Local Devon neighbors continue to be in the dark as both Devereux and government officials seem to deflect and be evasive about Devereux’s plan to house migrant children. Residents are alarmed and puzzled by Devereux’s changing stories and secrecy.
Neighbors living near the Devereux facility on Highland Avenue are unaware of any outreach by Devereux to communicate with the local community. Neighbors aren’t surprised by the lack of communication as the Highland Avenue facility has never been known as a particularly good neighbor or ever trying to engage with the neighborhood. Devereux doesn’t even allow neighborhood children to use the large Devereux playground which doesn’t ever seem to be used.
The whole episode is leaving a very bitter taste in the neighborhood. Devereux may have once had a nice reputation but it is looking more and more like a uncaring conglomerate with a $14 million federal contract to provide residential services to “unaccompanied alien children.” As one neighbor noted:
“I’ve lived on Highland for 25 years or so. As far as I know, Devereux has never reached out to the local residents whether through a post card, a phone call or an email. They have never invited the community to an open house event, a holiday event, or allowed neighborhood children to use their playground, basketball court or swimming pool. For that matter, I’ve never seen those used by any Devereux child or adult residents either. Over the years, I heard of stories by neighbors saying they were told to get off the Devereux property when they walked onto to it with their kids. All in all, it’s basically been a “NO TRESPASSING” attitude with neighbors unwelcome. Devereux never made any effort to be part of the community in any way that I’m aware of. The buildings have always looked a bit run down with minimal landscaping. I realize their priority is rehabilitation of children which I compliment them for doing but in no way have they contributed, been part of, or have engaged with the community.”
Some recent documents:
- Neighborhood Viewpoint & Fact Sheet About Devereux’s Plans For Undocumented Migrant Children Devon
- Freedom of Information Request From Easttown Neighbors to Easttown Board of Supervisors
- Request for Proposal for Shelter Services for Unaccompanied Children – Please note that the submission due date was June 29, 2018 yet local residents didn’t hear anything about Devereux plans for migrant children until 14 months later in August 2019. Until the past month, residents were under the impression that the property was probably going to be sold to residential developer who had plans to build homes on the site.
Some recent reporting includes:
Philadelphia Inquirer Story: Neighbors angry over plan to open a shelter for undocumented migrant children in Devon
NBC Philadelphia Story: Chester County Facility to Hold Undocumented Children for Federal Government
Tredyffrin Easttown Patch: Devon Facility Could House Separated Immigrant Children
AP and PBS Frontline Series: “Can’t Feel My Heart”: IG says separated kids traumatized