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Myth vs. Fact: Homestead Emergency Care Shelter

ACF LogoMYTH: Homestead is closed to visits.

FACT: Homestead is fully transparent, with a system in place started by the Obama administration to facilitate pre-scheduled visits from religious volunteers, congressional delegations, consular officials from children’s home countries, local government groups, and media. Learn more here.

MYTH: Homestead separates children from their families.

FACT: The boys and girls at Homestead are unaccompanied alien children who have crossed the southern border without a parent and been apprehended and referred to our care by another federal department. Currently none of the children at the shelter arrived in the U.S. with their parents or guardians and none were separated from their parents by the federal government at the southern border.

MYTH: Homestead is a detention center.

FACT: Homestead is an emergency influx shelter that is set up to provide housing and services to unaccompanied alien children until they can legally and safely be released to a parent, relative, or other sponsor, which is done as quickly as possible.

MYTH: Homestead is a “prison-like” facility.

FACT: Children at Homestead live in hard-sided dormitories, have access to dining halls, educational classrooms, indoor and outdoor recreational spaces and fields, and on-site medical facilities.

MYTH: Children at Homestead are kept in undesirable conditions.

FACT: Homestead, when fully-funded by Congress, provides not only 24/7 medical care, and three meals and two snacks a day, but also six hours of daily educational classroom instruction and daily recreation.

MYTH: Children do not receive proper care at Homestead.

FACT: Children arriving at Homestead receive a medical examination and vaccinations within twelve hours. For many, this is the first time they’ve ever been examined by a physician.

MYTH: Homestead is not effectively placing children with parents, relatives, or other sponsors.

FACT: Homestead employs case managers in order to ensure that children are safely and quickly discharged to family members and other appropriate sponsors. Right now the average length of stay at Homestead is approximately 25 days. The average length of stay system-wide is 44 days.

MYTH: Homestead does not provide proper medical attention for its children.

FACT: Homestead has a medical staff of more than 160 medical professionals and provides access to emergency and hospital facilities.

MYTH: Homestead does not provide children with appropriate classroom opportunities.

FACT: Homestead Children receive six hours of educational instruction a day, including English as a second language, math, and science.

MYTH: Homestead fails to provide for the basic needs of its children.

FACT: Unaccompanied minors at Homestead receive three meals a day, are provided new clothing and a hygiene kit, and have a dormitory bunkbed. For many, it’s the first time they’ve ever slept on a mattress. Homestead employs 4,500 trained professionals who are committed to the physical and mental welfare of the children.
Learn more about the Unaccompanied Alien Children program: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/programs/ucs.

Download a PDF version of this page.

Content created by Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Content last reviewed on July 1, 2019