Crossroads Nogales Mission sees increase of those in need, says inflation is new pandemic

Nogales shelter sees increase of people in need
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 7:30 AM MST
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NOGALES, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The rising cost of living is causing people across southern Arizona to search for new ways to make do, including finding food and clothing.

According to the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, this year the cost of living has increased by nearly 6%, the largest annual hike in 40 years.

Crossroads Nogales Mission is seeing more people in need now than ever before, and officials say they’re having a hard time feeding and helping everyone in need. They say inflation has to do with the surge of people.

During the past two years the mission was seeing about five people per day, and now Operations Manager Jason Gonzales said they’re seeing more than 100.

“Right now, we have a new pandemic called inflation,” said Gonzales.

He said a lot of the increase has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic and people finally feeling more comfortable leaving their houses, but said a lot of people are first-time food bank visitors.

He said he’s never before seen such a need for basic food and clothing items.

“Not only has food gone up, rent has gone up. We’re seeing more homeless families that are in search of places just as a bridge. We act as that bridge for families that are homeless. We act as that bridge for elderly that are homeless while they get to where they need to get to. That comes with food; that comes with clothing,” Gonzales said.

Starting in October, the mission will host a non-perishable food drive to stock its food pantry.

Right now, Gonzales said they only have enough food to feed families for about a week.

“We need a lot more rice, a lot more beans, corn, green beans, and sauces for food. The main staples,” Gonzales said.

Crossroads Nogales Mission is Santa Cruz County’s only homeless shelter, addiction program and domestic abuse shelter.

Not only do they feed families and those in need, but they also provide clothing and supplies.

On average, Gonzales said they give out about 18,000 pounds of clothing per month.

“With their food stamps not being enough for the month, they come here to get just enough to get by,” Gonzales said.

If you’re interested in donating non-perishable food items, clothing or other supplies click here. You can also drop off donations at 338 N. Morley Avenue, Nogales, Arizona, 85621. You can call (520) 287-5828 for more information.