Annual Update Report
July 08, 2016
BENEFITING: The Salvation Army
I started working with the Salvation Army's men's shelter in Tijuana about 10 years ago and have seen first-hand the difference they make in the lives of these men. However, there is no longer any shelter that will take in women and children, and there are thousands of women and children being deported into Tijuana from the US every year.
So together we are starting a new shelter that is going to focus on getting the women and children that are deported from the US off the streets - hopefully the first day they arrive. Last year the US deported over 15,000 children from the US into Mexico. Most of these children came across the border with only their mother or without either parent. Tijuana has become the main deportation location for the US government handling one-third of all deportations from the US into Mexico. And many of those being deported into Tijuana have absolutely no connection to the city – no family, no friends and no one to turn to for help.
For a majority of those deported, Tijuana is not their hometown and is as foreign to them as it is to most Americans. This process of deportation provides no sort of safety net or social welfare program for any deportees. Sadly, once deported, many of the women and children are vulnerable to kidnapping, violence or being forced into the international sex trade.
This new shelter will provide the much needed care for these women and children as they piece their lives back together, and most importantly work with them to reconnect them to family and friends and provide resources and transportation assistance within a safe environment.
We've already secured a facility in Tijuana and have a proven model program in place from years of experience with the men's shelter. The operating budget is estimated to cost $100,000 per year and your donations would assist in the annual operating costs of this shelter. After an incredibly successful Crowdrise campaign in which I swam the 16 mile Napali coast to raise the $35,000 startup costs, we need additional help to help support and sustain the shelter. The International headquarters of the Salvation Army is looking at this shelter as a model for future Women and Children centers to be located at other boarder cities. We've got the backing of a major donor but we need more financial help.
This project has been created with the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is an international aid organization that is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church.