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Expanded homeless shelter houses more people than ever

"Center of Opportunity" opened in June
Posted at 10:20 PM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-26 00:21:51-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — There's a sense of pride at the Gospel Rescue Mission when workers talk about how many people they can shelter this year.

"We're entering the winter shelter season here so we're able to take in some more people so we're happy for that," said Victor Hightower.

Hightower runs public relations for the shelter and he broke down the numbers, in terms of beds.

"So we're in the short term shelter side of the men's emergency shelter. There's 50 beds in this room and on the other side of the row of offices to my right, there are 100 more beds."

Add to that extra mattresses Hightower says they can use in cafeterias when there's overflow.

"So now we've increased our men's center count by about 400 percent, so a huge jump."

The larger shelter started accepting more people earlier this year in June when the "Center of Opportunity" opened its doors.

"Being informed is the first step that anybody is looking to help, can do."

More homeless people will look for shelter on cold nights and if they need help finding a place to stay or a hot meal there's a simple way to help.

"If you see a homeless encampment, a bunch of tents set up some place for an extended period of time you can call your local city council office and tell them there's an encampment on a certain address, and they will send a social worker, come by to see what they can do to help that person out and to direct them to shelter or to services."

Click here to print a guide to services in Tucson and Pima county for the homeless you can hand out.