Housing undocumented children at Blossom South Nursing Facility

Updated: 07/21/2014 6:20 PM
Created: 07/21/2014 6:58 AM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath

There is a new proposal to house the children of illegal immigrants in our area. This time, the former Blossom South nursing home on Monroe Avenue in Rochester is being considered to house the undocumented children.

In the Upper Monroe community, Gillian Clykendall says there are people from all walks of life.

Gillian Clykendall, Rochester resident, said, “We have a really eclectic group here anyway and we are very accepting of pretty much anybody. These kids need shelter, they need safety, they need security and if we can offer that, I can't imagine why we wouldn't.”

Others feel Rochester’s own homeless community needs to be the priority. One viewer called the idea “ridiculous”, saying “what about our children who have no food, let’s take care of our own.”

Some feel the whole community will benefit from getting the kids into a more stable living environment.

Larry Berger, Rochester resident, said, “If they're coming here, we got to put them some place. There are a lot of people who think we need to focus on our own homeless people. Okay well, why can’t we focus on all of them?”

Hoping if it happens, it's done properly.

Clykendall said, “I'd like to see organizations that are looking to not just be stagnant and have them stay here and sit in the situation, they need to move them into the community, move them into situations where they have jobs.”

News10NBC spoke with the mayor's office Monday and then insisted this is just based on one phone call, and the details are slim at this point.  They say the mayor is simply considering the concept.

According to statement from City Hall, members of Warren's staff were contacted by representatives of the owner of the former nursing home. They asked if the city had any interest in getting behind an idea to turn the complex into a home for kids in the U.S. illegally and without their parents.

This comes less than a week after Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner officially announced her support for a similar plan in that city.

When Mayor Warren was asked about the issue last week, she said she was open to the idea. She said Rochester is a city of great culture enriched with many refugee and immigrant communities.

An empty warehouse in Greece and a former Walmart in the Town of Sweden were also up for consideration but have since been taken off the table.

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