NOGALES, SON, MEX (3TV/CBS 5)-- A new migrant shelter and kitchen is taking shape just south of the Arizona-Mexico border in Nogales, Sonora.
The project is part of the Kino Border Initiative, or KBI, which already operates a smaller shelter and kitchen in this border city.
"It's going to increase our capacity to offer the services we're already providing, and we’re going to be able to offer more services," said Father Sean Carroll, the executive director of the KBI.
Carroll's organization purchased the property in August 2018 and began construction of the new facility in October 2018. It's a $2.8 million project, of which, KBI has already raised $2.36 million.
"We’ve been very blessed by the support of many people, who I think realize that migrants who come to the border, have human dignity that needs to be respected," said Carroll, who is also a Jesuit priest.
The new facility has enough space to feed 150 people (at once) and house men, women, children, as well as transgender migrants. It will also provide social services and job training.
As recently as 1.5 years ago, KBI primarily served migrants who were recently deported from the United States-- they were mostly men. But that has changed with the recent surge of Central American families who are seeking asylum in the United States.
"They fled horrific situations. They fled violence and threats of violence, and others experienced abuse along the way," said Carroll.
"Most of the people we are serving are the families that are arriving from the northern triangle of Central America and from southern Mexico. And most are waiting to be received by Customs (officers for asylum claims) at the port of entry. The wait is getting up toward about 3 months now, which is an enormous challenge for these families," said Carroll.
KBI expects the new facility to open in the Fall of 2019.