When the temperatures dipped late last year, Pueblo didn’t have a shelter.
But the Pueblo Rescue Mission was fortunately able to get a four month lease at the empty Salvation Army building on 13th Street starting on January 1st. Even though that lease is expiring soon, things may become more permanent there.
"Pueblo will be without a shelter again, absolutely no place but the street for these folks to sleep," Jackie Jaramillo, President and CEO of the Pueblo Rescue Mission said.
With the clock running out for the lease of Pueblo’s only warming shelter, I’ll explain what the Pueblo Rescue Mission’s plan is moving forward to keep more people off the streets tonight at 10 only on @KOAA pic.twitter.com/nSDv5Qxanf
— Lena Howland (@LenaHowland) April 11, 2018
After April 30th comes and goes, Jaramillo says they have a plan.
"We are negotiating with the Salvation Army to purchase the building and we don’t plan on leaving this building," she said.
This comes after they decided the old Rescue Mission’s building on 4th Street, now gutted without any electricity or plumbing, will cost too much money to repair.
"It’s completely unusable," she said.
While they’re still negotiating on the cost, if they can buy the building, they plan to make it into a year-round permanent shelter to help get more people off the streets and back on their feet.
"Yes, we are going to be here, yes, we are not going to close again and once we reopen, we are never closing because we plan on providing shelter services in Pueblo for as long as we have breath," she said.
"I think it’s wonderful, I think it’s well needed, it really is, I mean we have people coming here from out of state just getting here have no where to go," Patricia Farek, a homeless veteran said.
Farek has been homeless off and on for the past few years and was one of the regulars taking advantage of the temporary shelter.
"I was surprised when I came into Pueblo because there was only one place, they don’t have enough shelters," she said.
While she’s been placed into an apartment, there are still many more needing help.
Jaramillo says the year-round shelter will be complete with bunk beds, lockers, showers and case managers for those wanting help.
"Really, a full service kind of a homeless resource center," she said.
Closing on the building will take up to 90 days.
The Pueblo Rescue Mission plans to get a month-to-month lease in the meantime to still provide their daily meals and plan for their permanent shelter.