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DeLauro Statement on Homestead Facility Moving to “Warm Status”

October 28, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – (October 28, 2019) Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, today released the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it has moved the Homestead shelter for unaccompanied children to “warm status” and will not be renewing its contract with Comprehensive Health Services when it expires on November 30.

Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction for children who our federal government is entrusted with caring for, but it does not go far enough. Homestead needs to be shutdown, not put on ‘warm status’ in perpetuity. ‘Warm status’ means taxpayers will still be paying millions of dollars to keep Homestead open while it is completely empty. Children should never have been put into unlicensed influx facilities like Homestead in the first place. We should never go back to allowing children to languish in warehouse-like conditions for months on end. Instead, the Office of Refugee Resettlement needs to work to fulfill its mission of safely and expeditiously placing children into sponsors’ care. To that end, ORR should focus its effort on adequate placement in state-licensed facilities with proper standards of care.”

Earlier this year, DeLauro led an Appropriations Committee oversight visit to the Homestead facility. Following the visit, DeLauro held a Congressional hearing with HHS officials to discuss their findings and ensure proper standards of care in HHS custody.