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El Paso organizations allocated millions of dollars in federal funding

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a $300 million fund to help organizations that provide shelter and services to migrants across the U.S.

Over $12.2 million has been allocated to various organizations in our sector.

You can see the list of organizations here.

These funds are referred to as S-S-P, or Shelter and Services Program.

Non-governmental organizations like the Annunciation House, the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, and the Salvation Army, among others could receive these allocated funds.

The county and city of El Paso are on the list as well.

ABC-7 spoke with the Deputy Director of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless, John Martin who said they have applied for these funds in the past. They are mainly using them for support staff, utilities, food, and other related activities.

"And so we're not only working with our international homeless population, but our local homeless population," Deputy Director Martin said. "These funds are directed at the migrants, specifically those that have been encountered through U.S. Customs and Border Protection."

Deputy Director Martin also said, funding for a staff person means that person will only work with the migrant population, not the local one.

ABC-7 also spoke with El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser on how the city has used these funds and how they work with the NGOs who also have allocated funding from the federal government.

"As we all know, the immigration process is broken, and until they fix it, as a border community and as a border city, we have a huge responsibility as asylum seekers coming to the United States," Mayor Leeser said.

DHS announced that more than $2 million will be going to the city of El Paso, and more than $4.5 million will go to the county.

As for local non-profits, the Annunciation House is set to receive over $380,000.

The Opportunity Center for the Homeless is granted $270,000.

"The $2 million that we get, we're very thankful, but it's not even close to the amount of money we need to be able to provide the service for the federal government," said Mayor Leeser.

The federal government reimbursed the city of El Paso during the migrant surges in 2022 and 2023. 

The city purchased Morehead Middle School with federal funding, and they've been improving the facility and hope to be able to use it in any local emergency in the future.

Article Topic Follows: On the Border

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Heriberto Perez

Heriberto Perez Lara reports for ABC-7 on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.


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