Clean Up the Streets with the help of PHASA and NNOT by Kelly Penfold

Northern Nevada Outreach Team

The Northern Nevada Outreach Team (NNOT) is out helping with the fight against HIV and HEP C. They go out twice a week and hand out safe sex kits, bleach kits and hygiene kits.  When the team is handing out these items, they are trying to make the city of Reno and the cities that surround Reno safer.

Today, they handed out condoms and bleach kits on Fourth Street in downtown Reno. The team also went to the homeless shelter. They make sure to try to help all those in need. They also try to clean up the streets from dirty and discarded syringes.

During their walk today they found six syringes behind a local bar in town. Luckily, they carry a sharps container with them so that they had a safe canister and could pick them up.  If no one removed them, then someone might try to use them, or a young child might accidentally step on them and hurt themself. This is one of the most dangerous ways for someone to get an STD/STI.

The Northern Nevada Outreach Team works with the Public Health Alliance for Syringe Access (PHASA) and they are trying to get a needle exchange program in Nevada legalized. This is going to be a tough thing to do since many people think that it would be promoting drug use. Our Outreach Team looks at it differently and we think we should be giving unused syringes away to keep all people safe and clean and hopefully free of the diseases that come long with sharing a needle. We all know that IDU’s should only use a syringe once, but some of them can’t afford to get clean ones, which causes them to use it again or even having to share them with someone else.

Kelly Penfold

“Shoes” by Kelly Penfold



We all know what it is like to have a good pair of shoes or a few pairs of them.

What would we do when we need a pair?  Most of us can just go buy our shoes, but what would we do if one day we couldn’t?


While doing some outreach during the week, Jon and myself were looking for someone that needed a backpack we had made contact with before.  We could not find him, but instead came along a young man who had some really bad torn and tattered shoes on. They had no soles and you could see it just as he was walking. It was killing both of us to see him in need like that since we both are lucky enough to have more than one pair. I timidly walked up next to him and without looking in his face I kindly asked him what size of shoes he needed?  We were both caught off guard when he said he wears a size 15.


Well, after hearing this Jon said let us see what we can do. You see, however this fellow with the bad shoes had been to all the thrift stores and free places for shoes that he could go to. So, on our way home it was just eating at us and we knew that we had to try to do something for him.


Jon made a call to his mom in Washington to see if her “Souls from Heaven” might have a pair that she could send to us. She didn’t have any.  Next, he made some phone calls to other folks who might be able to help, but still no luck.  So we didn’t get off the bus at our stop. Instead, we went to Ross Dress for Less to see if they would be able to donate a pair of shoes, but no luck there. We told them why we were asking them for help, but they could not just give away shoes.


So we knew we had to keep trying to find some way of helping him out. When we got home I had put it on my Facebook page about what happened and what I was looking for. I also called a friend of ours and asked her if maybe someone in the church that she belongs to might wear the same sizes and she didn’t know of anyone. Before we got off the phone she said to me that even though she did not know of anyone who wore that size she would be willing to buy him a pair of shoes herself. So after the phone call to her, I called Ross Dress for Less back because they do carry the large sizes in shoes. 


Once again, I was able to talk to the store manager about the shoes and she did the most amazing thing for us when I told her someone was willing to purchase the shoes. She sold us the shoes for under $6.00!  We were just shocked.  I texted our friend back to let her know and on the next day when she brought us the money over she gave us more than what we needed. So we were able to not only buy the shoes, but we were also able to get some socks.


After we were able to get the shoes to him, he smiled and was so happy! He was telling everyone that he saw about us and the shoes he was just given. 

Just another way to “Pay it Forward.”


What we take for granted others may not be able to have or get.  So, remember when you see someone out there and they look sad or lonely try to say “HI” to them because some times that is all they need to smile.


Reno Syringe Round Up needs help: 9/29, Sat. 10am-2pm

Hey Team,

So, Join Together Northern Nevada (JTNN) is doing their quarterly pill and syringe round up on Saturday, September 29th from 10am-2pm and we need your help!
NNOT is helping sponsor this event and they have specifically added the syringe round up to the event, as per our request.  We want to make safe needle disposal an issue in Reno that is noted along with where people can do so in the future.
Thus, we need volunteers for the 7 participating pharmacy sites where people turn in their dirty needles and are trying to get at least 2 people per site (14 total).  The pill drive needs some participants additionally, as per the volunteer list that is attached.  Please let me know if you are a yes for sure, or if you can do any part of any location (and what times are good for you) and your help would be greatly appreciated.
We also need any help with fliering, media blasts, radio, TV or anything you can do to spread the word and help shout out.  I have attached the flier JTNN is using for the event and we are hoping to create a few of our own too.
So, please keep this event in mind and if you can help in any way please shoot me an email back saying how you’d like to help and I would love to hear from you.
Thanks soooo very much in advance,
(2012 NNOT President)

NNOT working with PHASA, but who is NNOT?

The Northern Nevada Outreach Team:

Who are they? What do they do? Come with us on a Tuesday or Friday Night and find out.

The team of 3 to 5 are out on the street, doing something great for the community. They hand out condoms, lube, hygiene
kits and bleach kits for IV drug users to help stop spread disease and infection here in Reno.

On Tuesday, August 21st the outreach team walked the river path. We met at Northern Nevada HOPES at 6pm and hit the street. We started at Ralston and 1st and walked down to 4th and Stutro Street. Then we walked up Stutro to Record Street.

On Tuesday Night the team of 3 handed out:
25 Bleach Kits
40 Hygine Kits (20 with toothbrushes and 20 without)
173 Condoms
12 Females Condoms

It is a great feeling when you can help those in need.

Along the walk we stop and talk to those who we see and help. They are really grateful for us being out there to help with some of the things that many of us have access to regularly, but they do not. We hand out items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deoderant, razors that all come in our hygeine kits.

Last night, one man asked us why we do this and each of us took the time to tell him a little bit about why
we do it.

Jon Penfold, started out and was telling him a little bit about why he does. Jon tells him what it’s like to now be clean for over 17 years and what outreach has meant for him.

Leslie, talked about why she was out doing it and what it meant to her.

Kelly Penfold, talked about why she was out there. She came from a family who did drugs and almost lost her big brother because of it. Now she wants to help others so that no one has to go without what they need.

These were just some to her reasons.

He thanked us and as we were leaving I asked him if there was anything else he would like to see the outreach team have for those who live on the streets? His answer was a prayer.

So no matter what others say about the homeless or the street people, some of them are just looking for a simple answer. It could be just to have someone to talk to, or someone to give them
hope. Maybe someone to to sit and pray with them.

Remember it could happen to anyone of us, and when you pay it forward it will always find it’s
way back to you.
Kelly Penfold
NNOT(Northern Nevada Outreach Team)


8/22/12 Northern Nevada Outreach Team