Feb 23, 2010 7:45 PM by David Ortiviz

Homeless problems trickle down to Pueblo

The homeless crisis in Colorado Springs is now causing problems in Pueblo. As the Springs cracks down on homeless camps along the river some people have moved south, which has led to crowded shelters and even turf wars.

Right now, Colorado Springs has roughly 500 people who are homeless and living in tents. In Pueblo, there are about 175 people living on the streets.

For George Butterfield and John Tippett two homeless men in Pueblo getting a hot meal seems a lot easier than finding shelter these days. "Wayside Cross is filled up my friend as far as I know," said Tippett. "There is no really place to go," said Butterfield.

Posada, an agency that helps the homeless, says the problem started about three weeks ago. They noticed more homeless people migrated from Colorado Springs to Pueblo. It's not clear how many, but Pueblo's two shelters, the Wayside Cross Gospel Rescue Mission and an emergency shelter at the Salvation Army which sleep a total of 70 people, both are full.

"We hope we won't see too many more people coming down from Colorado Springs," said Stattelman. "Pueblo does not have the resources to absorb more people coming down," said Stattelman.

Stattelman says the problem has overflowed into Pueblo's homeless camps which are prohibited in city limits, but not in the county. 
"There are some camps where there's been some camp on camp violence. People from Springs have ousted people from Pueblo in their camps," said Stattelman.

Adding stress to an already rough lifestyle often unseen or ignored by the public."They do know what's going on, but I don't think they know how bad it is," said Butterfield.

Posada says there's a big demand for more bed space for the homeless. The temporary shelter at the Salvation Army will close at the end of the month. After it closes, Posada says it will rent hotel rooms for the homeless, on cold nights.


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