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Southwest Key allowed to reopen one of two closed Arizona shelters

Children Shelter Investigation Southwest Key AP Photo
Posted at 4:57 PM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 14:11:59-04

PHOENIX — The Department of Health Services has given the go-ahead for Southwest Key to reopen one of its closed shelters in Phoenix. The license was granted September 1st and it will allow Southwest Key to house up to 420 children and teens who arrived at the border unaccompanied or separated from their parents.

While the numbers of immigrants trying to enter the U.S. may have diminished over the summer, the need to place unaccompanied children in shelters has not. In July, Federal officials reported more than 66,000 unaccompanied children had reached the U.S. in 2019. Some of those children may find their way to Phoenix, at least temporarily.

Southwest Key operates several shelters around the state. The south Phoenix shelter that is opening again was closed in 2018 after allegations of abuse.

RELATED: Videos show children shoved at Southwest Key facility in Arizona

"We remain committed to providing compassionate care, education, recreation, vocation training and access to pro bono legal counsel while the staff works to safely reunite the minors with a sponsor," Southwest Key spokesman Neil Nowlin said in a statement.

Southwest Key has also applied for a license to reopen a closed facility in Youngtown. It too closed as part of settlement agreement with the Arizona Department of Health Services.