Efforts underway to open warming shelters in Roswell
ROSWELL, N.M. — Roswell is working on ways to help people by trying to open a warming shelter as cold temperatures move across the state.
“Roswell doesn’t have any warming or cooling centers, there are public buildings that can be used during the daytime, like any other public building, but nothing throughout the night,” said Jeneva Martinez, the project manager of With Many Hands Roswell.
Nonprofit organizations are hoping to open a warming shelter that will start now until March.
“I got involved with some of the local nonprofits and some of the city councilors to see if we can start planning something now before we get bad weather here. That we’re not faced with those difficulties,” says Enrique Moreno, founder and director of Roswell Community Disaster Relief.
Three years ago, they were able to open a warming shelter for 48 hours and had less than 24 hours to pull it together, but haven’t had luck finding a building they can use this year.
Martinez says it needs to be handled not just by nonprofits but the city’s management.
A couple of years ago, Moreno took matters into his own hands.
“I set up across the courthouse with a 10 by 10 tent and heaters, and stayed there for three days until the snow started melting, and it got warmer. Which is a really, really hard thing to do,” said Moreno.
Moreno says they will have to do the same this year if it gets too cold, but he has hope they will find a building before then.
“We’ve been going to abandoned buildings, calling real estate agents, calling signs on properties, you know, asking, you know, if there’s a way to lease a building or get it donated in exchange for a, you know, tax write-off,” Moreno said.
They were offered a property where they would be able to set up a large tent, but because of the logistics, Moreno says they wouldn’t be able to make it work.
“We need something that within 24 hours we can step into and have available. We just want to be prepared and offer it a shelter for families,” said Moreno.
Moreno has set up a GoFundMe to help cover the costs associated with the shelter.