BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Brownsville nonprofit said they are able to expand their operations thanks to a donation from the Musk Foundation.
“Our soup kitchen is the heart of our organization, that is what Good Neighbor is known for,” said Hugo Zurita, Executive Director of the Good Neighbor Settlement House.
The Good Neighbor Settlement has been providing basic health care and feeding the Brownsville area for more than 20 years. They said this past year they have seen double their usual numbers.
“You know with the pandemic our needs increased tremendously, it doubled in size,” said Zurita.
Zurita said they also serve asylum seekers which saw an influx this year.
“As of January 2021 till today, we’ve served about 28,000 to 29,000 individuals just through the city of Brownsville,” said Zurita.
The old auditorium will be the new cafeteria allowing the Good Neighbor Settlement House to double the number of people they are able to serve at a time, in-house.
After more than 20 years, they are finally able to renovate multiple parts of their building.
“New dining hall, new kitchen, new closet, which is where we do clothing, hygiene items, and then we are doing our new clinic as well,” said Zurita.
Zurita said he started this project in 2020 and thanks to the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation for being one of the first donors and said a $200,000 donation from the Musk Foundation is why they are able to complete it.
“But then we had the Musk Foundation, SpaceX, actually provided the remaining funds to be able to finish the project, to complete the project,” said Zurita.
They hope to have the project complete by the end of 2021 and say it’s just the beginning of a bigger plan.
“I feel that once we finish this project by the end of 2021, by 2022 it’s going to be much bigger,” said Zurita.
The Good Neighbor Settlement House said their annual fundraiser will be a poker tournament on Nov. 13.