NEWTON, Kan-- A Newton group will apply for a grant which would allow it to house immigrant children on its campus. EmberHope President & CEO Shelley Duncan said her organization would meet today's deadline for a federal grant.
EmberHope's application sparked a special meeting of the Newton City Commission Friday. The organization wanted a letter of support from the commission. All but one speaker voiced their opposition to the plan. Commissioners voted to take no action on the request.
Duncan said since Friday's meeting she's received close to 100 messages from Newton residents who support the application.
"I found out that those who went to the city commission were primarily not in favor of this grant application. However, since that time I have received probably at least 100 emails from individuals who are supportive. And so I know there are two sides to this issue."
EmberHope would house 30 children at a time, with the children spending five week periods on campus. Duncan said the grant could be worth millions over a three year period. She says they would have to hire 50 or more to care for the children.
"I think that this is an issue that strikes a lot of emotion among people and our intent is really just to fulfill our mission which is sparking change to improve lives."
The Border Patrol said 57,000 unaccompanied children have been stopped at the border this year.
Duncan says she doesn't know when they will be notified if they're awarded the grant.