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El Paso shelters prepare for occupancy increase amid cold temperatures

El Paso, Texas (KVIA) -- The Opportunity Center for the Homeless is preparing for an increase in demand as cold temperatures hit the Borderland.

The shelter's deputy director, John Martin, said they are used to seeing an uptick because of these weather conditions.

"Typically this time of year, outside of the migrant impact that we've seen, we typically do see about a 40 to 50% increase as it relates to a need for shelter," Martin said.

He also explained the shelter does not have any time constraints for those coming into the shelter.

"We are the exception. As it relates to the Opportunity Center and all of our shelters, we have no time limits. We have a very few individuals that have been with us for several years. We have some that come in simply for a day or two. And we've always been the exception to the rule when it comes to the El Paso community."

The deputy director explained it is easier to keep people cool in the summer than keep them warm in the winter.

Martin said the shelter is still in need of blankets, jackets and winter clothes.

"We have had a large amount of community support when it comes to the clothing that's needed for clothing, colder temperatures as well as blankets. But you've got to look at the large number of people that we're serving. And so as it comes in, it's very quickly being utilized," he said.

Anyone who would like to donate any items can reach out to the Opportunity Center for the Homeless.

Article Topic Follows: Weather News

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Rosemary Montañez

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