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Posted on: June 26, 2018

Southwest Key Program at 808 Grayson Road

808 grayson road

The City of Pleasant Hill has received a number of inquiries from media organizations and the general public regarding the Southwest Key facility at 808 Grayson Road. Here are some informational points about the facility:

  • The facility is licensed by the State of California to operate a federal government authorized program through the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
  • The facility was granted a Minor Use Permit in 2005 as a Congregate Care facility.
  • The conditions of approval permit the facility to have up to 30 minors, aged 10-17.
  • Southwest Key operates an “Unaccompanied Minors Shelter Care Program” at the Pleasant Hill facility.  
  • The undocumented minors typically stay there for 30-60 days.

Responses to questions submitted by the City to Southwest Key

The City submitted a number of questions to Cindy Casares, Director of Communications with Southwest Key. Below are the questions and responses that we received on June 25, 2018:


1. Can you confirm that there are no minors at the PH facility that have been separated from their parents after being detained by ICE?

Response: There are two adolescent girls in our care that we are working diligently to reunify with their parents.


2. How many minors are currently at the PH facility and what is their age range?

Response: There are 25 minors currently staying with us. Their ages range from 12-17.


3. How long are these minors being detained for at the PH facility?

Response: This is not a detention center. This is a licensed shelter for children that has been a member of the Pleasant Hill community in good standing for 13 years. The goal of our program is to reunify the children in our care with a parent or sponsor as soon as is safely possible. We are licensed by the state of California which means we are subject to independent inspection from the state. In fact, we just had a surprise visit from licensing on Saturday and were told by the inspector that he was pleased with how well taken care of the children appear and how engaged the staff are with the children. Average length of stay is currently 47 days.


4. Have there been any recent transfers to the PH facility as a result of the administration’s policy separating minors from their parents?

Response: Yes, only two as explained in answer #1, and within the last 24 days.


5. What are the conditions currently at the PH facility?

 Response: We and the children are fine and performing the usual daily routines we have for the children: education, recreation, with the exception of offsite outings. We are currently only taking children offsite for medical appointments and medical needs and have temporarily suspended recreational offsite activities because of safety and security concerns due to the current political climate. Since last week, we have continued to receive calls from concerned citizens and have even had citizens coming to our door and inquiring about our services with both negative and positive comments. 


For additional information, please contact Martin Nelis at mnelis@pleasanthillca.org

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