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A look inside a Tucson migrant shelter

TUCSON — It can happen at any time of the day. A family of immigrants seeking asylum may get dropped off at one of the many shelters that can be found throughout Tucson.

Whether it be a church, a hotel room or a home. Casa Alitas has helped shelter hundreds of families throughout Tucson, with the help of the community and volunteers.

“We offer temporary shelter showers bath clothing and the ability to call back to their home as well as facilitate the plane or bus ticket,” Diego Lopez Lead Site Coordinator for Casa Alitas said.

The locations aren’t made public for safety reasons and the family we met inside did not want to go on camera.  They say the journey to get to Tucson has been rough.

“We see a lot of people coming dehydrated or tired, hungry. So we just kind of give them a chance to reset. Restore their human dignity and be present with them,” Lopez said.

In the past couple of months, we previously reported a surge in migrants being dropped off through out Tucson.

“Today like I said…five families versus we were getting up to 80 people at one time. So for us, it’s a little challenging making sure we have all of our donations organized,” Lopez said.

A vital part of them continuing to help migrant families in need is donations and volunteers.

Vivien Savojni, a volunteer with Casa Alitas, says several children that have stayed at this shelter have left behind pieces of art.  Some of those pieces with notes thanking her and the other volunteers for a safe place to stay and a hot meal to eat.

“I like to be helpful. I think that’s the main thing. I’m sympathetic to the plight of the persons…coming over here…I can try to imagine how hard and scary it is to come over and I speak spanish so it makes it easier for me to try and communicate with our guests,” Savojni said.

Several families in this shelter spending Sunday night with eachother and any comforts volunteers can provide.

“(We)Enjoy the moments that the dad or the mom or the child can play outside…be present with each other and realize after all that trauma they sometimes just need time to be with each other,” Lopez said.

If you’d like to donate or volunteer with Casa Alitas click here.

Charity Freeman

Charity Freeman

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