Safe Camp

Nevada Cares Campus Safe Camp

After many community conversations about the need for expanding the capacity for emergency shelter, in a concurrent meeting dated November 18, 2020, the Washoe County Board of Commissioners, the City of Reno and Sparks City Councils voted to acquire and cost share three parcels on East 4th Street for the purpose of expanding shelter capacity in the region to assist people experiencing homelessness. 

One of the purchased parcels included the parcel formerly known as the Governor’s Bowl Park which was discussed to be a safe camping location.  The location was identified to serve as a safe space where encampments along the Truckee River could relocate providing access to basic services and a more secure location for individuals not wishing to move into shelters.

Development Phase


In early 2021, the site evaluation for the Safe Camp pilot program began. This pilot program is now in the development phase, where the layout, budget and construction timeline are being established. Professional staff is engaged in the infrastructure development to address all location matters including site grading, emergency access, ADA access, drainage, utilities, etc.

As this process takes time, Washoe County developed a temporary site to operate while construction for the long-term site is underway. The opening for the temporary site took place June 17th, 2021. The tentative opening date for the long-term site will be shared as soon as it becomes available.