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10 Pool Opening Tips for Swim Season 2023

(David Van Brunt) - With Memorial Day and the official start of summer upon us, it's time to get pools prepped for the swim season. However, as eager as you are to jump in, opening a pool is more complicated than simply removing the cover and topping off the water level.

The steps to get your pool ready for swim season range in complexity depending on your location. If you live in a cold winter climate and fully or partially winterize your pool, the pool opening process can take up to two days. So be patient and plan accordingly.

Following the right procedures is important to keeping the water safe, protecting swimmers, and preventing damage to the pool and equipment. Always carefully read and follow product label instructions, which include details for correct handling, storage, dosing, and application. Remember to never mix chemicals and allow ample time between different chemical applications.

Here are the 10 steps to follow when opening your pool in the spring:

  1. Eliminate excess water with a submersible cover pump then remove pool cover. Chances are that a fair amount of water and debris have built up on the cover over the winter, which makes it difficult to remove. We recommend using a submersible cover pump to drain the water off the cover before removing it. It’s best to use two people to remove the cover because it’s heavy and can spill debris into the pool.
  2. Store pool cover. After removing the cover, lay it flat and brush off any remaining water or debris. Let it dry. Before folding it, sprinkle it with Leslie’s Alkalinity Up or talcum powder to prevent mold and mildew. Fold the cover loosely, but carefully, to avoid rips. Store it in a cool, dry place, like a basement, garage, or storage shed to keep the cover in good condition for years to come.
  3. Remove winterizing plugs and replace drain plugs. If you use winterizing plugs to protect pool plumbing during the coldest months, now is the time to remove them from the pool inlets and outlets. If you used antifreeze to winterize the suction plumbing, discharge this to waste or backwash the filter to remove it. You can also use a wet-dry vacuum to remove antifreeze. If the water level is below the skimmer, add water to raise the level to normal (around halfway up the opening of the skimmer). Inspect and reinstall the drain plugs in your pump, filter, heater, etc.
  4. Prepare pool equipment. Reconnect the equipment you disconnected before the winter season, including the pool filter, pump, heater, automatic pool cleaner, in-line chlorinators, and any other devices. Then reattach any ladders, handrails, or other accessories. Lubricate O-rings, gaskets, and hardware with a silicone lubricant to keep them watertight. Once the pump is primed, set it to run continuously until startup is complete. Inspect the equipment for cracks or leaks and replace or repair, if necessary.
  5. Remove and prevent metal stains. Metals like copper and iron can build up over the winter and cause staining. One dose of Leslie’s NoMetal neutralizes the metals and prevents further staining of the walls and floor. It also prevents water discoloration caused by high metal content. If you notice any staining, you can treat the stain and remove any metals in the pool water with a CuLator No-Drain Metal Stain Kit.
  6. Test pool water. It’s important to test your water chemistry before adding any chemicals to know what’s needed and in what amounts. This can be done with a home test kit or by bringing a pool water sample into a store that tests pool water, such as Leslie’s, which offers a free AccuBlue 10-point water test and customized treatment plan in just 60 seconds.
  1. Balance water, start with Total Alkalinity. Once you’ve tested the water, it’s time to add balancing chemicals to adjust the chemistry. Always follow product label instructions. Keep your pump running at high speed until the chemical is fully integrated into the water, which can take four hours or longer. If your pool water is cloudy, running your pool pump continuously for 24–48 hours will help to clear it up. Don’t worry, your pool pump is designed to run 24/7 if needed.

Never mix chemicals or add more than one at a time. When balancing the water, always begin with Total Alkalinity, since it has a direct impact on pH levels. To raise your Alkalinity, add Leslie's Alkalinity Up or Soda Ash. To lower the Alkalinity if it is high, add Leslie’s Dry Acid or Muriatic Acid. Note that these adjustments will raise or lower the pH, as well as the Alkalinity.

Once Total Alkalinity has returned to a range of 80–120 ppm, adjust the other chemistry levels. Test the pH level again since it likely changed after the Total Alkalinity adjustment. The recommended water balance ranges are as follows:

