In December, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency released several hundred immigrants at Greyhound bus stations in El Paso, Texas and San Diego, California. Many of these individuals arrived from the U.S.-Mexico border and were given the option to try to find an available shelter once released.
Unfortunately, local shelters were overwhelmed by the sheer number of requests, effectively leaving many migrants stranded and without basic resources.
“The government isn’t doing anything—it’s been a total make-it-up-as-we-go thing,” Kevin Malone, a co-founder of the San Diego Rapid Response Network, a coalition of non-profit groups, told The New York Times. “People are working 24 hours a day trying to make this happen. Everyone is strapped.”
Some non-profit organizations are struggling so much they’ve been forced to house migrants in makeshift emergency shelters and nearby hotels. In a press conference, Ruben Garcia, director of Annunciation House shelter in El Paso, said monthly hotel expenses cost $150,000 and run entirely on donations.
It’s a harrowing situation and one that demands immediate action, given the prospect of immigrants forced to sleep on the streets out of necessity. And while the current administration has yet to provide additional assistance, you can help these families by providing basic resources, including food and clothing.
The San Diego Rapid Response Network has created a GoFundMe to set up a shelter with resources like food, bedding, and showers.
And the San Diego Catholic Diocese has also set up a campaign and travel fund so that donations will pay for migrant families seeking necessary bus and airline transportation around the country.
Shelters like Annunciation House currently accept donations, new bras, underwear and socks, and fresh fruit and prepared meals.
The El Paso Community Foundation has also set up a Migrant Families Relief Fund. Donations will be split among different organizations devoted to providing legal services and refuge for immigrants.