EL PASO, TX - With overnight lows around the freezing point, staff at the Opportunity Center in downtown El Paso say there are more than 160 men and women a night seeking refuge from the cold.
“Thanks to the opportunity center they have somewhere to sleep be warm and have food in their stomach,” says John Martin, development director of the center.
Martin says there are four teams who work throughout the day to take homeless people off the streets.
“We do you have the ability to provide the basic necessities that could include a hot meal including after hours. We always stock the front desk with sandwiches we don’t want anyone to go to bed hungry at that point," he adds.
The opportunity center has ten housing units, and offers 14 different programs to help get homeless people back on their feet.
A homeless man, who wants to remain anonymous, told our crews he'd been without a place to stay for two months.
"The Opportunity Center helped me get a job and put food on the table.
Without the center's help I'd be sleeping under a bridge somewhere."
Development Director John Martin says more than ninety percent of the people the shelter helps are from El Paso. Many were left homeless because of health of family problems. Martin is asking the public to help the homeless when they see a need.
“They are our neighbors what I remind everyone is that if you had a neighbor in trouble what would you do?"
January 4th is the Opportunity Center's 24th anniversary. if you see a homeless person who needs help, the center encourages you to let them know. It's as easy as calling 577-0069.