The Opportunity Center in El Paso is a nonprofit that caters to all homeless, regardless of their past, mental or physical well-being.
But the loss of over $3 million over the past few years, is causing them to look into downsizing, which would put more homeless out on the streets.
“Looking at our numbers, that could potentially mean almost 1,400 additional individuals that could go without shelter,” said John Martin, the deputy director for the shelter.
The reason for the decrease in money is due to the lack of federal funding the shelter has been given.
They have already had to eliminate six programs, including ones that served the city's homeless veterans, causing them not to be able to provide them with the resources that they need on a daily basis.
“That money supported our support service staff, our transportation program, our youth program, and our mental health initiative,” said Martin.
Martin said this has made it hard for them to effectively do their job.
“If you look at our mission statement we should be doing two things, one of those is transition those that can, by that I mean take them out of homelessness and find them a place of their own, and in some cases for those who cannot transition, we should be able to protect them,” said Martin.
And with the government shutdown seeing no end in sight, it has the shelter worried the loss of more funds is near.
“We do have rainy day funds to fall back on, so that will carry us. But if this extends out into the next several months, then it’s an issue,” said Martin.
Martin is asking for the community to step up and help, he said if they can’t give their money, he is asking them to give their time.
We reached out to the Las Cruces homeless shelter, they told us unlike El Paso, they won’t be affected by the shutdown due to the fact that their program is run fully on donations.
They tell me the community has been great about helping them stay open and available to homeless in need.