PUEBLO, Colo. - A long-term solution to the homeless issue in Pueblo could be within the city's sights.
According to Pueblo City Councilman Mark Aliff, council members have found a property that they believe will be a prime location for a new city shelter.
The Pueblo Rescue Mission last closed its shelter on 13th Street back in July after the city decided not to renew a special use permit.
Experts say the displaced population in Pueblo has increased by 300 percent since marijuana was legalized. However, Kim Bowman with Posada of Pueblo says there are other factors that attribute to the rise in numbers, including Medicaid expansion.
"We have identified a property for the homeless shelter," said Aliff. "It has gone through the appraisal process and we're supposed to have that done this week."
Aliff would not give the specific location for the potential shelter, but he said it would be located in the downtown area.
"It is centrally located to many of the homeless services. It isn't smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood so you shouldn't have a lot of problems with people not wanting with where it is going," said Aliff. "It's just a good location. It has acreage, it has everything we have been looking for and talking about."
The Pueblo city councilman says the property has room for things like a courtyard as well as a kitchen. Aliff says the Pueblo Rescue Mission will be the likely operators of the newly proposed shelter, however, that hasn't been discussed in depth by city council yet.
"I'm not sure a new shelter is the answer," said Kim Bowman, Executive Director of Posada of Pueblo. Posada provides housing services to the homeless in Pueblo County.
"A lot of these folks already have incomes. If I were chronically homeless, wouldn't you take three guys and pull them together and all pitch in for a house? So isn't it a choice?"
Bowman would rather see those shelter funds be redirected into mental health services.
After the appraisal is complete, council members will decide whether or not to move forward with the project.
As of now, Aliff doesn't have any projections of what the new shelter could cost.