New homeless shelter could make huge impact in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — With the cold weather that rolled in, getting inside to find shelter is the most important thing homeless in our community can do.

Now, thanks to a new $3.2 million building, more homeless than ever will now be able to sleep inside and get the help they need.

It has 168 new year-round beds.

On the coldest nights, like Friday, that goes up to 200 by adding mats on the floor.

While this is a huge help, we spoke to one homeless man who said it’s still not enough.

Anthony LaScala has been homeless for 16 years and he’s not the only one.

“There’s about 7,500 of us out here,” said LaScala.

For all those without a bed in the shelter Friday, “we find another place to sleep. Whether it’s a park bench, in a tent, whatever we can do,” said LaScala.

For nearby businesses, “there was the negative impact of what it had on the businesses here because there was a lot of people sleeping outside,” said Tiffany Canady of Premier Real Estate Group.

So she’s “overwhelmingly excited that there’s going to be more care and shelter for people. There’s a need here,” said LaScala.

“That’s why we wanted to build a shelter is because the city didn’t have enough shelters and so we went and sprung into action last spring and said, ‘we’ve got to build this shelter right now,'” said Travis Williams of the Springs Rescue Mission.

The $3.2 million building is funded 20 percent through government funding.

The rest is all local donations, which showed the giving nature of our community.

Anthony said the new shelter is great, but with his estimate of 7,500 homeless on the streets, more needs to happen.

“If they built more facilities. You know, they’ve got all these abandoned buildings that people own. They’re afraid of the insurance problem. They’re afraid they’ll get tore up, but you know what, what go are they if they’re sitting there empty,” said LaScala.

While the 168 people inside the new shelter were nice and warm Friday, there were a lot of people who weren’t.

That’s why Tiffany and several of her co-workers passed out blankets to homeless who didn’t get a bed.

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