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Shelter for migrant farm workers opens in Mecca

Shelter for migrant farm workers...

MECCA, Calif. - A shelter in the east Coachella Valley is helping migrant farm workers by opening it’s doors for the first time Friday.

Astrid Johnson has been a migrant worker for 15 years and for the last six nights she has slept outside.

"It was cold especially at 3 in the morning pretty cold," Johnson said.

Johnson was able to get a hot meal at the Galilee Center, which for the first time is opening a shelter for migrant workers.

Shelter for migrant farmworkers opening thanks to donations

Management at the center say its the first of it’s kind in the valley. Migrant workers often sleep in their cars outside in the dirt. At the Galilee Center people can seek shelter for just $3 a night.Sylvester Camacho is in his 50s and he has been a migrant worker his entire life.

"The people here, the employees are all the beautiful people. It’s a very clean place and that is something that all of us should be grateful for," said Camacho.

“It’s good because it is a lot of help for us like $3 dollars and a lot of people are charging like $250 to $400 dollars," said Jose Barajas of Mecca.

The shelter has installed new showers and laundry facilities. People will be using sleeping bags until the center can buy some mats for people to sleep on."This place will not only offer them shelter for the night but it’s a place that they can find safety. It’s a healthy environment, it’s a dignified environment," said Claudia Castorena, the CFO of Galilee Center.

"I think it’s a blessing for all of them. They have been waiting for this for a long time," said Gloria Gomez, co-founder for the Galilee Center.

The center will have security and staff working through the night. Migrant workers will wake up and get a continental breakfast before going out into the fields.

JOE GALLI IS ON FACEBOOK AND ON TWITTER @JOEGALLINEWS


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