Brownsville church responds to migrant influx by opening Respite Center

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West Brownsville Baptist Church turned into Respite Center to respond to influx of migrants. (Source: CBS 4 News)

As the number of migrants released continue, many are responding to aid them. 

A mission has been set out by Pastor Carlos Navarro from the West Brownsville Baptist Church as they receive migrants released by immigration officials.

“Most of them are families. Mom and dad and the kids. But a lot of them are single moms with their kids,” Navarro explained.

Navarro says the church has received nearly 300 migrants since opening two weeks ago.

While the facility is small, they’ve been able to serve the large number of people with the help of staff and volunteers.

As migrants are dropped off at the facility, the church has transformed part of this service center into a respite center, where stations for clothes, shoes, toiletries among other items are set in place for those walking in.

“A classroom we turned that into a dormitory.  We received donations of cots from the American Red Cross and we set them up with blankets and pillows where parents get to go rest while their children are being take care of at our child care center,” Gabriella Zavala, organizer of the Respite Center, said.

Zavala says the church is working closely with the city to provide migrants the best quality care.

“We do want to expand into a larger operation, maybe even more of an overnight shelter where we can accommodate large numbers,” she added.

It’s that warm welcome that many, like Maria Lida and her two year son, are grateful for.

The church is collecting donations of clothes, shoes, food and other items.

For more information, you can call the West Brownsville Baptist Church at (956) 546-3607.

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