Community reacts to housing undocumented children in Dayton

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Across the country, thousands of unaccompanied children who have migrated to the U.S. illegally are seeking shelter.

And dozens of those kids may soon be calling Dayton their temporary home.

The city has picked two places to possibly house the children: the city-owned former armed forces reserve facility on Gettysburg A Avenue and a vacant building in the 900-block of Deeds Avenue.

Wednesday, 2 NEWS spoke with neighbors; our reporter Beairshelle Edmé heard mixed reviews about the possibility of housing undocumented children in their community.

Some said they’re disappointed in the mayor’s direction; others said every child needs a home.

By law, the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services must provide shelter for undocumented kids waiting for deportation hearings.

Because of that, the federal government has asked Dayton if it might help

Mayor Nan Whaley said the city has an obligation to consider this request.

Federal officials would be responsible for the temporary facility, including furnishing it, hiring staff and providing security.

Both the armed forces reserve building and the former Heidelberg Distribution Center are being considered.

The distribution center is right across from the Kiser School.

Some neighbors there have safety concerns.

2 NEWS asked Linville Jenkins if he’d want undocumented people in his neighborhood, he said, “Nope, nope. Already got enough already.”

Jenkins added that the distribution center is, “Too close to the railroad tracks.Busy street, people running down the street acting foolish in one-ways.”

No final decision has been made on whether Dayton will be called on to house any of those children. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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