Plans for warming shelter in Pueblo met with backlash from neighbors

Posted at 10:43 AM, Apr 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-26 12:43:35-04

A push continues by leaders of the Pueblo Rescue Mission to purchase their temporary warming shelter at 13th and Elizabeth. The group hopes to make it a long term centerpiece for change.

Leaders from the Rescue Mission came together with Pueblo residents Wednesday night to discuss the plans, and many of the residents said they have had enough.

There wasn’t a large crowd gathered at the neighborhood meeting, but the discussion got heated.

The members of the Rescue Mission said they want to provide a support system for the homeless, many of whom they believe have the potential to get off the street. They said the homeless need a support system to do this, and a long term plan will benefit the entire community.

"Everybody who remains homeless is a tremendous drain on our tax dollars, and on our emergency services in the community, and if we help one person get house we’re saving the community a lot of dollars in terms of services," said Jackie Jaramillo, President of the Pueblo Rescue Mission.

However, some residents, like 40 year resident Jimmy Archuleta, have had it. "There urinating in the alleys, I have to shovel the feces out of the alleys, pick up the trash. They’ve got blankets, needles, and sleeping bags," said Archuleta. "They (the city) said they (the homeless) were going to be here temporarily since day one. They said four months and that was it. Now they want to buy the building."

Jaramillo said she sympathizes with residents, but also said that this is a crisis. She believes a full blown resource center, year ’round, must be made a priority. "When you have a transitional shelter, you actually work with people who are willing to engage with case management, and are willing to work toward improving their situation."