Posted 9:26 PM 12/11/2011 : Homeless program in danger of losing funding
For nearly 2 years, the homeless and down on their luck have been coming to the Aztec Motel in hopes of starting a new life. People like Cole Horn and his family. "It was looking like it was going to be the shelter or the streets for us."
Without a permanent address to land a job, the Horns jumped from hotel to hotel. When their money ran out, the family of 5 came to the Aztec. Since then Cole has been able to start working again. "They're here to give you a hand up and not a hand out." he explains, "They allow you to stay with your family, unlike the shelters."
But success stories like this may soon been gone. Coordinator Karl McLaughlin tells us the Homeward Pikes Peak program only has funds to last through the end of January. "We operate on a shoe string (budget). As you can see we don't give luxuries." he says, "We don't have swimming pools or any of that stuff. It's just basic necessitates for people to survive."
In a still rough economy funding has been tough to come by for the program. This year the City of Colorado Springs pulled their contributions to the program. The lack of funding could leave nearly a hundred people with no place to turn, including lots of children. "How many people are here right now?" we ask McLaughlin, "Right now we're running at 96." he replies. Out of those 96, McLaughlin tells us 44 are children. "These kids need stability. Without it, the problem is just going to grow." he says. If funding were to dry up next month, Karl fears the worst. "The program would get shut down." he says, "There would be this many more people out on the streets."
If you would like to donate to the Aztec Motel community you can drop off donations at the Aztec. That address is 1921 E. Platte Ave. You can also call Karl or Teresa McLaughlin at (719) 632-1537 or Bob Holmes of Homeward Pikes Peak at (719) 955-0731.