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Calexico shelter awarded $1,000

November 25, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — A fish tank gurgles in the lobby. The place is cool and inviting in the middle of the afternoon. The floors and bathrooms are immaculate.

For those expecting to see roughnecks playing cards in a cloud of cigarette smoke or winos sleeping in the corner with a hat over their eyes and a bottle of Ripple at their side, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church men's shelter is a stereotype-buster.

Friday morning at the shelter, a handful of freshly scrubbed men were relaxing in the courtyard reading books or talking.

Clothes and boots dried on hangers and hooks while inside a television set flickered with a Spanish-language show.

Recently, the church's community services program — which includes the shelter — was rewarded by Wells Fargo Bank.

The bank gave the Calexico church a $1,000 grant after it was nominated by a local Wells Fargo team member.

The church was the only local charity singled out by Wells Fargo this year. In total, the bank gave $107,000 to San Diego non-profits in addition to the local grant.


One of the shelter supervisors, Jose Manriquez, said field workers account for the majority of the men who call the shelter home for a night or two.

Lately, he said, the shelter has been buzzing with activity and all 50 beds have been filled each night.

Manriquez said the number of men who take advantage of the shelter swells during the winter months.

In addition to a roof and a bed, the Encinas Avenue shelter offers the men a recreation room, a kitchen and restroom facilities.

It is just one of many community services offered by the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church here.

On Thursday, the men were treated to a Thanksgiving dinner at the nearby Community Center sponsored by the church, Calexico Neighborhood House, local businesses and the city.

The church sponsors various programs throughout the year to help get people on their feet and back into the community.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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