SAN ANTONIO – After nearly seven months of operation and serving more than 32,000 migrants seeking asylum in the United States, the city of San Antonio will close the Migrant Resource Center on Friday.
The city opened the center at 400 North St. Mary's St. on March 30 to provide needed services to the surge of Central American asylum seekers traveling through San Antonio after being released by the U.S. Border Patrol and legally on their way to host families and cities.
The city's Human Services Department operated the center in close coordination with other city departments, the San Antonio Food Bank, Interfaith Welcome Coalition, Travis Park Church, Catholic Charities, other nonprofits and community volunteers.
"Our community came together to provide a compassionate layover to families seeking asylum in the United States. As they traveled through our city they were greeted with safe shelter and San Antonio's welcoming spirit," Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. "We should all be proud of the response San Antonio provided these families during their stay. I'd like to thank my council colleagues, city staff and our community partners for their support in operation of the Migrant Resource Center."
At its peak in mid-summer, the center was serving as many as 450 migrants per day, with just as many receiving overnight shelter at Travis Park Church. The vast majority were families with children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who have requested asylum in the United States.
During the summer months, migrants began arriving from other countries, as well, including significant numbers from Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti.
The number of daily arrivals and overnight shelter use dropped significantly in the last several weeks, prompting the city to transition the center this week. Partner agencies will resume managing services to asylum seekers as they were doing before the center was activated.
More than 1,200 city employees and 600 community volunteers helped asylum seekers with travel arrangements and tickets to their final destination, food, medical services, books, activities for children, clean clothing, toiletries, and diapers while they waited hours and sometimes days for their travel.