  • Total Alkalinity: 80–120 ppm
  • pH: 7.4–7.8
  • Free Available Chlorine: 1–4 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness: 200–400 ppm
  • Cyanuric Acid: 30–100 ppm
  1. Brush and vacuum the pool. Thoroughly brush and vacuum the pool surfaces before shocking the pool water. This removes algae and bacteria from the walls and floor and lets the chlorine work most efficiently. Start brushing at the shallow end and move to the deep end. If possible, vacuum the debris directly to waste (if applicable) as this reduces strain on the pool filter. If you do this, replace any water that is lost. If you are not able to vacuum to waste, cleaning your pool filter after vacuuming up any dirt or algae is essential to a successful pool opening. 
  2. Shock the pool. This is the final step for removing germs, algae spores, and other microorganisms. Shocking your pool is simply a term for raising the chlorine level, sometimes as high as 20–30 ppm. It is an important step if there is algae present in your pool; when present, algae quickly uses up chlorine in the water. Shocking your pool will ensure that your algae treatment is successful. Add the recommended dose of your chlorine product for your pool size to raise the chlorine level to 20-30 ppm. Run the pump for 24 hours, then test the Free Available Chlorine level to ensure it is in the 1–4 ppm range. If the level is at zero, repeat the shock process until your pool water can hold chlorine. Once you shock a pool, you must wait until the chlorine level drops below 4 ppm before swimming again. There are new products available today that reduce the wait time.  For example, this chlorine-free oxidizing shock has a wait time of just 15 minutes, and is ideal for routine oxidation in pools with optimal Free Available Chlorine levels.
  3. Treat the water with algaecide, clarifier, and phosphate remover. After shocking the pool, run the circulation system overnight, then add algaecide the next day. Follow product directions on the algaecide product you are using. A dose of clarifier will clear up any haze, and weekly use of a phosphate remover will help prevent algae from starting. Depending on the condition of your pool, you may also need to backwash or clean your pool filter again. To help with making maintenance easy all season long, try Leslie's Perfect Weekly or PoolRx+ to help prevent algae in your pool.

Important Note: It’s crucial to use pool chemicals, specifically sanitizers and algaecides, that have been tested and approved by the U.S. EPA, which is the federal agency that protects people and the environment from significant health risks, sponsors and conducts research, as well as develops and enforces environmental regulations. See this blog post for simple instructions on reading pool product labels for the proper EPA details.

Follow these 10 steps and your pool will be ready for the swim season kickoff. For pool owners in warmer regions who do not close their pool, you’ll execute an abbreviated version of these steps with a focus on steps 4–10, as needed. Then, inflate the pool toys and haul out the lounge chairs. Remember, following a regular pool maintenance program will help you avoid any expensive equipment or water balancing issues and let you get the most enjoyment out of your pool this summer. 

David Van Brunt is the owner of Swimming Pool Learning and a pool service professional with over 30 years of experience. He created the No. 1 swimming pool channel on YouTube and hosts the “Pool Guy Podcast” and is also a Leslie’s Pool Pro Partner.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Revs Up

(NewsUSA) - With the onset of spring and summer weather, peak motorcycle riding season is underway across the United States. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is promoting the “Expect Us, See Us,” slogan to alert motorists to the increased presence of motorcycles.

Motorcycle-related traffic fatalities, along with all other types of traffic fatalities, increased dramatically from 2020 to 2021, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“The NHTSA data may be from 2021, but distraction, speeding, and driving or riding while under the influence continue to be problems today,” says Rob Gladden, vice president of training operations for MSF.

“However, these are all things we can change,” Gladden adds. “May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and we want to call attention to how smart, attentive driving and riding behaviors can save lives.”

The MSF offers the following safety tips for drivers and for motorcyclists to help reduce accidents and fatalities and to keep everyone safe on the road.

Tips for car and truck drivers:

-Look out for motorcyclists.  Car and truck blind spot detectors aren’t perfect. During the spring and summer months, expect that you will share the road with motorcycles and scooters. Use your eyes and mirrors.

-Stay focused. Put down the phone while driving, and don’t be distracted by passengers, pets, or other in-vehicle activity.

-Use turn signals. Many drivers fail to signal when changing lanes. Signaling alerts motorcyclists as well as other drivers.

-Give space. Don’t get too close to riders; they need room to maneuver and adjust to road conditions.

-Don’t litter. Tossing anything out of a vehicle endangers motorcyclists riding nearby.

Tips for motorcycle and scooter riders:

-Be seen. Wear bright riding gear and a light-colored helmet. Always have your headlight on, day and night, and flash your brake light when slowing and before stopping if possible.

-Assume others don’t see you. Stay hyper-aware and notice details in your surroundings. Use the Search-Evaluate-Execute (SEE) strategy to respond to assess hazards.

-Dress the part. Wear proper riding gear from head to toe—it can save your life. Full-face helmets provide the best protection, and jackets, pants, gloves, and boots that are made for riding will generally be made of abrasion-resistant material and provide additional comfort and protection.

