Homeless shelters seeing new faces as they rescue people from the cold

Posted at 8:31 PM, Dec 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-30 07:44:08-05

SOUTHERN COLORADO-  As the winter weather and freezing temperatures blast Southern Colorado, leaders at the Pueblo and Springs Rescue Missions are trying to save lives as they know many people are still sleeping on the streets. There are homeless people in our communities trying to survive the winter sleeping out on the streets, but we’ve learned since the start of December 78 people have turned to the Springs Rescue Mission for help for the very first time. In Pueblo, their beds are filling up as word reaches those in need.

In Colorado Springs city leaders have worked to clear homeless camps that pose health risks and safety risks for those trying to sleep outside during the Colorado winter. After adding 150 new beds at the Springs Rescue Mission dozens of people in need are now showing up for the first time.

“At the Springs Rescue Mission we’ve been a come as you are shelter so we’ve done everything we possibly can to remove as many barriers as possible so that folks can get out of the frigid temperatures,” said Travis Williams of the Springs Rescue Mission.

Nearly 400 people are now utilizing the space at the springs rescue mission and at least 50 beds are still available.

“It’s a great story because in October we were actually having to sit down and turn people away. Look them in the eye and say listen we have no room for you,” said Williams.

In Pueblo 50 to 60 people a night have come to their emergency warming shelter.

“Now that may not seem full to some people, but that’s pretty much an average number,” said Kathy Cline of the Pueblo Rescue Mission.

Open for just two weeks, leaders expect those numbers to grown heading into the new year.

“I think there are still some folks who don’t know about it, or there’s still some apprehension,” said Cline.

Whether it’s in Pueblo or in the Springs these shelters serve an important purpose especially this time of year.

“Job number one for us is to make sure people can live another day and that they don’t die in these freezing temperatures,” said Williams.

“That has saved lives because we already know there have been individuals in Pueblo who have not survived this winter season,” said Cline.

In Pueblo, homeless shelter leaders say there has been an emphasis on better security which is helping encourage more people to utilize their services. In the Springs the staff expects to see more beds filled as colder days arrive heading into the new year.