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Jun 24, 2014 9:09 PM by Lauren Reimer

Southwest Key hiring help for new Tucson shelter

TUCSON - Finishing touches are going in on the new Southwest Key facility north of Downtown Tucson. It's preparing for an influx of migrant children from the border by advertising job openings.

Landscapers and round-the clock security has been the most visible presence here at the old College Place building on Oracle. But soon the facility could be getting even busier.

Southwest Key currently has 272 job openings in Tucson. The organization is looking to fill numerous positions including cooks, clinicians, care providers, and more.

According to job descriptions posted online, many positions require employees to be bilingual and have previous childcare or case management experience.

A neighbor of the shelter, who asked not to be identified, has a birds-eye view of the facility from her apartment in the Tucson House.

"I could tell that something was up there was all this movement going on, activity that was really unusual," she said.

She and another neighbor both tell News 4 Tucson they have already seen children here. "And they were all lined up over here along this wall, and there must have been about 20 to 25 young people."

There are 196 dorm style units in the building. Southwest Key plans to use 140 of them, placing two children in each. Meaning 280 migrants could be expected to stay here at any given time.

Southwest Key reports an annual budget of more than 150 million a year to run its 17 facilities. Most of that money comes from federal government contracts, and that's not sitting well with some area residents, like Eddie Badilla.

"This is our taxpayer dollars, which is getting me a little upset. we need to help our people first in Arizona," said Badilla. "It's like a resort, for them, it's a resort, they're getting everything free, and it's not right."

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