In 2020, we invested more time and resources to respond better to changing client needs for short-term and long-term clients. Many unaccompanied young adults, mostly ages 18-24, arrived early in the year. This included 38 young pregnant women. We had the facilities and volunteer resources to support these young women’s needs before, during, and after their childbirth. Except for the young women who stay for the birth of their baby, the trend for client length of stays was short-term, three days or less.
With the pandemic, a new client length–of–stay profile began to emerge. We witnessed more long-term clients comprised of families and individuals without relatives or sponsors in the United States to assist them. These are clients who stay eight days or longer. These clients need help to prepare for a career and self-sustainability, and the capability to pay for their legal expenses. We responded by developing an aggressive training effort for these clients (e.g., interview training, certifications, and resume workshops). An example of a long-term family we assisted this year was a family with a school-aged child. As is our policy for all school-aged children staying long term, we enrolled this family’s child in school and equipped her with the supplies and Wi-Fi access needed to participate in school classes during the pandemic. The parents benefitted from our training program and became employed. In the Fiscal Year 2020, 78% of clients were short-term, and 22% were long-term.
La Posada provides an essential service for the community to shelter and support long-term stays for immigrants and asylum seekers as they proceed on their resettlement journey. We are the only shelter provider with this capability for the population we serve in the Lower Rio Grande.
For clients residing three days or more:
1) 100% of clients are enrolled in ESL classes;
2) 80% of clients advanced their conversational English skills;
3) 80% of clients heightened awareness for achieving successful self-sufficiency;
4) 80% of clients heightened awareness for achieving a healthy lifestyle;
5) 70% of clients learned and/or expanded their technology skills;
6) 80% of clients learned about U.S. currency and money system;
7) 80% of clients learned to read an identity document card (I.D. card); and
8) 75% of clients can differentiate between a Social Security number, alien number, and phone number.
Clients residing for eight days or longer were enrolled in English language assistance and life-skills classes. Those proficient in English upon arrival achieve the following:
1) 80% of clients acquired basic U.S. geography, social, and economic skills;
2) 70% of clients showed improvement in job readiness; and
3) 100% of job-ready clients (with Social Security cards and work permits) sought and/or gained employment by end of residency.
We provided shelter and care for …