Video: Faith-based shelter gives migrants ‘hospitality, some semblance of humanity’

Volunteers at Casa Vides, a shelter for migrants in El Paso, explain how the non-profit provides comfort for people trying to navigate the U.S. immigration system. Casa Vides is one shelter in a sanctuary network for refugees and homeless poor managed by the faith-based Annunciation House. This video story was produced as part of a collaborative reporting project with Borderzine staff and Youth Radio.

Annunciation House at 1003 East San Antonio Ave. (Aaron Montes/The Prospector)

Mexico asylum seeker finds refuge in El Paso shelter

EL PASO – Patricia spends her days adjusting to a new life in the United States that she never intended on having. Every day she plays her guitar and spends time with her family, who are also in El Paso out of necessity, not want. But some of her family members are not with her, some stayed behind in Patricia’s hometown in the Mexican state of Durango, and others were killed. It is because of those murdered relatives that Patricia and her family relocated to El Paso. “It all started because the violence in Durango became really difficult,” Patricia said in Spanish.

One of the children from the shelter plays outside. (Idali Cruz/

Juarez children’s shelter finds Mexican donors as Americans stop giving

CIUDAD JUAREZ – The little boy about five years old, covered with dirt from head to toe, played outside on the hard cement with his old toys, not minding the cold and windy afternoon or the rain that threatened to start at any minute. He is one of the 100 children that live in Shelter Home Bethel, in this border city. Josefina Valencia, 59, founded the shelter 20 years ago when she took in a young boy who was addicted to drugs. “I told him that when he wanted to change his life to look for me. He was the first one that I ever helped.

Women in need find a haven at the Frontera Women’s Foundation

EL PASO, Texas – A few basics of daily life like laundry detergent, toiletries and some medical essentials such as new dentures help 11 families with 30 children stay on track at a lower valley non-profit homeless shelter. The Reynolds house shelters families –mostly women and their children– who have fled from domestic violence in Juarez and who need some help getting back on their feet. This low-key shelter opened its doors 20 years ago when Director Dorothy Truax’s mother inherited her parent’s house. “The time she inherited it I had a brother who was working with homeless families and individuals and he used to bring them home to mom when he couldn’t find enough space. When she got this home she thought it would be a perfect place for the families.”

Throughout the last year-and-a-half the Reynolds house has housed an increase in families fleeing economic problems and the violence in Juarez.  The majority of the residents, however, are there because of domestic violence.