Since its opening in October 2017, Bethany House has welcomed 97 women with 35 small children. They come from 26 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South and Central America. The average length of stay has been 10 months. Most arrived in this country as unaccompanied children seeking asylum and ‘aged out’ of the children’s detention centers. More recently, some come to us directly from the border, from the MPP (“Remain in Mexico”) program, Afghanistan evacuation efforts or various border shelters. Over this past year, as more than 20,000 immigrants arrived on buses to Chicago, we have received many women and children who were staying at police stations awaiting shelter.
While here, the women take ESL, GED or high school classes while they work on their legal case and prepare for the next steps in their journey.