Migrant Children Arrive At San Diego Convention Center
Speaker 1: 00:00 Over the weekend. The San Diego convention center received a of unaccompanied migrant children. The Biden administration request to the convention center is one of the shelters for an influx of child asylum seekers from the Texas Arizona border. The convention center will be a temporary home for hundreds of teenage girls who began arriving here by plane and bus on Saturday services for the teenagers, such as family reunification education and healthcare will be provided by a mix of government agencies and local nonprofit organizations. One of those local groups is SBC S the former South Bay community services organization and its chief executive officer Kathy Lambo joins us now, Kathy, welcome to the program. Speaker 2: 00:48 Thank you. It's very nice to be here and thank you for your interest in this. Now Speaker 1: 00:53 Take us inside the convention center and tell us, what's been set up for the girls. Accommodations Speaker 2: 00:59 Girls are, are all in, uh, the convention center, as you know, uh, they each have their own bed, uh, and they have wonderful, uh, backpacks with clothes and all kinds of supplies, uh, and all of their health and safety needs are being met. Children's hospital is, is on scene and, and a lot of other providers. Now, how many girls are you expecting? We have right now about 400. I think it was 75 or 85 girls who came in Saturday night and we have another 250 girls coming in Monday night, which is tonight actually, which as you read in the paper and then another 250 girls coming on Wednesday night until we get to 1,450, you know, there's a need for a lot more, but currently that's what the convention center can hold with fire clearances and all of that. Speaker 1: 01:52 And what are their top needs when they arrive at the convention center Speaker 2: 01:57 From the girl's perspective, I think their top need is contact their families. The girls are really wanting to get to the end of their journey, but their needs are when they come in. The first thing is, is have them come in and it's sort of a medical check children's hospital. Does the medical check. Then we get the girls intaked in a sense, since they come in at night, their main need is they want to go to sleep. Uh, so, so we try to do that as quickly as, as possible and gently as possible and really get them to their, their place to sleep, uh, get him some rest. And then in the morning when they get up, get him showered, get breakfast parents, you could imagine what is like getting that many children up to eat breakfast and to shower starting on Wednesday morning, the San Diego County office of education will start their services and they will be, uh, doing schooling, uh, for the girls. Speaker 2: 02:53 Uh, obviously it's not going to be that kind of traditional service schooling. Uh, they will be, they have a education program. So obviously English will be a big part of it, um, because the girls all speak Spanish and they also speak some indigenous dialects. Um, also teaching them about American life. We're going to have art there. They're going to have a lot of different activities. During the 24 hours, we have complete site supervision with them. And the wonderful thing about it, it's local nonprofit CBOs that are doing it. Uh, new alternatives, San Diego, youth services, Casa familiar, the Mac project, the Y a we've all come together as a group to make sure that these girls are cared for now. Speaker 1: 03:38 It comes to that family reunification as the top priority, what agency or organization is going to handle Speaker 2: 03:46 That. So SP CS is going to do that. Um, it's called case management and it, what it entails is, is contacting the relatives, making sure that they are who they say they are putting them through checks, because we want to make sure that when HHS releases the girls from custody, that they're being released to the right family members, the right distant family member or family friend, and that putting them through the kinds of, of, uh, really big checks that we, that have to be done now, can the public help out in any way, um, how the public can help out is, is one of the things, and, and we're talking to, to the foundation about, to a foundation about this is right now, we can take direct donations. You can donate through our website. Uh, what we want to do is we want to have a fund so that when the girls go to their family members in the United States, we can give them some money to do something like buy a bed, uh, buy clothes, buy extra linens and towels. Speaker 2: 04:48 Cause remember these girls, aren't going to wealthy families. Uh, they're going to hardworking people here in the United States. Um, and so we want to make sure that, you know, all teenagers are very expensive, um, for all of us. And our website is SBCs San diego.org. And we can take in kind donations, uh, volunteer opportunities exist. We have to vet the volunteers through a very stringent process, but the state office, uh, department of justice is helping do that in an expediated fashion. Um, so it's whatever people want to do. And also we'll take donations, financial donations, and all of those financial donations will, every dollar will be used to go to the girls, uh, because the federal government is reimbursing us for this work. Speaker 1: 05:37 I've been speaking with the chief executive officer of SB C S one of the local nonprofit organizations that is arranging services for the migrant children being housed temporarily at the San Diego convention center. And the CEO is Kathy limbo. And thank you for speaking with us. Speaker 2: 05:56 Oh, thank you. And thank you for your interest in this. Thank you very much.