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Immigrant Youth Shelters

Southwest Key: First responders on the front lines of youth immigrant crises.

Unaccompanied children enter the United States every year from countries all over the world. Some come to escape epic portions of violence in their home countries, some are trafficked into the country, some come to work, others to escape abuse and poverty. For nearly 20 years, Southwest Key has been on the front lines of these situations through our Unaccompanied Minors Program where we shelter immigrant children under 18 years of age who are in the United States without a parent or guardian. More recently, Southwest Key was called upon by the federal government to be a first responder to the youth immigration crisis at our southern border. Southwest Key works with the federal government to fulfill the U.S. Supreme Court’s mandate on the appropriate care of unaccompanied children from all over the world. This niche field of humanitarian crisis support demands the expertise of a team nuanced in the areas of efficiency, cultural competency and shelter care.

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Culturally Competent & Child Friendly

Southwest Key hires staff that are reflective of the cultures of these youth and are able to communicate with them in their native languages. This creates a comforting atmosphere for the youth. Additionally, decorations, posters, books, games and other child-friendly diversions are provided in the young people's native language. Youth also receive English lessons to help them while they are in this country. This helps them begin to understand the complexities of a multicultural nation such as the United States.

Sketch Artist

"I climbed mountains [to come] here, and my dreams finally became a reality. I waited for so long, but I made it thanks to God. And, I thank God for this opportunity, which I will take advantage of. I give thanks to all those people with good hearts that helped me. I will never forget [Southwest Key Programs] because they treated me as part of their family and this is why I am thankful ... I am happy."   ~ Eliseo, Program Resident