Tag Archive for: arizona

SAMU First Response responds to the call for help at the border

Arizona is one of the border states where migrants cross every day to enter the United States. Casa Alitas – a part of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona – is the principal nonprofit organization receiving migrants in the Tucson sector along the border and has been aiding those who are crossing the border since June 2014. Casa Alitas is a local humanitarian aid project committed to helping legally processed asylum seekers by offering hospitality, housing, food, clothing, toiletries, advocacy, and travel assistance. They receive between 400-1,800 individuals per day who have fled their home countries to escape violence and persecution. As of 2024 Casa Alitas has served over 400,000 individuals seeking a better life.

Casa Alitas reached out to SAMU First Response leadership in March with a request for immediate support in first response care to migrants crossing the southern border and we were able to answer their call by sending five of our dedicated first response employees to help in Tucson and Nogales, Arizona. Our emergency deployment team arrived on April 28, 2024.

“We are seeing a lot of people that need help and searching for a better life. Since we arrived this week, we have attended to 500 to 600 people per day. The work that they do here is incredible in making sure the intake is process is fluid and efficient “, said Derick Alegria who is on the ground in Tuscon, AZ and part of the Intake and Emergency Deployment Team. “We are seeing a great need in supplies such as beddings, cots, and hygiene kits. The amount of people arriving each day is so much that it is hard for Casa Alitas to keep up with the demand and they need support.”

This week, our team’s work has been crucial in the intake process of aiding in the coordination of intake services, logistical support, and procurement of necessary items. Our team will provide assembled hygiene kits to Casa Alitas to aid in the intake procedures and distributing donations, ensuring that migrants receive the assistance they need at the beginning of their challenging journey in a dignified and respectful manner. Our team is also delivering psychological care through specialized workshops for minors and ensuring access to life’s basic necessities while equipping them with the necessary documentation and information about their next steps.

Our team will continue to support Casa Alitas and evaluate the need for a second deployment based on the ongoing assessments of the current migrant situation in Arizona. This deployment of our team is focused on sustaining support and adjusting resources as needed to ensure effective long-term assistance for migrants. As always, our mission at SAMU First Response is to save lives and we will continue to collaborate and support those whose mission is the same.

About Catholic Community Services:

Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona has been dedicated to Providing Help, Creating Hope, and Serving All since 1933. As a diverse family of clients, staff, volunteers, and donors, CCS is committed to touching lives daily, guided by love, hope, and compassion. With a wide range of services, from the Community Outreach Program for the Deaf to the Pio Decimo Center for young children, Casa Alitas for migrants and refugees, a new Medical Respite Center for men and women experiencing homelessness, and services in Yuma, Sierra Vista, and beyond, CCS provide access to basic needs and ensure vulnerable communities’ safety, stability, and lifelong health.

About SAMU First Response:

Is a passionate humanitarian aid organization based in Washington, D.C.. Our mission as a 501(c)(3) non-profit is to serve vulnerable populations during national and international crises. Since June of 2022, SAMU has provided reception and respite services to more than 12,600 migrants in our nation’s capital, while our Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams deployed to Turkey and Morocco, as medical teams provided critical support to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.