Valley Youth to Organize ‘Supporter Housing Network’ in light of immigration crisis.
The separation of families and the over-extended holding of many asylum-seekers has instigated a greater influx of people who are in need of volunteer services beyond what is able to be offered by the number of volunteers currently in the Rio Grande Valley.
In light of the recent events surrounding our border region, in relation to refugees, asylum-seekers and others trying to find hospice in the United States, we have been in constant conversation about the translation of our mission statement, which is “to engage youth in actionable conversation about culture, community, and identity”, and what that looks like in our community. Because our team believes fully in in the capacity of our young members to be active and educated members of our community, we believe it is only right for us to allow our interested members to engage in a positive and effective way with the events surrounding our South Texas border.
Positionality aside, our community is currently facing a deep need for Doctors, Lawyers, Social Workers and other dedicated volunteers to assist the families that are being processed through the ICE Detention Centers. Our team has been working closely with the situation, and in doing so we have come across many individuals, parents and children who are in need of greater care in regard to their health, legal representation, and security. There is a large number of licensed professionals from across the United States who have called our team about coming down to the Rio Grande Valley to provide free care to the people who are being processed through the detention centers. However, with this incredible desire to help our community is the cost of living.
Our team has decided to create a secure and safe network of Supporter Housing where we can provide housing for volunteers who are willing to come to the Rio Grande Valley. By connecting specialized volunteers to willing homeowners ―You, our community―we hope to ameliorate issues that occur during our times of crisis, however and whenever they occur.
Since our decision, we have already connected over 15 medically-trained professionals, specialized educators, and other volunteers to Supporter Housing members in the Rio Grande Valley. We hope to bring more volunteers down over the next several months, as predicted by the scale of the situation we are facing down here.
The majority of our work, if not all, has always been managed and created by Youth. But our mission remains clear, and to ignore the desire for our members to take action would be to become like every other organization that is created for youth without input from actual youth. We believe that Supporter Housing, as an ongoing network our members have already designed and are constantly updating to be a safe and smooth process, not only assists people who want to aid the Rio Grande Valley, but also builds toward a greater network for future volunteers to aid our community when the need arises.
Michael Mireles, Co-Founder
Adrienne Piando, STXi-University Clubs President
Anne DeGuzman, STXi-University Clubs Vice President
Abigail Piando, STXi Student Leader