A foster family in Washington state was told to leave their home by a non-profit agency that supplied them with it in order to make room for unaccompanied migrant children, according to a report from King 5, a Seattle-are NBC affiliate.
Friends with Youth, a non-profit that helps abandoned and foster children, ordered Edmundo Serena Sanchez and his wife Paual to vacate their home in Renton, Washington which houses over 20 troubled youngsters over the past two years.
According to Sanchez, they had to send three of their foster children to other families because they couldn’t find a suitable home by the time they were evicted. A fourth teen in their custody ran away upon learning the information and has yet to return as of Wednesday.
Sanchez and his wife are certified therapeutic foster parents with experience raising children with severe behavioral issues. They have lived in the house for seven years, and Edmundo works as a driver for Uber and Lyft.
Friends of Youth, which currently supports over 3,000 children in the Seattle area, notified Sanchez on January 29 that his foster home contract “will be terminated,” and that the house will be used “to provide a different scope of services in support of unaccompanied youth.” according to Sanchez.
He said his family was taken aback by the request to vacate their house. “They sent us out there to die.”, he said. “Just find a place to stay in 45 days in the wake of the pandemic.” He said he was unaware of any other foster families that had been told to leave. Now the family could only rent a two-bedroom condo, which was insufficient for six people.
The Biden administration is now grappling with an enormous surge of migrants at the US-Mexico border. Border Patrol apprehended approximately 100,000 illegal immigrants in February, which is the highest number since February 2019. The administration estimated that over 16,000 unaccompanied children were crossing the border in March, and it could spiral up to 26,000 in September.
Friends of Youth may have taken a deal with the Department of Health and Human Services to house migrant children because of the potential for increased federal funds, according to Washington State Senator Michelle Caldier, a Republican and former foster child. Friends of Youth chief program officer DeAnn Adams, on the other hand, dismissed it.
“The money is not a factor in this decision,” Adams said to King 5. It’s “directly related to being able to use our resources in order to serve the largest number of youth that we’re able. We will not be receiving additional or increased revenue as a result of this decision.”
Friends of Youth’s announcement came as the Biden administration struggles to provide housing for migrant children crossing the southern border. To relieve pressure on border authorities, federal governments have sent migrants to hotels, convention centers, and even army bases.