San Antonio not planning on a mass shelter for migrants
A city spokeswoman said the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and Catholic Charities were working on contingency plans to help with "transportation assistance" if the Migrant Resource Center's capacity was stretched too thin, but it was not planning on creating a mass shelter.
San Antonio braces for spike in migrants with looming end of Trump-era policy
The daily number of people passing through the center ranges from under 1,000 to up to 1,800 already, one city official said, and an assistant city manager estimates the number of migrants coming through the MRC will jump by about 30% with the end of Title 42.
Kind notes of support dropped off for migrant teen arrivals in San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO – Catholic Charities says the 500 migrant teens who arrived in the city on Monday are being welcomed by people who care in the San Antonio community. “They’re bringing personalized gifts with notes that say, ‘We love you, and we’re praying for you, and we hope you’re well,’” said Tara Ford, spokeswoman for Catholic Charities. AdShe said about 1,000 people already have offered to volunteer, but more are needed since more migrant arrivals are expected over the next several weeks. “We’ll understand a little bit more over the next few days about what is needed,” Ford said. “We’re very grateful to our community in San Antonio for stepping up and always serving with us,” Ford said.
Local officials tour shelter for unaccompanied migrant children at Freeman Coliseum
SAN ANTONIO – U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Bexar County Precinct 1 Commissioner Becky Clay-Flores and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg toured a shelter for unaccompanied migrant children at Freeman Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon. The tour was held less than 24 hours after buses with about 500 migrant children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border arrived at the Freeman Coliseum Expo Center. The group wanted to visit the facility to make sure the children were being given the proper housing and support. The U.S, Department of Health and Human Services is working to make sure the unaccompanied children are unified with their families or put with suitable sponsors in the U.S. Bexar County Precinct 1 Commissioner Becky Clay-Flores and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg appear at a news conference after touring a shelter for unaccompanied migrant children at Freeman Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon.
500 unaccompanied migrant minors arrive at Freeman Coliseum expo center
SAN ANTONIO – Buses filled with hundreds of migrant children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border arrived at the Freeman Coliseum’s expo center Monday night. Roughly 500 children are now sheltered at the facility, which is expected to house as many as 2,400. The intake site is providing standards of care for the children, which includes clean and comfortable sleeping quarters, meals, recreational activities and access to medical services. AdVolunteers worked all weekend to help set up the facility and to make sure they have things like clothing and hygiene products. Wolff along with Congressman Joaquin Castro and Commissioner Rebecca Clay Flores, are expected to tour the facility later on Tuesday.
Up to 2,400 migrant children will be temporarily housed at Freeman Coliseum, county leaders say
SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County leaders have entered a deal with the federal government to provide temporary shelter at Freeman Coliseum to migrant children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without an adult family member. As many as 2,400 unaccompanied migrant children will be housed at the expo halls at Freeman Coliseum starting next week, Wolff said. The county charged HHS the “standard rate” to rent the building and officials said the county would be reimbursed for any other costs incurred. The children will be tested for COVID-19 before coming to the Freeman Coliseum and then will be tested every five days while they’re here, Wolff said. The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland would also be used to house unaccompanied migrant children, but Wolff said Lackland would not facilitate as many children as Freeman will.
Border relief agencies appeal for help of their own to meet growing demand
SAN ANTONIO – Relief groups, many of them faith-based organizations, are appealing for help of their own to meet the needs that are growing along the border. “We’re seeing increased traffic, and we’re expecting that to continue,” said Dan Klein, chair of the Interfaith Welcome Coalition. Klein said those groups and the Interfaith Welcome Coalition itself still need more of the public’s help. The coalition is appealing for donations and volunteers on its Facebook page and specific items on its Amazon wishlist. So does the Val Verde Humanitarian Border Coalition, along with an appeal for donations and volunteers on its Facebook page.
Nurtured with faith, a community garden in San Antonio springs back from the devastating winter storm
When a garden is tended to feed a community in need, it’s also built on faith. The harvest from the St. Phocas Garden feeds predominantly Hispanic, low-income people living on the West Side of San Antonio — its vitality determining whether many families will be able to eat fresh produce. Named for the patron saint of gardeners, the St. Phocas Garden helps supplement a local food pantry operated by Catholic Charities of San Antonio. At St. Phocas, the sowing extends to the hollows of the multicolored painted concrete blocks that line 12 garden beds. In recent days, volunteers armed with wheelbarrows, shovels and hope returned to St. Phocas.
