THE "FREE STORE" TIENDA SYSTEM
Families living in the encampment in Matamoros suffer the daily indignities of homelessness, harassment by authorities, and the constant threat of violence from criminal gangs. Parents desperately seek a sense of normalcy and want to demonstrate self-reliance to their children.
To fuel a greater sense of self-reliance, Team Brownsville partners with other aid agencies and non-profits to support a tienda system operated by asylum seekers who manage small stores inside the encampment where they distribute basic goods: food, beverages, first-aid, and some basic clothing to residents of the camp on a periodic basis. Donations to Team Brownsville provide the funds to stock these stores and feed the population of approximately 650 current residents fo the camp and hundreds of others who have found jobs and apartments nearby, but struggle to provide enough for their families to eat.