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Harlingen nonprofit prepares shelter for migrants

10 months 6 days 19 hours ago Saturday, March 13 2021 Mar 13, 2021 March 13, 2021 2:23 PM March 13, 2021 in News - Local

A spike in migrant crossing has caused nonprofit organizations across the Rio Grande Valley to prepare for an influx of people in the next few weeks.

Loaves and Fishes, a nonprofit in the city of Harlingen is one of the organizations working hard to help house migrants. 

Melissa Gutierrez is the office manager for the nonprofit organization. She said in the last week of February about 75 immigrants were dropped off at their shelter-- some of them tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Gutierrez said those who tested positive for the virus were sent to a hotel and the rest stayed at the dining hall. 

But with the recent wave of crossings, Gutierrez said the nonprofit is facing issues trying to keep everyone safe as the pandemic continues. 

"We used to have them in the lobby area, in the hallways and the dorms as well," Gutierrez said. "Now with the pandemic, it's going to be a little bit harder for us. But like I said, we got everything planned out and hopefully we are ready for this."

Nine days ago, Harlingen approved loaning the city's community center to Loaves & Fishes at zero cost. Gutierrez said they plan to use the building if the capacity of the is reached.

"They have some 2,000 in numbers right now," Gutierrez said. "I'm sure it's going to double what we did two years ago. Once this starts happening, it's going to happen fast and our supplies are probably going to end up finishing fast."

For more information or to make a donation, visit Loaves & Fishes located at 514 South E Street or call (956) 423-1014.

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