Reimbursement Deadline Nears For Arizona Groups That Helped Migrant Families

Published: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 5:52pm
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Matthew Casey/KJZZ
Newly released migrants get food from a buffet set up by aid workers on the bench of a city bus stop.

Monday night is the deadline for Arizona nonprofits and churches to apply for reimbursement of money they spent to host migrant families dropped off by federal authorities.

Federal officials will distribute $25 million among groups in southwest border states.

A spokesperson for the Federal Emergency Management Agency says at least 15 applications have been submitted by organizations in Arizona.

One group seeking reimbursement is Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, or LSS-SW. President and CEO Connie Phillips said her organization qualifies to get back less than $30,000, which is about 1/3 of what Phillips estimated LSS-SW spent to help migrant families.

“None of the overhead that’s just a part of doing business for a church or for a nonprofit organization is allowable," she said.

Phillips said many volunteers for other churches and nonprofits made purchases to respond to an emergency that occurred in Arizona

“I mean they were pulling cash out of their pockets to do this. And they’re not going to be able to take advantage of this reimbursement opportunity because they just aren’t going to have the record keeping for it,” she said.

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