Record numbers at homeless shelter

Torres Community Shelter forced to buy more beds to accommodate 149 guests

Last Thursday night (Jan. 26), the Torres Community Shelter served a record number of overnight guests—149. The previous record of 130 was set last summer.

The homeless shelter had to purchase additional cots and call in extra staff to accommodate the increased need, said Executive Director Brad Montgomery (pictured). He speculated that recent rainstorms and freezing temperatures are driving more people to seek shelter. He also noted that an ever-increasing number of guests is the long-term trend; when he became executive director in May 2009, the shelter averaged 47 people a night.

The silver lining is that the Torres Shelter helped 22 people move into their own homes in January and 40 people the month before, Montgomery said. “Despite the increased numbers, which is challenging, it helps us get more people off the street.”