KGUN 9NewsBorder Watch


Asylum seekers arrive: Casa Alitas needs volunteers

Casa Alitas volunteers.jpg
Posted at 4:55 PM, Mar 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-07 01:08:18-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Asylum seekers began arriving in Tucson. KGUN 9 went inside one of the shelters processing the migrants.

RELATED: Asylum seekers arrive: Inside Casa Alita's migrant shelter

Behind the operation of Casa Alitas, you’ll find groups of volunteers.

Joni and Gary Jones are two and they’ve been volunteering at the shelter for a few years.

"It feels really good to contribute our grain of sand to hopefully making the united states a better place," said Gary Jones.

Gary’s job as a volunteer is to help asylum seekers plan the rest of their journey in the United States.

He said many stay in Tucson for just two to three days.

"I worked in systematizing, the process of finding and connecting people to their sponsors, scheduling their travel, and I helped organize it system," said Jones.

And Joni's job is to feed the asylum seekers.

"Pre-pandemic I was a lead in the kitchen," said Joni Jones. "I prepare food remotely and bring whatever they need until I have my second vaccination and then I’ll be working in the kitchen here hands-on."

Besides logistics and food preparation, volunteers are asked to help with laundry.

Katie Hirschboeck started volunteering two years ago.

"We prepare clean blankets, towels, and sheets for them to sleep in. We put together these mesh bags for each guest to have when they’re coming in,” said Hirschboeck.

Hirschboeck said the experience is rewarding although she doesn’t come in direct contact with asylum seekers.

She said she feels safe in the shelter with the COVID-19 protocols in place.

Casa Alitas is encouraging volunteers to get vaccinated as soon as they are able to meet guidelines.