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Migrant shelters only accepting most vulnerable

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Posted at 6:19 PM, Sep 14, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The days are numbered in this migrant shelter here in San Diego. Inside, the organizations helping migrants get to the next stop on their journeys are in a transition period. They are now only taking in the most vulnerable migrants. This has led to the street releases of migrants around the county."

Action is picking up along our southern border, with hundreds of migrants camped out waiting to be processed.

This comes as migrant shelters are transitioning back to pre-COVID era models.

"Because of this transition for the next two and a half to three weeks, the state has said to us that the state has a lot of things it has to demobilize and hand it over to catholic charities. They need to have a very limited focus. The focus now is to only have vulnerable populations come to our shelters," said Pajanor.

Vino Pajanor is the CEO of catholic charities, which operates three shelters between San Diego and Imperial counties.

During the pandemic, the state was overseeing shelter operations alongside organizations like his.

"They're still funding it. They're providing it, but catholic charities has to take on most of the role along with hiring contractors for health care or for security or other food services at the location," said Pajanor.

It also means bed capacity is going from 1600 to 800.

During the transition, the shelter is focusing on the most vulnerable such as those who are sick and their families- ultimately leading to street releases.

"If they are released onto the streets, instead of them saying her for one and a half days they could be here for one and a half weeks, one and a half months because we do not know that they are able to figure out all of this," said Pajanor.

He said the current shelter will close and catholic charities will open a new location on october 1st .

The new location will welcome migrants beginning October 1st.

The location has not yet been announced, but Catholic Charities is looking for volunteers.