Southwest Key Programs Wants To Reopen 2 Closed Shelters

Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - 3:16pm
Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 9:46am
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A Texas-based nonprofit that got itself into hot water with the state of Arizona last year wants to reopen a pair of shelters for migrant children who come to the United States alone.

Southwest Key Programs said it has fixed the problems that led to the facilities closing.   

As part of a legal settlement made last year with the state of Arizona, Southwest Key Programs gave up licenses for two facilities for migrant children.

The settlement also raised oversight of Southwest Key Programs. Gov. Doug Ducey signed a new law this spring that strengthens the state's ability to keep an eye on facilities that house migrant children.

Southwest Key Programs has asked Arizona for new licenses so it can reopen the closed facilities in Phoenix and YoungtownThe news was first reported by the Arizona Mirror.

Neil Nowlin, vice president of communications for Southwest Key Programs, issued a prepared statement.

“Having successfully resolved the issues that led to the temporary closing of these two shelters, we’ve applied for new licenses to reopen them. These applications are under review by the Arizona Department of Health Services now.  We know there is a continuing need for beds in state-licensed facilities to care for unaccompanied minors coming to this country. We are committed to caring for these youth and safely reuniting them with a loved one or sponsor as quickly as possible," Nowlin said. 

Nowlin declined to answer questions.

A state health department spokesman said safety inspections at the facilities Southwest Key Programs hopes to reopen have not yet been completed. 

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