Gospel Rescue Mission men's shelter cutting occupancy - Tucson News Now

Gospel Rescue Mission men's shelter cutting occupancy

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Gospel Rescue Mission men’s shelter is going from an occupancy of 106 down to 55. Basically cutting those it can help in half.

Last week, the City of South Tucson did an inspection on the shelter and measured the dorms. Gospel Rescue mission officials then found out that the maximum number of beds they could have is 55.

This is all being done to comply with the National Fire Safety Code. It states, that the code standard is one person per 50 square feet.

Gospel Rescue Mission officials say, depending on this time of year, between 51 to 81 men could be displaced.

The Salvation Army Hospitality House and the Primavera Foundation are helping Gospel Rescue Mission to house some of the men. The Hospitality House has arranged for six men to stay at their shelter. 

Yolanda Hasler, Hospitality House Program Manager said there could be more men staying with them without any prior arrangements. 

She said shelters work together all the time, but it can get tough when the demand for beds is high. 

"Thankfully we had a lot of beds to offer. But as we've been getting more and more people in, I think right now we have maybe three beds we can offer," Hasler said. "So it's hurting the community in the sense that there's a lot of people that are going to be on the street because there isn't a shelter that will be able to accommodate their needs."

The reduction is in beds however, not services offered. The shelter is still open for men to take showers, wash clothes, and get a hot meal, it is just some of the men will not be able to stay overnight. 

Steven Howard said he's been coming to the Gospel Rescue Mission for about a year a half. Monday he was able to eat, wash up, and change clothes at the Gospel Rescue Mission, but he wasn't able to stay the night. 

He said the other shelters filled up quick once word got out about the Gospel Rescue Mission reducing the number of beds. 

"If you don't really have a blanket or no place to block the wind, it gets pretty cold out there," Howard said. 

He said he wasn't sure where he would stay Monday night. 

"Find a safe place to sleep or hook up with some people that are trying to get a room or something or just see where the night takes me," Howard said. "Basically if you're homeless you're trespassing everywhere you go. You can't sit at the bus stop, you cant sit at businesses." 

The City of South Tucson will let the shelter add 15 to 20 beds in the chapel for the next two weeks.

The Gospel Rescue Mission has been trying its best to find some of the men another place to stay. But, they may have to turn some of the men away.

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