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Local priest offers faith, food and hope to migrants arriving in San Antonio

The Migrant Resource Center has assisted more than 30,000 asylum seekers since opening off San Pedro Avenue in July.

SAN ANTONIO — Father Tom Rush may be retired but he’s not retired from helping out others in need to dozens of migrants arriving in San Antonio.

More than 30,000 asylum seekers have arrived at the Migrant Resource Center in San Antonio since July. The facility located at 7000 San Pedro Ave. serves as a pit stop for asylum seekers for service referrals, overnight sheltering if needed and transportation to other destinations. 

“I don’t like the idea of sitting in my room being retired and completely cut off from everything so I just try to see what I can do,” Rush said.

One of the migrants he met on Tuesday outside the center was Pablo, whose journey started in Venezuela. Pablo is among the hundreds of new asylum seekers in San Antonio looking for new opportunities. 

“The other day we bought them a whole bunch of apples and oranges. These are people that are out there working to get somewhere, wanting to improve their lot and hopefully find opportunities for work and family life here,” Rush said.

The San Antonio Food Bank continues to provide a bulk of the meals served for the 500-750 migrants arriving at the Migrant Resource Center each day. Three meals a day are provided, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. The meals consist of muffins, fruit, sandwiches, chips, and bottled water, among other items. 

“We definitely have donors and supporters that want their support to be restricted to just domestic-related issues, but it is a wonderful opportunity for us to serve those passing through and meeting their basic needs as they’re on their way to a sponsored location,” said Eric Cooper, San Antonio Food Bank president and CEO.

Some migrants tell KENS 5 there are no shower facilities. But the city confirmed there is a trailer where people can bathe.

Other ongoing concerns revolve around safety of local businesses and neighborhoods. In a previous report, KENS 5 learned SAPD has about 30 officers assigned to patrol the center and at the airport, where a majority of the migrants arrive.

To learn more about the Migrant Resource Center, go here.

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