SAN DIEGO – As hundreds of asylum seekers continue to be processed and dropped off in San Diego daily, local groups providing assistance are relying on donations more than ever.
“It’s been a bit hectic, more than usual because it’s been more asylum seekers looking for help,” Pastor Bobby Wilson said.
Getsemani church in San Ysidro says they have not received any funding from the federal or local government and the need is urgent.
Throughout the last month, thousands of asylum seekers have been released in San Diego. Getsemani has been taking on the many needs of clothing, food, shelter, a phone to make a call, a ride to the airport and more.
“We take on a lot, we really do, but it’s worth it,” said Larry Schowl, a member of Getsemani church and avid volunteer.
While the church has been helping to serve migrants for the last five years, recently they’ve been housing 50 to 60 people a day, when a normal daily average other times of the year is about 10.
A local nonprofit Casa Familiar had set up a makeshift aid center in San Ysidro Community Park, but as of Friday, they could no longer continue to operate. A spokesperson told FOX 5 they spent $200,000 in two weeks and could not sustain the demand for help.
That loss of services has had a ripple effect.
“Impacts a little bit more because it was like a filter. They could help more people versus over here,” Wilson said.
Resources have now moved back to Iris Avenue transit station, just blocks from Getsemani church, where hundreds of migrants were seen throughout the day Friday.
As those migrants pour into the humble church, volunteers like Schowl work around the clock strictly off donations and the goodness of their hearts.
“It’s like a well-oiled machine, spiritually. When you put out that good spirit, it comes back to you,” Schowl said.
To get in touch with Getsemani church:
Iglesia Cristiana Getsemani
3055 Beyer Blvd # C1, San Diego, CA 92154