without housing for three weeks.

    “I tried to do the weekly thing. I had a job, but I was two days late on rent. They wouldn't let me stay for two days and here I am … Shelters are currently full. Domestic violence shelters are full and have a waiting list. Section 8 has been down closed for a year….The family shelter is also full and also has a waiting list and they told me to check back once a week. This is the biggest homeless population they've had in history here… I was lucky enough to find this place called the Prayer House. And we're just kind of winging it here you know. But here I am lugging all my stuff around down to two bags for my daughter and I. And this is my life. I don't do drugs and you know I don't gamble and we're just good people, just got put on the street you know.”

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    Cravings, Me vs. Self, Love Reincarnated and other Street Poems by Donald Griffin

    This episode features more poetry by our resident street poet Donald Griffin.

    Here's some of what Drew Willis wrote analyzing his writing ...

    "Donald Griffin speaks like he writes. He weaves through images and ideas, the last word of every phrase seeming to trigger a parallel line of thought. He can theorize about unseen dimensions and institutional corruption in the same sentence... In his work, Griffin calls this phenomenon 'The Reno Matrix,' an invisible veil hiding what really controls the day to day reality of a changing city. He represents the unseen influence of media with the ubiquity of devices.."

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    Wishes and Other Street Poetry by Donald Griffin

    Our resident street poet Donald Griffin returns with new street poetry, based on his life from losing the mother of his children and himself to addiction, and then charting his miracle recovery through writing.

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    Lisa Adele Rojas, A Local Business Owner Fighting Against Rising Rents

    “I was in Midtown, and they raised my rent 70% there all at once and there was no way I was going to pay for that with no improvements on their part. And I left Midtown and came to Wells Avenue." For some local business owners, like Reno native Lisa Adele Rojas from Mandala Massage Supply & Apothecary, they face the double whammy of rent for their own living space going up as well as for their business. Reporters Prince Nesta and Jordan Blevins spoke with her at her shop to find out more.

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    Karla Wagner and Robert Harding on Opioid Recovery and Harm Reduction

    As a second part looking into the opioid epidemic on the Our Town Reno podcast, reporters Prince Nesta and Jordan Blevins interview Dr. Karla Wagner, an Associate Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Robert Harding, another local Reno expert in harm reduction and community outreach to discuss best practices to help the addicted and those in recovery.

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    Daniel Fred, Working on Preventing Substance Addiction and Helping the Addicted

    Daniel Fred himself in long term recovery teaches students at the University of Nevada, Reno about substance abuse. Here with Our Town Reno reporters Prince Nesta and Jordan Blevins, he discusses the ongoing opioid epidemic, as well as the resurgence of cocaine and MMDA, as well as other challenges faced by current students.

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    Crystal Meth and other Street Poetry by Donald Griffin

    Our resident street poet from the NEW Generation Dare group, Donald Griffin, reads three of his poems, Crystal Meth, Holding on and Bedtime. Griffin lost the mother of his children to addiction and was attacked while sleeping along the Truckee River, before deciding to get sober and turn his life around.

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    Paula, the Downtown BeadMaker

    Despite all of her daily woes, Paula, who calls herself a starving artist and lives in a motel, shows up at her streetside storefront on the corner of the north end of the Truckee river and Sierra street, rain or shine, in downtown Reno, to sell the necklaces and bracelets she makes.

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