Before many people arrive at the federal detention facility Aurora, they could have been arrested in places as far flung as the U.S.-Mexico border or New York City. Some detainees end up far from anyone or anywhere they know. When they're released, they may not have money, a phone or a place to go.
Sarah Jackson founded Casa de Paz six years ago to help those newly released immigrants. Casa de Paz’s original mission was to be a place where far-flung family members of detainees could stay and visit a loved one, not unlike how a Ronald McDonald House serves a hospital. But Jackson evolved the mission to suit the need, and last year began renting a home in Aurora to expand Casa de Paz.
The Aurora detention center releases detainees at 6 p.m. on weekdays. Most often they’ve bonded out as they go through the remainder of their immigration proceedings. Every evening at 6 p.m., a volunteer from Casa De Paz arrives at the facility and walks up to the front desk. Sometimes no one leaves with them; other times, five people may walk out. Casa de Paz then provides essentials and shelter until the detainees get on their feet