People are still coming to the U.S. border towns from other countries. Some cities refer to it as a “humanitarian crisis.” Now, a possible shutdown of the government could make it even worse. In El Paso, as in many border towns, the shelters are full and people are sleeping on the street.
The food bank in El Paso says it only has enough food to last for 25 days, and if they have to help government workers who aren’t getting paid, they will need help right away.
Jennifer Velandria and her family came from Venezuela to El Paso. “It’s been hard because my family doesn’t have money and we’ve been split up. But after the first day, we got back together and stayed together on the street,” Velandria said.
Jennifer and her family have been in the United States for about a week and a half. At night, they slept on the streets of El Paso, and during the day, they looked for food. Then, a woman told them that there was a spot open at the El Paso Rescue Mission. “For us, it was as if an angel had come down from heaven. “It helped us a lot,” Velandria said.
She says they are lucky because El Paso’s streets and parks are full of thousands of migrants. Since a week and a half ago, the city says it has been getting at least 1800 refugees a day. All of the shelters say they are full, and the food bank says it won’t have much longer to help people. The CEO of the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, Susan Goodell, says that the food bank is now getting ready for what it calls a “triple threat.”
Goodell said, “We need more volunteers and money to help on all three fronts at the same time: the government shutdown, the migrant crisis, and the huge need right here in the community.” If the government shuts down, government workers might not get paid. That could be a problem since the food bank is already feeding as many people as they can, which is about 1,000 a day.
“Between the influx of migrants and a possible government shutdown, which will affect the 23,000 government workers in this area as well as the 38,000 soldiers at Fort Bliss, we’re in for a pretty rough time,” Goddell said.