A confidential informant sent me a memo from St. Vincent’s Villa at Dulaney Valley in Timonium, Maryland; it is copied below (the bold type is my emphasis). St. Vincent’s is part of Catholic Charities.
To: All St. Vincent’s Villa Staff
From: Ezra Buchdahl
Re: Potential New Program Opportunity
Date: July 16, 2014
As a follow-up from Bill McCarthy’s letter regarding our interest in seeking a federal grant to operate a shelter care program for unaccompanied youth, I want to clarify a few things. First, this is currently not public information and we are asking employees to please keep this among themselves for the time being. If we are fortunate to receive this grant and expand our residential program to serve this new population, this program will reside in our Dulaney Valley building but will not change the plan to consolidate our RTC program into the Pot Spring building in approximately a year. However, the implications for many of our staff who were at risk of not having a position as a result of the consolidation are great. In fact, keeping the Dulaney Valley building open would require us to hire more staff (many of whom will need to be fluent in Spanish) and make some environmental changes/improvements to the units that have been vacant for some time as well as other spaces. The impact for non-residential staff who are housed at Dulaney Valley is yet to be determined.
If we receive the grant, we will likely have about 50 youth at any given time housed in 5 units. The average length of stay is about a month and there are many clinical, educational, recreational, medical and case-management components. We plan to offer intensive Spanish instruction for current staff interested in working with this program.
While there is much political positioning and disagreement at the moment around how to address this national issue, the fact remains that there are thousands of children that have been through much trauma who need to be taken care of while they are here, and that is what we do best. This is a very exciting opportunity for our program and agency that fits well with our mission, values and the expertise of our staff to care for traumatized youth in need.
If you have any questions/concerns or have a particular skill or interest in working with this population, please let us know.
Postscript: My informant tells me they did receive the grant.
Second postscript: Learning Spanish might not enable the staff to communicate with the immigrants. See Ann’s post at Refugee Resettlement Watch here: