Copper Theft Leaves Reno Homeless Shelter Uninhabitable

Feb 26, 2016

Credit Adam, New Copper Union / CC BY-SA 2.0

Advocates for the homeless are looking for a new shelter to serve more than 120 people each night in Reno. As Steve Shadley reports, they must find another location because the original building was vandalized.

Authorities say that it appears copper theft is the reason the overflow shelter, operated by the Volunteers of America Northern Nevada, can no longer house the homeless.  

"The copper theft did a lot of damage because it affected the heating system," says VOA Spokeswoman Sandy Isham, "so there's no heat in there. Also it resulted in some flooding, so the building is now uninhabitable."

Isham says the building does not belong to her group and the repairs will be the responsibility of the owner. Meanwhile, she says the organization is searching for a temporary shelter that can comfortably house about 120 people each night.  It must have restrooms and heat.