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Visit Aslyum-Seeking Women in Nearby Hutto Detention Center

Open Opportunity

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Positions19 Remaining
Description
Grassroots Leadership organization runs a volunteer visitation program that matches women detained at the Hutto Detention Center with visitors from our local community. Visitors go out to the center and meet one-on-one or in small groups, sharing friendship and solidarity with women requesting this. They talk to the women directly impacted by international affairs and immigration policies to hear their stories and perspectives. Most of the women in the detention center are teachers, mothers, community members, students, just like you and me. They are asylum seekers, most escaping persecution at the hands of gangs, traffickers, and abusers. Many are extremely isolated, with either no friends or family close enough to come, or no one with the documentation to be able to visit. The goals of our program are to serve as human rights observers in the center, to end the isolation of detention, and to create advocates for detention reform. The vast majority of women detained at Hutto are Spanish speakers, as are our volunteers, though other language speakers are also welcome and needed. How frequently volunteers visit varies widely depending on their availability. We ask for a once a month commitment (some volunteers go out weekly or bi-weekly). The detention facility is open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm, and is located in Taylor, TX, about 45 minutes from Austin. Volunteers are welcome to set their own schedule after they go out the first time with a mentor. Volunteers can also communicate by email and letters, if they choose to. Women can be in the detention center anywhere from 2 to 8 months, on average, so relationships are long-lasting. If interested, the first step would be to attend a volunteer orientation to gain knowledge and tools to begin visiting the women, learn the rules of the detention center and the program. We hold volunteer orientations monthly, with our next one coming up on September 17, RSVP here: http://grassrootsleadership.org/events
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Location: Austin, TX 78702