Homeless Deal with the Snow

POSTED: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 7:00am

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - 5:06pm

While many of us were worried about road conditions today, the estimated 2,000 homeless in El Paso were faced with a larger problem. Many of them couldn't find a bed to sleep on.

The weather changed Laurie Eisenberg's life. She's now homeless. "During the hail storm that came in October, our roof collapsed," said Eisenberg.

For months, Eisenberg and her husband have been living here at the Rescue Mission of El Paso. Instead of sharing space with her husband, she's living with other women. Even though they didn't wake up together, they woke up feeling lucky they had a place to stay. "It would've been cold," said Eisenberg. "It would've been wet. It would've been scary. It would've been heartbreaking."

Blake Barrow also woke up and saw the snow this morning. "The heater was going, and it sure looked beautiful," said Barrow. "But it's not so beautiful if you're living under a bridge."

Blake is the director for the mission. He doesn't turn anyone away, but he also doesn't have enough beds for everyone. Some end up sleeping on the floor. "We have a hundred men trying to share three toilets," said Barrow.

He's trying to expand the place. He's raised more than half the money he needs to add about 60 beds but he's a half million dollars short. That's 60 people, whose story could have a happy ending like Laurie's. "The money that we've saved because of the blessing of being at the Rescue Mission, we're getting our own apartment. We should be in it by the New Year." said Eisenberg.

Barrow says for every Laurie Eisenberg, who had a place to stay for the holidays, there's probably seven homeless people who didn't.

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Laurie E. homeless. She should be my Silver Spring. oolashi@yahoo.com

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