YouthCare’s mission is to support young people who need immediate shelter, basic needs, food, and stability to build a better future. We do this for young people in our community, and we do this for young people who arrive from the border through the U.S. government through our Casa de Los Amigos program in partnership with the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) under the Department of Health and Human Services.
As a youth service provider and nonprofit, we work within systems that are broken, racist, and rooted in white supremacy. The reality is we are pushing to change these systems while simultaneously working within them. We strive to balance the tension of working in deeply flawed systems to the best of our ability while caring for youth who show up at our door every day.
The dialogue around immigration – and the treatment of undocumented, unaccompanied minors – is critically important. We recognize many immigrant youth have experienced violence and horrific treatment by U.S. authorities. We validate their experiences, and we condemn the unjust treatment of undocumented, unaccompanied minors that regularly take place in many of these centers across the U.S. Radical immigration reform will require an overhaul of our immigration system. We support this and advocate for it. And as the long-standing battle for immigration reform continues, young people living in traumatic conditions at our U.S. borders need safety, care, support, and healing.
YouthCare is committed to protecting and caring for
undocumented and unaccompanied youth who need us.
Our efforts to balance our values and our advocacy for youth within a broken U.S. Immigration system is significantly challenging and complex. As a result, there is much misinformation about our program in the community including the perception that we partner with ICE. We do NOT partner with ICE. In support of transparency, we have compiled Frequently Asked Questions to provide insights into the Casa program, our approach to this work, and how we are helping young people build pathways to home in the U.S.
We may not be able to provide all of the answers people want to hear. We are navigating as best as we can within the many problematic systems that we operate in as a nonprofit service provider. Every staff member at YouthCare pushes up against these systems in some form, every day. We’ll continue to serve young people and advocate for change—and we acknowledge the callouts to push harder. We’re hopeful that our collective efforts will make real change.
To learn more about Casa de Los Amigos, click here.