“I would volunteer to do anything that anyone needed,” Yaecker said.
In July the US Department of Health and Human Services asked Governor Peter Shumlin to inventory a list of facilities that could be used to house undocumented children coming from Central America.
We were never given a list of the facilities so we filed a public records request. It’s how we got Yaecker's email and dozens more from people on both sides of the immigration debate.
About 12 locations made the list including. Here’s what was considered:
· Barre Auditorium
· Pine Ridge School in Williston
· Vermont Technical College in Essex Junction
· Goddard College in Plainfield
· Austine School in Brattleboro
· Ethan Allen Cinema in Burlington
· Memorial Auditorium in Burlington
· Former St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington
· 100 Bank Street in Burlington
· 125 College Street in Burlington
· 150 Bank Street in Burlington
· 128 Lakeside Avenue in Burlington
However HHS was looking for facilities that are at least 90,000 square feet and none of Vermont’s locations are big enough.
For now none of them are needed by the federal government. According to a spokesperson at HHS the amount of kids apprehended at the border has decreased and HHS is no longer looking for temporary shelters.
But they note the situation at the border is always changing.