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Senior Spectrum Newspaper
July 2017
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Senior Spectrum Publications

HEROS and Ambassadors
by Donna Clontz
Chair, Reno Senior Citizen Advisory Committee
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The Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy funds the HEROS program 

Donna Clontz
Donna Clontz

Home Energy Retrofit Opportunity for Seniors. It provides benefits to reduce monthly energy bills, make homes safer, healthier and more comfortable and replace old equipment. It is a FREE service to eligible Nevadans who are 60 and older, are NV Energy customers, who own and reside in their own home and whose income is at or below 200 percent of poverty guidelines. According to Angela Hernandez, who helps administer the program here in Washoe County, that means that “a twoperson household making under $32,480 a year could qualify.” Once you qualify, a free Home Energy Assessment will determine the measures to be installed, such as:

To apply for this program, please contact Angela at the Washoe County Community Services Agency at 775-786-6023.

Another important project affecting seniors is Reno’s Operation Downtown, which is working on solving homelessness, mental health and addiction problems and blight in downtown Reno. For many today, Social Security barely covers the cost of housing. A large portion of downtown motel residents are elderly. People aged 50+ make up a large portion of the homeless population in downtown Reno — many of whom struggle with mental health and addition problems.

As Ken Krater, the leader of Operation Downtown says, “We have been ignoring our downtown and homeless population too long.” He and over 60 other community leaders have developed a business plan to create supportive housing for the chronically homeless, to advocate for a special improvement district to help pay for services, to reinstitute the Motel Interdiction Team, and to fund an Ambassador/Navigator program which will provide helpful information to downtown visitors and help deter graffiti, aggressive panhandling and drinking in public.

Please contact me at or at 775-240-2745 for more information.