Migrant Resource Center continues seeing overflow of people a month after influx

‘They were sleeping on cardboard outside. This one lady was sitting outside on the wall with her little box. It’s sad.’

SAN ANTONIO – It’s been about a month since San Antonio saw an influx of migrants. However, there is still an overflow of people at the Migrant Resource Center (MRC) in the 7000 Block of San Pedro.

For migrants coming into San Antonio, this is likely their first stop and where they can take shelter before moving on. But not everyone relying on the MRC gets a bed at the end of the night.

“They say the priority is the kids and the women, and I’m by myself with God only,” said a Venezuelan migrant who asked to remain anonymous

The man said he has slept in a chair outside on the resource center property since arriving a week ago. Others KSAT spoke with said they have had to sleep on the street, in alleys, and behind nearby businesses.

“They were sleeping on cardboard outside. This one lady was sitting outside on the wall with her little box. It’s sad,” said Treneishia Toles, a stylist at Great Clips nearby.

The migrants don’t just stay at businesses next to the MRC but also at places a few blocks down the road, like Nexxxt Fitness.

“You could definitely see he just had to sleep on the street ‘cause he had no other choice, and he was right at my front door, and I said, ‘Hey, I’m about to open for business. You can go around back. No one’s going to bother you,’” said Gregg Bell, owner of Nexxxt Fitness.

Both Bell and Toles say they sympathize with the migrants and their journey but note that their presence can be unsettling for others.

“A lot of our customers complain about it. They’re like, ‘Why are they outside?’ or ‘What’s that next door?’” said Toles.

Bell said, “It’s dark until 7:30, and they’re waking up, and they start walking to some of my clients that are getting in their cars asking for money. It’s a little scary.”

According to the city’s migrant dashboard, more than 25,000 migrants were sheltered in San Antonio in July. That number dropped slightly in August but rose again to more than 28,000 in September, just as an influx of migrants arrived at the border. As of Monday night, just over 20,000 people have taken shelter in San Antonio in October.

The migrant we spoke to says that although things can be overwhelming, he and many others are here to find work.

“We’re here looking for a better future, a better life, fighting in this country for more,” said the Venezuelan migrant.

About the Author

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

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