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Pueblo's only warming shelter set to open January 2nd

Tags: Recent News

Pueblo Warming Shelter smaller.jpg

By Lena Howland, Koaa.com

Some hope for the homeless in Pueblo as overnight temperatures reach life threatening levels.

The city's only warming shelter will open thanks to some much needed financial relief.

The former salvation army building is being transformed into the Pueblo Rescue Mission's temporary warming shelter. 

Thanks to the community's support and a number of donations, they are preparing to open their doors in less than a week for those who have no where else to go in the cold.

"We've been waiting for this!" Matthew Haslar, the community relations manager for the Pueblo Rescue Mission said.

A sigh of relief coming from the community of Pueblo.

"We've been ready, we've had the funds, we've been excited about that, we just haven't had the space and the facility so when the Salvation Army was able to get this lease going with us, we were able to jump on that and get things moving as fast as possible," Haslar said.

Even as temperatures dipped into the single digits, the city has been without a warming shelter since last spring. 

"Certainly it can be deadly, certainly it's a struggle having to live in those types of conditions," Quin Friberg, Associate Pastor for the Family Worship Center said.

The Salvation Army agreed to a four month lease with the Pueblo Rescue Mission for their vacant building on 13th Street.

Something they can now pay for, thanks to a little help.

"Sometimes it's hard to figure out how we can figure out how we can practically love others and this was a very practical way to try and reach out and try to help people who are in need and that's what we are told, as followers of Christ, should do is to love others, to be there to help others," Friberg said.

The Family Worship Cente, a Pueblo church, stepped in and donated $10,000 to go toward powering this shelter, about an eighth of what it will cost to keep it running for four months.

"That's a huge, huge gift to help us get started!" Haslar said.

The temporary shelter, scheduled to stay open every night through April, will have room for about 100 men and women combined.

"The truth is, the homeless community is obviously much larger than that but not all of them will accept shelter, that's just a part of the crowd and we're basing it somewhat on the numbers we've had before at the 

Rescue Mission and we know what the numbers were here before," he said.

As they scramble to purchase new mats and clean up the building, they're planning for a full house in the cold weeks ahead.

"Once that word gets out, then I think pretty quickly, we'll be slammed because obviously it is pretty darn cold right now," he said.

The shelter is planning to open their doors by January 2nd and it will stay open every night for four months.

By the way, the El Pomar Foundation has also come forward with a $10,000 donation for Posada to go toward motel rooms to single homeless people in Pueblo.

If you're interested in giving or volunteering, click here.