In an expansion of its work since 2012 for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), Kristi House was tapped by the federal government to provide therapy services to children and youth who have come to the U.S. unaccompanied from other countries. Kristi House’s Proyecto Brazos Abiertos program provides free evidence-based therapy to minors designated as unaccompanied alien children (UAC) who have experienced trauma. Many of these youth are in residence at shelters in South Florida while efforts are made to place them with relatives in the U.S.
Many of these youth, some of whom have been separated from their parents upon arrival, are suffering from separation trauma, anxiety and PTSD symptoms as a result of their journeys and experiences in their home countries. Kristi House is also reaching out to sponsors and families in South Florida homes who have youth placed who might need of therapy services.