Pueblo City Council decides against warming shelter location

WATCH Pueblo warming shelter will not...

PUEBLO, Colo. - Dolores Frank lives on the west side of Pueblo and became concerned when she first heard about the possibility of a warming shelter for the homeless coming into her neighborhood.

"It's just not appropriate, it's too tiny of a place," Frank said.

Hundreds of people came together to persuade the City Council to change the location of the shelter.

"It's paramount to have that kind of public input, you're going to potentially create a situation that's going to have an impact on people's lives," said City Council President Steve Nawrocki.

Nawrocki said the arguments changed their minds and the shelter will no longer be at the Hyde Park Community Center.

"I feel we're done with the west side," Nawrocki said.

He said the Salvation Army expressed interest in leaving the location on 13th Street in order for the Pueblo Rescue Mission to move there and set up a warming shelter.

"They do have the space and things have worked out for them so I feel strongly they're going to make it available for the community to use it for a shelter," Nawrocki said.

Frank, who was just three blocks from the building, said she is relieved.

"I do feel compassion for our homeless and on the cold nights for sure," Frank said.

Nothing is in writing yet, but Nawrocki said he is confident the deal with Salvation Army will work out.

The mission announced the withdrawal at a community meeting Tuesday night and asked people for other ideas for buildings.

The people who attended erupted with applause when Pueblo Rescue Mission's president and CEO, Jackie Jaramillo announced they would not put the warming shelter at Hyde Park Community Center. 

"I did feel it was something that did not need to be in this area," Westside resident Rebecca Gomez said. "But I do feel that we needed to come together and figure out a different way to help them. 

"It's a desperate situation," Jaramillo said. 

Jaramillo wouldn't say where the mission is looking to house the warming shelter now but said it will take time to find a new spot. 

"In the next three to four weeks we will be able to announce that we are opening a shelter," Jaramillo said. 

The community showed support for wanting to find a solution for the homeless population of Pueblo, many writing down their contact information to volunteer. Jaramillo said their support gives her hope as she moves forward with finding a place to get people out of the cold. 


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