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September 15, 2014

Holy Family Institute of Pittsburgh
Update on Our Journey of Hope Initiative

Holy Family Institute is committed to providing hope to unaccompanied children


The recent humanitarian crisis in the southwestern United States has left many unaccompanied children abandoned at our borders.  They are some of the most vulnerable in the world–fleeing violent regions and enduring long and perilous journeys in search of a better life and future.  Inspired by faith, Holy Family Institute (HFI) decided to provide care to these children in need through its Journey of Hope Initiative.

HFI has made a commitment to provide housing and supportive services to the most defenseless children — those under the age of 12.  We plan to provide food, clothing, housing, education, counseling, and recreation to the children while they are awaiting reunification with their parents and relatives.

HFI has established comprehensive admission procedures for the Journey of Hope Initiative and will welcome children only after they have had a well-child health exam at the border. The children will also be given all required vaccinations.  Children who require special medical services or need psychiatric services will be directed to specialized facilities.

Unfortunately, these children are still being viewed with distrust by some in our communities rather than children fleeing violence and terror looking for security and a home. As Pope Francis recently called on the U.S. to treat these children with compassion, we hope to do our small part in their journey. We are very grateful for the outpouring of support for these children and for all the children and families we serve.

Since the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, the federal government has established different types of care providers and facilities. Comprehensive details can be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/resource/unaccompanied-refugee-minors. We have summarized some of the details on the Holy Family program on a FAQ sheet that you can view here.