New details about what is going on with the former American Hebrew Academy campus –

Posted By on July 21, 2022

City and county leaders met with the feds to talk about their plans for the building.

GREENSBORO, N.C. In June, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the former American Hebrew Academy would be used as transitional housing and a school for unaccompanied immigrant children, who come into the United States illegally.

The contract for HHS to take over the campus was finalized last month, but there were no updates for the city council since it's a private deal.

There have been many questions about how it will work, when the kids will arrive, and other details.

Tuesday, the leaders got answers.

Guilford County Commissioner Chairman Skip Alston said the former American Hebrew Academy will be an influx care facility.

According to HHS, an influx care facility is a type of care provider facility that is a temporary stay that provides shelter and services for unaccompanied children during an emergency.

Alston said there are hundreds of these campuses across the United States, so it's not their first time setting up a campus like this.

"I don't see any real serious concerns," Alston said. "This is not their first rodeo, so to speak, they have 200 facilities like this across 22 different states, so they've done this before."

City leaders learned that 1,500 people will work in and out of the facility. Alston said they won't come all at one time, but as the kids arrive, so will the staff.

The children will be ages 13 to 17 and will stay at the campus roughly two to four weeks.

HHS will offer schooling, case management, legal services, recreational opportunities and mental and medical services for the children, while they are at the Greensboro facility.

The children are not allowed off of the campus unless it were to be a medical emergency.

There will also be an eight to one staff to student ratio.

"Overall, I think that it's good for our community, it's good for the children that's caught up in this situation and again our purpose is helping each other, brothers helping brothers, sisters helping sisters," Alston said.

City Council Member Nancy Hoffmann said she brought questions from the community members. She asked about things like security and traffic issues.

"Although they couldn't be specific because, of course, the federal government contracts much of this work out with individual contracting companies, but I certainly left with the impression that they understood concerns and that those would definitely be addressed appropriately and I think the we can have good expectations in terms of the plan," Hoffmann said.

HHS plans to come back with answers in the coming months.

Hoffmann said the meeting was reassuring.

"I have a strong feeling that all of this is that will be forthcoming and everything that we heard today is certainly fine," she said.

There were some questions that weren't answered.

"We asked them for some information on those other facilities, are there any community problems? Were there any criminal activities or anything that went wrong," Alston said. "They are going to be providing us with any information related to that and we asked them a lot of questions and that they couldn't answer and they agreed to get back with us."

The signs on the campus have changed, as it no longer shows the American Hebrew Academy name, but rather just lists the schools address.

More details are expected to come out in the following months.


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