Representatives of more than a dozen Quad-City agencies exploring ways to help care for the flood of Central American children at the nation’s border will meet for a second time Monday at the Davenport Public Library downtown.
“We’re going to see what progress has been made over the past week as to learning what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requires for us to house the refugees, and how our resources match up," Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba said Saturday. Gluba initiated the effort called the “Caring Cities Campaign.”
“Hopefully we’ll know what steps we need to take next,” he added.
Nora Dvorak, who for years ran the refugee resettlement program for the Diocese of Davenport, has been appointed by Gluba to coordinate the efforts of the local agencies.
At an initial meeting last week, the group determined that it needed to contact HHS and have the agency better define what the Quad-City area will be allowed to do to provide for the care of the children until they are repatriated to their own country.
Gluba said both he and city aldermen have been getting a lot of e-mails on the issue. Some e-mails are from people who support the efforts to help the children. Other e-mails, he said, “are full of vitriol” about city tax dollars being spent on the refugees.
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“I want to make clear this effort is a private initiative of the local services community and myself, not the city of Davenport,” Gluba said. “No city money is being expended.”
Should the area be able to help with the crisis, “it would all be paid for by the federal government,” he added.
Monday’s meeting will be at 4 p.m.