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How southern Colorado is trying to shelter homeless from cold

Posted at 10:51 PM, Oct 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 06:26:22-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – The Springs Rescue Mission is trying to keep up with demand as temperatures keep dropping and their shelter continues to work at capacity.

As we’ve reported, Springs Rescue Mission is working on adding 150 new beds to their shelter, but they’re not ready yet and that means some folks are being turned away.

The shelter says they reached their highest capacity this Thursday when 317 people flooded the shelter.
To give you some context, they can comfortably accommodate 285 people but wanted to shelter as many people as possible.
However, at this point, they’re having to turn folks away.
Though it’s hard to say exactly how many, the number could be up to 20.

“Whenever our staff has to actually look somebody in the eye and say ‘I’m sorry, we don’t have capacity in the shelter,’ I can tell you that breaks our team’s hearts,” said Travis Williams, the chief operating officer with Springs Rescue Mission.
“We’re thankful that we’re able to provide shelter for approximately 320 people. I mean, that’s – that’s something that we, you know, we’re joyous over but we grieve even that one person who has to face a cold bitter night.”

Williams says hopefully the wait won’t be much longer. The shelter is aiming to have those beds available by early November.
The Salvation Army will also be installing 220 low-barrier beds later on this year.
Colorado Springs City Council used half a million dollars from the general fund to pay for all these shelter beds.

The City of Pueblo is also in the process of establishing a permanent warming shelter.
As we previously reported, the city is working on purchasing two properties including the Bargain box on 4th Street and a second building directly north on Chester Street. Both are owned by the Assistance League of Pueblo.

The City of Pueblo is aiming to have those open by November 15th and a final vote on that purchase is scheduled for Monday, October 22nd.