On July 11, 2012, the Indocumentales-Tumbleweed film series launched with the screening of Which Way Home, by Rebecca Cammisa. Staff from Tumbleweed’s Young Adult Program, the Learning Center, Phoenix Youth Resource Center, Casa de Sueños (CDS), and the Administration Department attended to learn more about youth immigration and the services shelters like Casa de Sueños provide for unaccompanied and undocumented minors.
The film seemed like a nice compliment for kicking off the series, especially since co-workers from other Tumbleweed programs showed a great deal of interest in what the journey looks like for these youth from the moment they leave their homes to when they arrive at CDS. The new hires who attended were particularly touched by what the characters endured and will soon be hearing more stories along the same lines once they start as Youth Care Workers. Experienced CDS staff viewing the film for the second or third time around were equally touched, like the film resonated for them from already having helped so many youth in this population.
Office of Refugee and Resettlement Program Director Alfonso Ramirez and Case Manager Miguel Hernandez lead the discussion afterward asking such questions as, “What did you observe about the feelings the kids had? How were the kids’ attitudes towards adults? What are some of the ways you noticed the youth coped with challenges or adversity? Did this remind you of any of your youth?” They touched upon the importance of trauma informed care, stressing the responsibility to report what clients have endured while crossing the border while providing the appropriate follow up care. Finally, they answered many viewers questions about “What percentage of kids are reunified?,” “How many stay in the US?,” and “What kind of options do they have to stay if their families are not present?” Overall the viewers appreciated seeing the film and were challenged to think about what they would do differently in their job now that they had a better idea of what the youths’ journey crossing the border entails.
Posted by Lindy Drew, Team Coordinator, Casa de Sueños, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development