Gospel Rescue Mission running out of space to house families

Las Cruces Rescue Mission.jpg

The executive director of the Gospel Rescue Mission in Las Cruces said the mission is dealing with overcrowding and has to cram several families into one room for housing.

From 2015 through 2016, the Gospel Rescue Mission housed around 3,500 people.

More than half of them have been women and their children.

“We’ve just seen an influx that was actually larger than the national average for women and children,” executive director Henry Young said.

Deirdre Rupert has been staying at the mission for nearly three months.

She and her 8-month-old daughter share a bed but she is one of the lucky ones who only has to share her room with one other person.

“They have to lay out the foam mats and place people, small families, mother, couple of boys on those mats for their short stay,” Rupert said.

Just down the hall is Victoria Holloway, who lives in one room with her seven children and two other families.

“It’s just also a lack of privacy and small quarters and, like I said, with eleven people living in this room right now, it’s cramped,” Holloway said.

She said she; and her family are currently staying at the mission until she can get back on her feet.

“So that gives you a chance there to get a job and save and get ready to start your own household once again,” Holloway said.

Because of the overcrowding, Young proposed to the City Council that the mission wants to buy shipping containers and turn them into rooms.

City Council members and the mayor of Las Cruces liked the proposal and asked Young to provide the council with a layout sketch approved by a structural engineer.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima said he will be setting up a work session with council members to determine the cost to convert two shipping containers into housing.

The mission is currently looking for any support from the community to help get the job done.

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