As our immigration system at the US-Mexico border continues to detain and separate families fleeing violence, many people are asking how they can help. CITA, Chicago Immigrant Transportation Assistance, aims to support asylum seekers leaving detention centers with ground transportation needs. WHAT WE KNOW: Detained families and individuals, mainly from Central America, with proof of persecution are admitted into the U.S. to await the outcome of their asylum application. The release happens shortly after a family member posts bond. The date of the release is unknown until hours before the Applicant receives a call from a DHS officer to arrange their travel plans with their loved ones. Unfortunately, the short notice hinders a family member to thoroughly coordinate the person(s) travel. DHS has not been providing asylum seekers with winter clothes, food, or information on how to navigate the ground transportation services upon their departure (i.e. cross country charter buses) - some trips can last 3-4 days. WHAT HAS BEEN DONE: CITA has supported over 60 asylum seekers traveling via ground transportation. CITA has distributed food, winter clothes, provided phone calls, translation services, and helped with other immediate needs. WHAT NEXT: We have designed a volunteer & donation program to support asylum seekers. - We are collecting funds to help us rent a storage unit throughout the cold winter months, purchase shelving units for the storage room, and Visa gift cards to hand out if there is no time to provide food or clothing. - You can also volunteer to sort donations or help families with transportation. If you would like to sign-up for one of our volunteer training days, please contact CITA at email@example.com. Thank you in advance for your support and positive energy!