COLORADO SPRINGS – “Huge, You wake up in the middle of the night, you got a restroom, you got a clean facility. No running out of a cold tent,” said Wade who is homeless and staying at the Springs Rescue Mission. There are 150 new beds at the Springs Rescue Mission. It adds new dimension to care for the homeless and off-campus it allows for more aggressive enforcement of no camping rules in Colorado Springs.
“It will be a catalyst for moving into other types of shelter in the community,” said Springs Rescue Mission, President and CEO, Larry Yonker. The newest beds go in a building previously used for donations.
There is a separation from other shelter beds. The new beds become a no barrier entry point for anyone. Other beds, in other buildings can then better serve individuals showing a higher commitment to change. “We have 59 living in the shelter right now that are employed,” said Yonker, “So those waiting to get into some kind of permanent housing.” These are people getting help beyond a night’s sleep out of the cold. They are working with case workers daily.
A court ruling says city leaders have to have somewhere for everyone to go to enforce no camping statutes in Colorado Springs. “You have to be able to offer a shelter bed to somebody you’re moving off of public property,” said Colorado Springs Mayor, John Suthers. The 150 new beds add to other shelter beds in the city. It is a total now topping 650. Surveys tracking the number of homeless people camping in Colorado Springs, show this is enough to make no-camping bans more enforceable. “This will be enough for the foreseeable future to be able to aggressively enforce no camping bans,” said Suthers.