EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – As Title 42 is
set to be lifted this Wednesday and Christmas coming up this Sunday, authorities believe we will be seeing more migrants sleeping on the streets of El Paso.
The Rescue Mission of El Paso, located on the 200 block of North Lee St., not only has been offering migrants free food and toiletries, they will be spreading Christmas cheer by providing dinner and caroling.
“We have a group coming this Saturday, to do some Christmas caroling during dinner, and then on Christmas Day, the same thing as Thanksgiving Day, we provide a free meal,” said Nicole Ruelet, the Rescue Mission’s director of marketing.
Ruelet said the kitchen will be serving a feast including dessert.
“We make sure that there is a variety and that everybody gets to eat something that they really like,” she said.
With roughly 290 migrants inside the Rescue Mission, Reulet says, migrants have come in and out just to use their showers or at least get a haircut, since volunteers have been cutting hair for free.
“Now we have started to see the numbers rise again, so we are using every inch that we have. We’ve overflowed our chapel, our library, board meeting rooms, kitchens, living areas,” Ruelet said.
More women with kids are staying a little longer than single men.
Reulet tells KTSM, the reason why she can relate with the migrants is because her family immigrated from Mexico to the U.S. She added that she would love to see the El Paso community unite during the Christmas season and not be divided by this issue.
“Any person sleeping on the street, that’s avoidable, like let’s make it rare to see people on the street. Let’s make it, so that is, it shouldn’t be the way it is. There shouldn’t be families sleeping on the streets. There shouldn’t be children in dirty clothes or dirty diapers, things like that. I think coming together and showing the best we have to offer really.”.
Ruelet says they are waiting for a contract with the city to occupy the building that is right next to them.
“So that building has been empty for a few months and if we are able to occupy it and everything goes well, we’ll be able to house about 100 to 150 more people.” She adds that the building should be available some time before Christmas. “And it’s 150 less people that sleep on the streets,” Ruelet said.
Since Friday, the shelter has been over capacity, accepting 100 more migrants, and while winter and Christmas are approaching, the Rescue Mission has had businesses and community members donate blankets and clothing.
“Some women even ask for a wish list, so we will give that information. Of course, confidentiality is important. So, if the kids don’t want their name on theirs, then we will just give them the age and size but we will make sure that the kids are taken care of.”
Reulet says recently Texas Tech did a coat and toy drive for them, but since a lot of migrants are heading to New York or Chicago, more winter gear is needed, with no holes or stains on them.
The following list is what Rescue Mission is needing:
- Men’s pants
- Men’s and women’s walking shoes – all sizes
- Children’s coats and shoes – all sizes
- Adult and children ibuprofen and cold medicine.
- Baby wipes, diaper rash cream
- Baby diapers, size 3, 4, 5, 6.
If you would like to donate or volunteer this Christmas Rescue Mission of El Paso, click here for more information for Corner of Hope Street Outreach Center.