GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – After a meeting with U.S. Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro), officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have set up an email address to take residents’ questions about the facility for displaced immigrant children being set up in Greensboro.
Those residents – and some community leaders – had voiced concerns and questions after DHHS leased the site of the former American Hebrew Academy on Hobbs Road in Greensboro.
The Greensboro Piedmont Influx Care Facility – or Greensboro Piedmont Academy – is planned as a temporary home for 13-to-17-year-olds with non-violent histories who are awaiting reunification with families or sponsors in the U.S. As many as 800 may be housed there for a several weeks at a time.
Residents in the upscale area around the facility had voiced numerous questions about the safety and security at the facility, and Manning in mid-July had sent a letter to DHHS to ask about details and to voice concerns. That was followed by a recent meeting.
DHHS officials in mid-July also met in two sessions with local leaders, during which they answered some questions residents were asking but left others hanging.
“I am pleased HHS has agreed to my request to better engage with the local community regarding the Influx Care Facility and to provide detailed information to local officials, who have expressed concerns over the lack of information-sharing and transparency,” Manning said Wednesday.“Following our meeting, HHS agreed to establish a process to allow my constituents to share their questions and concerns directly with officials overseeing the facility.
“I’ll continue to advocate on the behalf of my constituents and ensure continued transparency as the facility begins operation.”
A release from Manning’s office said that after the meeting HHS set up an email at GreensboroPiedmontAcademy@acf.hhs.gov.
The release also said that HHS would have a fact sheet available with information about the facility and would “provide regular updates through an on-site Public Information Officer once the facility is operational.”
WGHP reached out to AHA’s representatives with questions about recent activity, but that email drew no immediate response.
HHS is paying nearly $50 million for 5 years – with a 5-year option – to lease the 100 gated acres at 4334 Hobbs Road under a contract that began on June 9 and ends on July 8, 2027.
The facility includes 31 buildings of 412,712 square feet, an $18 million athletic center and natatorium, a variety of athletic fields and even a 22-acre lake, and it would be used to provide housing, classrooms and recreational facilities for children who are unaccompanied or who are waiting for family members and sponsors.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement operates about 200 such facilities in 22 states and has done so since 2002’s Homeland Security Act. In Fiscal Year 2021 the program has handled 122,731 children, its information sheet says.