Migrant workers throughout America influence our daily lives in so many ways, often unseen—and they’re at a higher risk for COVID-19.
Learn about a few important keys to our philosophy of care that are present from the moment youth enter our shelter to the day they are unified and leave the shelter.
A Quinceañera is a young lady’s 15th birthday celebration – a coming of age tradition in many Latin cultures. In addition to signifying a young woman’s transition into adulthood, Quinceañeras provide a precious opportunity for family and friends to come together and make memories.
At each of our shelters, we provide a safe, temporary home for unaccompanied minors and work to efficiently determine a safe next step for the minor. Within 24-hours of arrival, a minor is assigned a case manager who collaborates with family members to identify a suitable sponsor for the minor. If a family member can’t be found and approved, case managers work to find a non-familial sponsor or assist minors in speaking to an attorney about their legal options.
At Southwest Key Programs, we are proud of our work and eager to discuss our experience providing essential care and services to unaccompanied minors who have fled their home countries to seek a better life in the United States. There is no substitute for seeing our work first hand and shelter tours provide important opportunities for us to share what we do with elected officials, regulators, community leaders and other appropriate stakeholders.
Minors in our care come from all over the world, but the vast majority are from what’s known as the Northern Triangle: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Each of these countries has a consulate office that functions as a type of satellite office for the country’s main embassy. They handle tasks such as issuing visas, supporting tourists and are typically found in larger cities.
Brothers Samuel and Diego, 14 and 16 years old, came to the United States from Guatemala. While they were in the care of another shelter, they experienced two failed reunifications that left them both feeling hopeless and upset. They thought they were never going to be unified with a sponsor.
Sofia learned so much during her first field trip with Casa Campbell. She arrived at the shelter a few days before and had since been looking forward to the special outing with her peers to Ballet Arizona’s “The Nutcracker” at Symphony Hall. With the support and collaboration of Free Arts Arizona, 50 children in Southwest Key care had the opportunity to attend the special show. The field trip was comprised of kids from four of our Arizona shelters. For most of the group, this was their first time at a ballet or hearing a live symphony.
Martha arrived at Casa Kokopeli just two months before her 18th birthday. During the intake process, staff learned that Martha spoke an indigenous dialect. She had limited ability to communicate in Spanish or English and was provided a translator. After the first few days of her stay, she demonstrated some unusual behaviors that indicated she would need further clinical evaluation.
During the holidays, Southwest Key Programs works to ensure all of the youth in our care enjoy special celebrations, activities and traditional holiday meals. Staff at our shelters take extra care to celebrate various cultural traditions with the children during this time of year, such as La Posada, Noche Buena and Dia del Los Reyes.