Holy Family to help restore hope to unaccompanied children
Holy Family Institute is responding to the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children arriving at the US-Mexico border with respect, care and compassion. We are inspired by our faith to welcome the stranger and shelter the homeless. These children are among the most vulnerable in the world as they make the dangerous journey to the United States in search of a better life and future.
We have agreed to take in the most vulnerable, the very young children under the age of 12, who make up about 20% of the migrating children. Many of these children are fleeing violent situations and have endured a long and perilous journey. We will provide the children with food, clothing, housing, education, counseling, and recreation. Most of the children will be with us about 30 – 40 days while waiting for reunification with their parents or relatives.
Holy Family Institute will accept children once they have been screened for communicable diseases and have had a mental health evaluation. HFI will not accept children who must be quarantined or are in need of psychiatric services. The children will be given all needed childhood vaccinations while in care.
Unfortunately, these children are being viewed with distrust and as perpetrators of some crime, rather than as the young, frightened children who have been introduced to injustice and abuse at an early age. These children are victims fleeing violence and terror looking for security and a sense of belonging. We hope to do our small part in their journey in life – giving them an experience of God’s goodness.
Just yesterday Pope Francis called on the US to act with compassion toward the children who are crossing the border. “Such a humanitarian emergency demands as a first urgent measure that these minors be protected and duly taken in,” the pope said.
Regardless of the status of immigration reform as a whole, which inflames passion on both sides of the issue, we urge all readers to open their minds and hearts to the plight of these children while meaningful and long-term solutions can be fashioned.
We understand that there are many questions the public might have about this initiative. Please refer to our FAQ to help provide more details.