-Follow the rules. Riding respectfully — and legally — creates a safer environment for everyone.

-Check your bike. Before every ride, do a pre-ride check to look over tires and wheels, check fluids, cables, chassis, lights, electronics, and stands. Use the T-CLOCS inspection checklist to help you.

Share these safety tips with others using the hashtags #SeeMotorcycles and #ExpectUsSeeUs.

Safety booklets, tips, and other reference guides are available at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website,


Extraordinary Nurse Educators Leading in Extraordinary Times

(NewsUSA) - Nurse educators are in a unique position to make an impact by inspiring nurses in education and by promoting public health through work in schools, businesses, hospitals, and community agencies.

The need for qualified nurses is ongoing, as is the need for nurse educators to prepare them, according to the National League for Nursing.

Many nurses choose to become nurse educators to support the work of nurses who provide everything from routine primary care to lifesaving emergency services to end-of-life comfort.

Encouraging more nurses to consider pursuing careers in nurse education is the best way to ensure a consistent flow of qualified nurses into the healthcare system, and the National League for Nursing provides resources to help them get started. Many nursing education programs are now available through online platforms, which expand the options for nurses who want to pursue careers as nurse educators.

Nurses can earn their master’s degree in nursing or nursing education entirely online, which helps prevent loss of income from taking time off to attend classes and reduces the need for student loans or traveling to classes at a distant location. Nurses can then become Certified Nurse Educators, the badge of expertise in this advanced specialty area of practice.

Prospective nurse educators have two choices of advanced degrees: the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or the Ph.D. in nursing.

Although one may consider the Ph.D. the primary pathway to becoming a nurse educator, the DNP is also a viable option for some prospective nurse educators because of its focus on clinical practice rather than academic research. We need both pathways in nursing education.  

Other reasons nurses choose to become nurse educators include the intellectual stimulation of knowing the latest research in the field, greater autonomy and flexible schedules, and the sense of purpose and generativity that comes with mentoring and advancing the next generation of nurses.

In addition, this year’s NLN Education Summit in September near Washington, DC, celebrates the National League for Nursing’s 130 years as the voice of nursing education. This event will focus on the extraordinary leadership of nurse educators and explores innovations in learning, practice, policy and research “that celebrate the whole person and value new perspectives.” The Summit also offers opportunities to discuss the challenging issues of mental health and health inequity as they relate to nurses, nurse educators, and the health care system.

For more information, visit

3 Tips for Small and Mid-sized Businesses to Take Advantage of Rebounding Supply Chain

(NewsUSA) - Operating from the epicenter of commerce, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) form the core of the global economy—and while fears of recession continue to loom, many of these enterprises remain optimistic. In fact, 57% of SMBs expect revenue to grow and 58% plan to expand their workforce in the next 12 months according to recent WSJ/Vistage Small Business CEO Confidence Index reporting. However, despite this rise in confidence and rebounding economic circumstances, some businesses continue to remain operationally paralyzed into a state of “do no harm” rather than focusing on new avenues for growth. This is particularly true for SMBs hesitant to make changes within global imports and exports given the turmoil supply chains experienced in recent years.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, SMBs accounted for $413 billion of the known U.S. export value and $651 billion of the known U.S. import value. Unfortunately, these SMBs are too often relegated to a secondary priority amidst larger, well-established entities that enjoy high-touch services by multinational shipping companies.

The reality is shipping and logistics are the lifeblood of international trade, but it is fraught with challenges ranging from price fluctuations, language barriers, customs, regulations, and more that even the most seasoned and sophisticated stewards of global shipping within companies find complex, confusing, and cumbersome. Fortunately, resources like digital-first freight forwarders are forging a new frontier for SMBs by changing the landscape and democratizing international shipping.

“With expanding markets, tightening margins, and many supply chain restrictions and regulations, freight forwarding can make or break a dynamic enterprise in today’s world,” said Carmit Glik, CEO and Co-founding Member of Ship4wd, a leading global digital freight forwarding solution for SMBs. “No matter how large or small, every single international shipment deserves an advocate, and a user-friendly platform can help SMBs take all the guesswork out of door-to-door, and port-to-port journeys.”

As recent supply chain challenges rebound to favor businesses once again, Glik shares three ways companies can leverage freight forwarding to reenact growth mode strategies that have otherwise been paused by many enterprises out of an abundance of caution.