Catholic Charities celebrates milestone
SAN ANTONIO Catholic Charities on Wednesday marked one year since it opened the St. Stephens Care Center. The center has a clothes closet and food pantry that helps people in need. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the center has been hosting drive-thru giveaways instead of allowing people to browse in the center. The center is located in the 2100 block of South Zarzamora.
Catholic Charities volunteers head to El Paso to assist with influx of asylum seekers
EL PASO – A group of volunteers with Catholic Charities of San Antonio left for El Paso Monday night to assist the Diocese of El Paso with the increase in asylum seekers released from detention facilities, as well as individuals with the migrant caravan. READ ORIGINAL REPORT: Catholic Charities of SA needs volunteers to assist asylum seekersCatholic Charities said 2,800 asylum seekers arrived in El Paso shelters over the last two weeks, with approximately 90 percent of them from Guatemala. The volunteers will assist in distributing food, clothing and information. Antonio Fernandez, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of San Antonio, said he hopes the migrants, whose fates are uncertain, remember the smiles of the volunteers, whose core mission was to “give them love and dignity as a human being.”
At least two families reunited at Catholic Charities, officials confirm
SAN ANTONIO – At least two immigrant families were reunited at San Antonio’s Catholic Charities on Monday after days of anticipation. Catholic Charities CEO Antonio Fernandez confirmed that two immigrant families were reunited at their facility. An estimated 400 immigrant families who were separated at the border during the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy are expected to be reunited in San Antonio. The organization has expecting families since the weekend; however, the first reunions occurred Monday night. The families arrive in separate buses -- one bus will be filled with children, the other with parents, Fernandez said.
Love thy neighbor: Archbishop stresses acceptance amid border crisis
SAN ANTONIO – Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller on Monday visited Catholic Charities where some 400 families are expected to be reunited sometime this week. Understanding circumstances of others:“People have the right to leave their countries. In this case, most of the people, not all, but most of the people, they leave their countries to live. They will not be able to move on here in the United states, doing good, if they are not integrated. We depend on the different layers of organizations in the country that respond to the government’s direction for us to receive children and families.”AdWhat Catholic Charities provides for refugee or immigrant families:
Immigrants in SA wait anxiously to reunite with separated loved ones
Antonio Fernandez, president of Catholic Charities, said the reunions will occur Monday afternoon. "We were told by ICE that we will have families come today, but we don't know how many. The good thing is we're ready, so as soon as people come, Catholic Charities will be there." But as of 5:15 p.m., no buses carrying immigrants, possibly from ICE detention center in Pearsall and Karnes County, had arrived at the Catholic Charities facility downtown. When the immigrants arrive, they will be clothed, fed and booked into a hotel before they head for their next destination, Fernandez said.
Mother-daughter duo helping reunite families separated at border
SAN ANTONIO – Catholic Charities anticipates 400 immigrant families will arrive at their non-profit over the next two week. “We just want to be part of it," said Michelle Quintero, a volunteer with Catholic Charities. Michelle Quintero said she and her daughter are inseparable and couldn’t imagine being apart. Christina O’Neill Higgs, Director of Fundraising for Catholic Charities, says the community has really pitched in to do their part. “It’s been in front of us for so long— everybody has reached out to help,” O’Neill Higgs said.
Catholic Charities volunteers prepare for immigrant family reunifications in San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO – The federal government has reached out to Catholic Charities to help in assisting hundreds of immigrant families who are expected to be reunited several months after being separated at the border. Antonio Fernandez, Catholic Charities San Antonio director, said the reunions could begin as early as Saturday. Catholic Charities San Antonio is one of four sites selected for reunions. The children and parents had been separated by the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance policy," which has affected more than 2,000 undocumented immigrant families. The Catholic Charities of San Antonio has been hard at work getting ready for a reunion that will feature around 400 families who have been separated at the border.