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"Hope" serves immigrants and more

Catholic Charities has a new crisis response vehicle that will help people in need.

One San Antonio group that immediately responded to the scene Tuesday night where immigrants were found stuffed in a tractor trailer was Catholic Charities.

The group showed up with an amazing new resource, a disaster support vehicle they call "HOPE."
The $160,000 mobile relief resource will do what Catholic Charities does day in and day out.

Antonio Fernandez, leader of the group, said: "We provided assistance to over 260,000 people last year, many of them, I'm sure, are immigrants."

The van is so new, it still has paper plates.

The vehicle is still being inspected for city permits that will allow hot food service, but Tuesday, the group showed up with cold water, food, clothing and other supplies for the people detained by law enforcement.

"This happens every night. We know there are people are coming every night. We know that people are crossing the border every night," he said.

Fernandez said Catholic Charities helps people in need without question.

"We serve everybody who comes for services. We ask, 'Are you hungry? Are you homeless? What can we do for you today?' with respect and dignity," Fernandez said.

Fernandez says he is proud San Antonians help their neighbors every day, not just during a crisis. "There are so many people who live in SA who are so altruistic, who just want to help their neighbor. And they don't care who their neighbor is. And I think that's what makes us unique and a great city to live in," Fernandez said.

Fernandez said the level of cooperation at Tuesday night’s scene was hopeful.

“I was able to speak to the Chief of Police just to let him know that what I saw yesterday was great. I really thought the San Antonio Police Department did a great job taking care of these people, as well as everybody else, so I did offer Catholic Charities’ help with anything that they may need.” Fernandez said.

Fernandez said the group was overwhelmed at the number of people who wanted to help hurricane victims in Houston last year, and they try to spread the good will, making it an everyday asset.

“We can provide housing, counseling, food, clothing, anything that we can try to provide to these people, even legal help, we would be happy to do,” Fernandez said.

More information about the group can be found by calling 210-222-1294 or visiting their website, https://ccaosa.org/.

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