Skip to Content

Migrants staying on El Paso’s streets react to city’s new emergency shelter

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Migrants staying on the streets of El Paso had mixed reactions to the news that the city would possibly be activating its new emergency shelter in the coming days. Some want to go to the shelter, while others had their reservations.

Maelo Ruiz, a migrant from Honduras, was excited when ABC-7 told him about the Community Readiness Center in West El Paso, and said he would want to go if he can't get into Sacred Heart Church's shelter. He is currently sleeping on the street outside of Sacred Heart.

The Community Readiness Center -- formerly Morehead Middle School -- can hold up to 400 people, according to the city. Officials said that capacity could possibly be increased to 500.

The center is located in the city's District 8, which is presided over by City Representative Chris Canales.

"The facility will have controlled access. People will be able to enjoy the hospitality of the shelter, but they won’t be able to come and go or be allowed to roam the neighborhood. They will be able to check out from the shelter whenever they want -- again, they are free people -- but if they do so they will be transported elsewhere, not released onto the neighborhood streets," Canales said in a statement earlier this week.

Upon finding out about the controlled access, Ruiz changed his tune.

"I really don't know," he said. "To not let you out, there is a moment that you want to get out. I have heard... you have to go in at a specific time, if not, you can't go inside."

Another migrant, Jhoive Alexander from Mexico, said he would want to go to the shelter, but he will not because of the restrictions. He said he would rather go to another shelter where he can come and go freely, and one that offered benefits.

"It all depends on the possibility if they offer me help, because if I have the choice to go into a shelter, well obviously, I am going to take the help that they offer me. But if I don't have the choice to go in and not come out, well, I have kids that I need to send money to," said Alexander.

The city said it is hoping to activate the Community Readiness Center in the coming days. We will keep you updated on air and online on the shelter's developments.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Kerry Mannix


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content