The Pueblo Rescue Mission will be forced to temporarily close due to zoning issues related to the location of the shelter.
In a letter to the Pueblo Rescue Mission, the City of Pueblo said a homeless shelter is not allowed to operate within an R-5 zoning area, which is where the current building is located on 13th Street.
The city said the Rescue Mission’s business license will not be renewed if the shelter doesn’t either move to a new area, or obtain a special use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Even if the Rescue Mission were to get that special use permit, it would not allow for homeless people to stay at the shelter overnight due to zoning rules in that area.
As News 5 has reported, the Pueblo Rescue Mission moved into the empty Salvation Army building on 13th Street on January 1 this year. It also planned to open a year-round shelter last month and purchase the building from the Salvation Army.
Neighbors in the area protested the idea of the Pueblo Rescue Mission buying the building at a community meeting in late April.
Forty-year resident Jimmy Archuleta opposed the possible purchase of the building.
"There urinating in the alleys, I have to shovel the feces out of the alleys, pick up the trash. They’ve got blankets, needles, and sleeping bags," said Archuleta. "They (the city) said they (the homeless) were going to be here temporarily since day one. They said four months and that was it. Now they want to buy the building."
Jackie Jaramillo, president of the Pueblo Rescue Mission, said at that meeting that homelessness in Pueblo was a "crisis" and a year-round resource center was needed to help solve the problem.