MISSION — The city has unveiled their new Safe Haven Home, a house that will be available to needy families that need a place to stay temporarily until they can be moved into permanent housing.

MISSION — The city has unveiled their new Safe Haven Home, a house that will be available to needy families that need a place to stay temporarily until they can be moved into permanent housing.

“We have our Mission Housing Authority that the city of Mission work very well together to be able to accommodate the permanent housing,” said City Manager Martin Garza. “However, this temporary help is to assist families that their home has either been dilapidated, they’re part of our CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) program and they’re trying to get on the list to move forward in getting a permanent home, or whether they went through an emergency, a hurricane, a fire, something that happened to their home and their family that has displaced them away from the family.”

Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas said he would get calls from people who needed a place to stay.

“I hadn’t been able to do anything about it until we decided that I was going to put my foot down and I was going to call (the housing authority) and tell them, we want these people placed right now,” Salinas said. “This is why we decided to do some of these homes so we could put people on our waiting list so we can send them into the housing authority.”

Currently there are about 1,600 people on the waiting list for public housing. The Safe Haven home will be available to a family until they receive a voucher for affordable housing from the housing authority which Salinas expects to take between a few weeks to two months.

“They have committed themselves to go ahead and help us and be sure that nobody stays sleeping under the bridge or under a tree or having to beg for having a place to stay,” he said of the housing authority board members and the executive director.

The house unveiled last week is the second Safe Haven Home within the city of Mission. The first, opened about a year and a half ago, has housed approximately five families.

“We’ve been able to assist five different families that have gone through different emergencies, different needs, and eventually they relocated through our Mission Housing Authority so they’re finally in a permanent home,” said Garza, the city manager. “This will do the same.”

The Safe Haven Home is part of a three-part project for the city.

Over the last 17 years, the city has built over 400 homes through the CDBG program to assist the needy.

“These are CDBG funds, these are federal funds that are given to municipalities to be able to do things within their community to improve the quality of life of our citizens,” Garza said.

The third part is the Mission Beautification Project, started almost four years ago, through which the city identifies homes that are dilapidated and works with the families to either fix the structure or tear them down.

But last Monday, city officials focused on celebrating their second Safe Haven Home for displaced families.

“This safe haven home will keep that family together instead of spreading the family around, having some family members go to an aunt, an uncle,” Garza said. “This is where we keep families together.”