Permanent shelter for unaccompanied minors planned in Northern Va.

Northern Virginia is poised to get a new permanent shelter to house unaccompanied immigrant children.

A pre-solicitation notice issued by the General Services Administration said that the government wants to lease almost 110,000 square feet of space for as long as 15 years in one of four counties — Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun or Prince William — or in a neighboring city or town.

The shelter would house some 440 children, and would include bedrooms, bathrooms, classrooms and indoor and outdoor recreation areas.

Bids must be submitted by next week, and it’s estimated that the shelter will open next July.

Virginia already houses unaccompanied immigrant children in shelters in Bristow and Staunton.

Florida Rep. Eskamani posted on Twitter a letter the Department of Health and Human Services sent to lawmakers in the state informing them that the Office of Refugee Resettlement is looking at properties in Virginia, Florida and Los Angeles for use as permanent shelter locations for unaccompanied children.

DHHS oversees the care of unaccompanied children through its Office of Refugee Resettlement.

“The search for an addition of permanent licensed facilities is being pursued to reduce the potential need for temporary influx shelters in the future,” the letter said.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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