[Hpn] Homeless man's death sparks call for more beds in cold weather

William Charles Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Fri, 31 Mar 2006 08:41:05 -0500


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http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=3D/20060331/NEWS10/60331039=
2/1016/NEWS

Homeless man's death sparks call for more beds in cold weather

ANJEANETTE DAMON=20
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL=20

Posted: 3/31/2006=20



AT A GLANCE=20


a.. The 190-bed men's shelter opened on Record Street in November.=20

a.. It is part of the city's $7.4 million Community Assistance Center. =20
=20

The death of a 78-year-old homeless man on the street within sight of =
the city's new emergency shelter has spurred calls for more beds on cold =
nights.

Peter Gomez was found Tuesday morning in the 300 block of Record Street, =
the Washoe County coroner's office said. Temperatures the night before =
had dipped to 27 degrees.

The coroner has not declared a cause of death, pending toxicology =
reports. Possible causes include alcohol, exposure or natural causes, =
officials said.

Gomez died near the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission's emergency drop-in =
shelter but had never sought help there, said Rick Redding, the =
mission's executive director.

"This is just an unfortunate, tragic accident," Redding said. "He had =
services within eyesight and chose not to use them."

Although Gomez never sought shelter, he did frequent the St. Vincent's =
Dining Room and other services in the area, said Michael Ford, director =
of Catholic Community Services.

Ford said Gomez had been in ill health for some time.

Gomez's death highlights the need for additional beds when the weather =
turns cold, Redding said.

Contrary to other media reports, Gomez wasn't turned away from the =
shelter. But when cold weather hits, the shelter is forced to turn away =
70 to 80 men a night, Redding said.

"We definitely need more beds no doubt about it," he said. "We could =
definitely use an area for an overflow; maybe the city could open up =
when it gets really cold. We could easily use another 100 beds."

No plans exist to expand the men's drop-in shelter. Plans for a women's =
shelter are under way.






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<DIV class=3DstoryHeadline>Homeless man's death sparks call for more =
beds in cold=20
weather</DIV>
<DIV class=3DstoryHeadline>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><A class=3DstoryByline title=3D"Click to Email ANJEANETTE DAMON"=20
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GAZETTE-JOURNAL</SPAN> </DIV>
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<DIV class=3DbreakoutBox><BR><B style=3D"TEXT-TRANSFORM: uppercase">AT A =
GLANCE</B>=20
</DIV>
<DIV class=3DbreakoutBox><BR>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3DbreakoutBox>
<LI>The 190-bed men's shelter opened on Record Street in November.=20
<BR></LI></DIV>
<LI>It is part of the city's $7.4 million Community Assistance=20
Center.&nbsp;&nbsp;</LI></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter>&nbsp;<BR></DIV></DIV>
<P>The death of a 78-year-old homeless man on the street within sight of =
the=20
city's new emergency shelter has spurred calls for more beds on cold =
nights.</P>
<P>Peter Gomez was found Tuesday morning in the 300 block of Record =
Street, the=20
Washoe County coroner's office said. Temperatures the night before had =
dipped to=20
27 degrees.</P>
<P>The coroner has not declared a cause of death, pending toxicology =
reports.=20
Possible causes include alcohol, exposure or natural causes, officials =
said.</P>
<P>Gomez died near the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission's emergency drop-in =
shelter=20
but had never sought help there, said Rick Redding, the mission's =
executive=20
director.</P>
<P>"This is just an unfortunate, tragic accident," Redding said. "He had =

services within eyesight and chose not to use them."</P>
<P>Although Gomez never sought shelter, he did frequent the St. =
Vincent's Dining=20
Room and other services in the area, said Michael Ford, director of =
Catholic=20
Community Services.</P>
<P>Ford said Gomez had been in ill health for some time.</P>
<P>Gomez's death highlights the need for additional beds when the =
weather turns=20
cold, Redding said.</P>
<P>Contrary to other media reports, Gomez wasn't turned away from the =
shelter.=20
But when cold weather hits, the shelter is forced to turn away 70 to 80 =
men a=20
night, Redding said.</P>
<P>"We definitely need more beds no doubt about it," he said. "We could=20
definitely use an area for an overflow; maybe the city could open up =
when it=20
gets really cold. We could easily use another 100 beds."</P>
<P>No plans exist to expand the men's drop-in shelter. Plans for a =
women's=20
shelter are under way.</P>
<P><EM><!-- I've run rgj_columnist_tag.pbo --></EM></P><BR=20
clear=3Dall></DIV>

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