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Las Cruces homeless shelter struggles to get necessary donations in virus era

homeless man las cruces
KVIA
A homeless man eats a sandwich outside the Gospel Rescue Mission in Las Cruces.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- As thousands of Las Cruces residents worry about the future of their jobs, the Gospel Rescue Mission has seen a drop in donations.

"We have had a drop in our financial contributions," said Henry Young, the executive director of the Gospel Rescue Mission in Las Cruces. "It's trickling, rather than flowing."

To prevent the spread of the virus, the shelter is not allowing any outside visitors on the property, which includes dozens of homeless people on Amador Avenue.

"That has been very difficult, but we had to make a choice of, 'Do we take care of those who are already here or do we try to take everyone and run the risk of infecting the entire population?" Young explained to ABC-7.

Normally, the shelter can house up to 100 people, he said. Right now, the campus is sheltering-in-place with 38 people.

However, the Gospel Rescue Mission continues to distribute three meals a day to whoever needs it.

"These people have no options," said Brian Ormand, the board president for the Gospel Rescue Mission. "If we didn't give out three meals a day, food insecurity would be much worse."

With the closure of their "social business enterprises," like their newly renovated thrift store, revenue is down at least 20 percent.

Officials with the Gospel Rescue Mission said you can donate money on their website.

The shelter is also accepting donations of disinfectant products, like sanitary wipes, gloves and masks. The staff is also seeking donations of paper products, like plates and napkins. For those gifts, you can call the Gospel Rescue Mission at (575) 523-7727.

Coronavirus Video / News / Video

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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