We have partnered before with people in the wonderful El Paso faith community, who are on the front lines of helping families who have been released from detention centers. There is an immediate need for formula, diapers, and other supplies.
Here is a message from Rev. Justin Gibson, whose parish has helped us get supplies to families before.
They’ve asked for our help now.
Here is the wishlist
In the last few months, upwards of 500 detainees are released into El Paso, TX everyday. These asylum seekers are released to hotel shelters where they work with volunteers who help them make contact with sponsors and legal representatives. These asylum seeking families are in the shelters here in El Paso for a couple of days, but they are often in pretty rough shape. They are released from detention without supplies, they have not showered and they are starving. Many of the moms have little to no supplies for their babies. Some have trouble breastfeeding due to the stress of the journey and detention.
I wanted to share a story of a young mom from Central America who is like so many of the people I see every week at the shelters:
Janis is the single mom of a 14 year old, 7 month old and she is also seven months pregnant. With her kids she traveled from Central America where she said that she was unable to find employment sufficient to provide for her family after she left her abusive husband. This is not to mention the ever present threat of violence.
As I was talking to her teenage daughter, she said a few words in English and I asked if she had been learning English in school. She said that she was in school some time ago, but had to stop going because she was afraid that she would be killed at school and on the way to and from classes.
Janis has not seen a medical care provider for the entire length of her pregnancy. The day that I saw her she was getting ready to travel several hundred miles to where her family now lives in a different city in Texas. The shelter was able to send her with a few diapers and some formula to get her through her trip. (We have her permission to share her photo and story.)
Here in El Paso we are meeting a very particular need for the first few days of release from detention. The asylum seekers don't stay here for long, but it is important to make sure that those who are most vulnerable: women, children, and babies are able to receive the most basic supplies until they are able to get to where their families and sponsors live.
Thanks in advance for helping in this effort,
Also, any supplies donated need to be sent to:
St. Francis on the Hill Episcopal Church
6280 Los Robles Dr.
El Paso, TX 79912