On Nov. 29, Bishop Daniel E. Flores blessed the new respite center location, 209 W. Hackberry in McAllen

The Valley Catholic

Bishop Daniel E. Flores blessed a new location in McAllen on Nov. 29 that will serve as a temporary home for the Humanitarian Respite Center run by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.

Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities RGV, originally borrowed space at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen in June 2014 to provide assistance in response to the influx of immigrants arriving in our area from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and other areas of Central America. The center was later moved to 1721 Beaumont Ave.

While funds are raised for the construction of a new facility, the center will now be housed at the temporary location on 209 W. Hackberry in McAllen. To date, volunteers at the respite center have assisted more than 150,000 people.

The center is staffed with volunteers who offer food, clothing, toiletries, baby supplies and travel packets, which include supplies for their journey. The immigrants, mostly women and children, have already been detained and released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They have been granted permission to continue to their destinations outside of the Rio Grande Valley and given a court appearance date.