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“Dignity in the desert,” mental health sanctuary helps those in need just outside of Juarez

JUAREZ, Chihuahua (KVIA) -- "Visión en Acción" is a shelter on the outskirts of Juarez that has been helping people with mental needs for nearly three decades.

The shelter started in 1995 with few resources and even with carpet roofs along the Casas Grandes highway.

Currently, the shelter helps 130 patients, they cook 400 meals every day and provide them with medicine.

For a few of those patients, their families pay for their stay and treatments, the vast majority of them don't have anyone, so the shelter covers their costs.

Pastor José Antonio Galván is the shelter's founder and current director.

He started this initiative because he used to be like his current patients. He currently lives in Sunland Park, New Mexico, and drives around 30 miles to the sanctuary two or three times a week.

Once a gang member in prison and with problems with drugs, he turned his life around to start helping those with mental needs. One day he decides to dedicate his life to people with mental illness because he says it's a group that usually no one wants to help.

Most of the patients were people who used to be alone on the streets of Juarez.

The shelter has been growing over the years. Visión en Acción now has nurses, doctors and psychiatrists. Some of them are paid, others volunteer, and some patients help with cooking.

"I'm looking for the hidden treasures of the people," Pastor Galván said.

His goal in life is to keep helping those in need, but in order to do that, he asks for the help of both communities in Juarez and the U.S.

"We are crazy people helping crazy people in the middle of the desert, he added."

If you're interested in donating, Pastor Galván says his sanctuary mainly needs money and food. They already have plenty of clothes and shoes.

You can contact him to donate; his number is 915-328-3395. Or you can access Rescued Minds' website here.

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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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