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Possible sale of old homeless shelter on Record St. pulled from Reno council agenda

Reno council to consider selling old homeless shelter on Record St. (File)
Reno council to consider selling old homeless shelter on Record St. (File)
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UPDATED as of 10:25 a.m. on Dec. 6:

Councilwoman Neoma Jardon announced Monday morning that an agenda item to discuss the possible sale of the old homeless shelter on Record St. was pulled from Wednesday's Reno city council agenda.

During a meeting of the Community Homeless Advisory Board, Jardon said the item will no longer be debated this week in response to 'conversations and concerns' aired over the weekend about the availability of existing shelter space.


The Reno city council this week could consider selling the old homeless shelter on Record St., a move that some advocates are expected to oppose as the region's existing homeless shelters reach capacity.

Council members on Wednesday will consider directing staff whether to sell the 'Community Assistance Center' on Record St., which has served Reno-Sparks' homeless population since opening in 2008.

The possible sale of the two downtown properties comes seven months after the $16.87 million CARES Campus shelter opened in the old Governor's Bowl Park on E. 4th St.

According to Washoe County's homelessness dashboard, just 12 beds were available at the CARES Campus as of Dec. 6. No tents were available at the nearby Safe Camp and just 8 beds were available at Our Place, the women's shelter.

Homeless advocates have pushed for city and county officials to use the Record St. shelter as an overflow facility. Washoe County took over responsibility for homeless services earlier in 2021.

"Women at CARES Campus are not safe and were not planned to be sheltered alongside the men," wrote advocate Natalie Handler on Facebook. "While we await the future phases of CARES Campus to be built out, there is no safe options for women and families have nowhere to go this winter!"

City staff said in documents posted before Wednesday's meeting that the city 'no longer has a public need for the facilities.' If the buildings were to be sold, staff would include a 'strong desire' for them to be used for workforce housing, according to the staff report. (Workforce housing was defined as both 80-120% of the area's median income and 60-120% of the area's median income in two different references in the staff report.)

But Mayor Hillary Schieve told News 4-Fox 11 on Monday that she would like to consider other options for the Record St. shelter, including as a temporary homeless facility or a 'large-scale affordable housing complex.' She said she was planning on bringing up alternatives during Wednesday's meeting to see if other council members might be supportive.

Staff are asking city council members for direction on whether to sell the shelter and if so, whether to do so by auction or by a 'request for interest' process, under which city officials would have more flexibility in deciding which developer to pick.

Staff wrote they were unaware of the property's value. The buildings were constructed for over $20 million in the mid-2000s.

Council members will debate what to do with the Record St. shelter during their regular meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 8. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. at Reno city hall and can be viewed on the city's YouTube page.

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Email reporter Ben Margiott at Follow @BenMargiott on Twitter and Ben Margiott KRNV on Facebook.

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