EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – Officials with Annunciation House have announced the date for when they will be closing their Casa de Refugiado shelter.

Executive director Ruben Garcia announced that July 31st is when the shelter will be closing, citing multiple reasons as how and why they came to this decision.

Garcia explained that this shelter is one of the larger ones Annunciation House operates, housing close to one thousand refugees in any given week. One of the main reasons they have decided to shut down Casa de Refugiado is due to lack of volunteers they need to fully function, which Garcia says it’s been much more difficult to recruit for the shelter.

Another reason is because of the deterioration of the building itself.

“…the building the condition of the building the need for all kinds of maintenance repairs etc. it has become a challenge we’ve made the determination that that building is no longer serving the needs that we wish it needs to serve.”

Even with the large shelter closing, Garcia says that all other shelters will continue to function

This decision also affects the county who are trying to find a process to safely and quickly process migrants who come through El Paso.

Judge Ricardo Samaniego says it’s important to find a shelter as well as a processing center that will be able to handle a large amount of people now that Casa de Refugiado is shutting down.

Samaniego says he knows the city is trying to find an equivalent to the shelter since it was much bigger than others and could house more refugees. On the county side they are looking for a processing center so they can get a handle on the migrants that are coming through.

Samaniego says the shelters would house the migrants as they wait for their sponsors and says the processing centers will help border patrol and the detention centers move quickly especially with the expectation that Title 42 will end.

“We know that everybody’s expecting Title 42 to be lifted eventually and we have to be ready and one of things that would help us would be to have the process center ready and to have this bigger shelter similar to Casa de Refugiado.”

Samaniego says the city and the county are working “extremely hard” to find a solution so that they may be ready for the surge of migrants that are expected to come through.

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