Each month, hundreds of children from some of the world’s most dangerous and impoverished countries find their way to the immigrant youth shelters of Southwest Key Programs. They carry with them incredible stories of resilience, courage and hope. While their stay with us is temporary, their stories leave lasting impressions. Some of their stories are shared below, changing names to protect their identity, so you may read about the life-changing services they are provided during their stay at Southwest Key.
Isabella is a young female minor that came to Southwest Key’s Casa Franklin. When she arrived she was almost emotionless and looked defeated and disappointed, which is understandable because these children often come from unfortunate situations and have difficult travels.
Isabella mentioned that initially she felt hopeless because of what she had encountered on her journey, but once she started to meet people at Casa Franklin, that changed.
During the intake process, she asked if she was allowed to shower in the mornings, especially during her cycle. Her caseworker told her that they always encourage minors to have a healthy hygiene regimen. Together, they created a schedule that would allow her to shower in the morning without interrupting her school schedule.
Although she was apprehensive, slowly but surely, she began to smile and feel a sense of security as she settled into a routine. As she made her way to the airport upon her reunification, her caseworker sat next to her and overheard her talking to another young woman. Isabella was telling her that despite the circumstances that led her to the shelter, she felt fortunate to have come to Casa Franklin.
Isabella mentioned that initially she felt hopeless because of what she had encountered on her journey, but once she started to meet people at Casa Franklin, that changed. She explained that now she is surrounded with people she can trust who don’t play with her emotions or give her false hope.
Her caseworker described how being able to witness such a heartfelt testimonial from this young woman about the services and treatment she received at Southwest Key’s shelter was so uplifting. Simple acts of kindness greatly impact the youth in their care, and they find it always encouraging to be reminded of the importance of their work.