EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Network shelters such as the Opportunity Center confirmed they saw an uptick in their population during the cold temperatures on Sunday night and Monday morning.
John Martin, Deputy Director of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless, said he understands how the colder temperatures affect people and is ready for what is to come in the later months of 2023.
“… We can work with those that are in need to include the migrant population. That includes extra blankets and other warm weather clothing depending upon what the needs are of the individual,” Martin said. He told KTSM they anticipated many single migrant males to arrive Monday night.
“We’re basically designating a space for them, because historically, we’ve worked with predominantly families, with children. And so, as you can tell, you can’t really mix that single adult population with the families,” Martin said.
Laura Cruz-Acosta, a City of El Paso spokeswoman, said that by working with the network, the shelters could absorb the migrant population should they need to.
“We want to make sure that everybody is healthy and safe, but also, if there is any need to pop open the community readiness center, what we used to be Moorhead Middle School. And at this point, we don’t see a great need because it’s not a sustained cold front that we’re seeing,” Cruz-Acosta said.
According to Martin, 103 men were accounted for at the men’s shelter.
“Of that, that was probably about two dozen migrants in the balance for a local homeless population. That’s a slight increase, about 20% from the evening before. So that’ll tell you what’s happening with the temperature. We’ve seen similar increases in our other shelters as well.”
To get more information about the opportunity center, click here.