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Pueblo Rescue Mission cancels warming shelter plans for Hyde Par - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Pueblo Rescue Mission cancels warming shelter plans for Hyde Park Comm. Center

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PUEBLO -

The Pueblo Rescue Mission wasted no time announcing Hyde Park Community Center would not be turned into a temporary warming shelter, during a town hall meeting on Tuesday--telling News5 they "didn't want to be at odds with the community."

"We came together as a community and asked that it not be done here, and they listened to us.  Our leaders listened to us," said Rebecca Gomez, who lives nearby.

But it's only a small victory for Gomez and her neighbors--who say their relief quickly turned to concern over what happens next for the homeless population.

"Cold is creeping up rapidly.  I think with the appropriate funds that they could get it into shape in a week or two so they need to get it in a hurry," said longtime Pueblo resident Ted Freeman.

Pueblo Rescue Mission staff say they're currently looking at three other buildings.

"None of them are perfect, but we'll take anything at this point," said Pueblo Rescue Mission CEO Jackie Jaramillo.

The earliest they'd be able to open another site, though, is January 1st.

And that's a problem for people like Jennifer Newburn, who is homeless.

"Tonight's supposed to be 25 degrees," said Newburn.

"We do need some kind of an emergency shelter at the very least," she added.

Newburn says she went as far this month as to deface public property in front of police officer, just so she could have a warm place to sleep for a few nights. 

"That was actually the most restful four nights I've had in the last two months.  It was like a vacation--in jail.  But we shouldn't be using the police as babysitters," she told News5.

Newburn says Hyde Park Community Center wasn't the answer, but hopes the city will find one quickly.

During the meeting, the community passed around a volunteer sign up sheet--vowing to help in whatever way possible.

"A lot of us don't have a lot of money to give out, but we definitely do have an hour or two to offer," said Gomez.

"And I challenge the community to offer their hour or two a week to help out," she added.

As far as warming shelter goes, the homeless population is still without a warm place to sleep for at least another month.

"There's no place in the interim--there's absolutely no place," said Jaramillo.

"And that's the desperation that I go home with every day."

Pueblo Rescue Mission is collecting donations, and is also in need of volunteers.  

Click here for more information.

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