Protect Operational Cash Flow through the Right Partnership in Shipping & Logistics Processes

Recent reports indicate only 26% of Main Street businesses have access to enough funding to stay open for more than 60 days in the event of a cash flow shortfall, and 17% have no access to funding at all, according to a “Main Street Health Q1 2023” study from PYMNTS and Enigma. Given these cash flow risks, it’s critical for small and medium-sized businesses to employ tactics to protect their financial position, especially as they work to capitalize on the current global trade environment. This is where a strategic freight forwarding partnership can help by assessing various factors to strengthen a business’ financial position such as flexible payment structure, inventory financing, guaranteed shipping allocation, and much more.

Consider What International Shipping Options Are Right for Your Business

While air freight is frequently considered faster and more reliable than ocean freight, it typically transports smaller volumes and high-cost goods, coming with exponentially higher costs. For larger shipments, ocean freight may be the most financially responsible avenue. Recognizing this, there are two primary ways businesses can ship across international waters—LCL (Less-than-Container Load) and FCL (Full-Container-Load). LCL shipping can be a more affordable option for SMBs shipping lower volumes, but getting the cargo from point A to point B may take longer due to additional handling and documentation, as well as increased loading and unloading times, since there are multiple shippers and touchpoints involved in a shared shipment. Inversely, FCL is an efficient and cost-effective option for businesses with enough cargo to fill an entire container. However, while more merchandise can be shipped with FCL for less, this cost benefit must be weighed against how fast product sell-through is, as shipping savings have to be balanced against warehousing and storage costs. Similar to deciding between LCL and FCL, SMBs also should examine whether they need door-to-door or port-to-port shipping support based on different business needs. For example, experienced shippers may only need help securing goods from a port of origin to a point of destination, while those newer to international shipping may benefit from ensuring merchandise is picked up at the door of a manufacturer and delivered directly to a SMB’s door.

Diversify Your Supply Chains

According to the New York Federal Reserve, The Global Supply Chain Pressure Index (GSCPI) continues to drop month-over-month, establishing favorable market conditions for companies seeking to take advantage of decreased global freight and container rates, lessened port congestion, and shortened shipment delivery times. However, there is a key lesson learned by the world’s largest corporations that small and medium-sized businesses should model against. That lesson is reliance on single supply streams limit business resiliency. Exemplifying this risk are issues like the factory shutdowns and labor challenges China has continued experiencing, sending shockwaves through the supply chain for companies relying on inventory manufactured there. One tactic for SMBs to consider is investing in the diversification of their supply chain by securing additional or alternate suppliers that can serve as secondary sources for goods, providing more redundancy to minimize risk and increase flexibility and agility.

Recognizing global shipping and logistics misunderstandings continue to persist, and a resurgence of international issues could impact the supply chain at any point, shifting away from a “business as usual mentality” will mandate exploring new approaches. Making changes within global import and exports with the help of a reliable freight forwarder may just be the path to resilience SMBs need today. After all, as Glik puts it, while shipping and logistics may not be an SMB’s core business, it is core to their business. 

Four Reasons Why Creating Accessible Generosity Programs is Essential for Communities and Brands

(NewsUSA) - Many of us have every intention of making a positive and lasting impact on our community, but it can be overwhelming knowing how to get started or where the biggest need is. And busy days filled with professional and personal commitments can make giving back feel even more out of reach. Fortunately, many corporate leaders have an opportunity to help fill this gap – and it’s important that they do. 

Businesses are realizing the importance society places on giving back and have begun to elevate their commitments to develop initiatives that bolster community impact among their customer bases. And as people strive to find fulfillment in their lives and pursue ways to give back in meaningful ways, providing volunteer and generosity programs has become crucial in the corporate world.

Demonstrating the power of providing generosity programs, Thrivent, a Fortune 500 financial services organization, recently celebrated reaching the milestones of 1 million client-led volunteer teams and $1 billion raised for communities nationwide through its Thrivent Action Teams program. This program is helping reimagine the future of generosity and volunteering in partnership with Thrivent’s clients by harnessing the power of digital tools and community action. Through this effort, Thrivent has helped clients make a difference by placing resources and seed money directly in their hands so they can create the impact they want to see in their community. Since its debut in 2014, 9.6 million volunteers have given 93 million hours of their time to lead and support a generosity team—directly benefiting the causes and programs most important to them and their local communities.

“Companies that want to thrive both now and in the future, should recognize that their clients and stakeholders are eager to make a difference and want businesses to reflect these same values,” said Carolyn Sakstrup, chief growth and generosity officer at Thrivent. “For more than 120 years, Thrivent has instilled a deep sense of purpose throughout our organization so our clients and employees can pursue their passions and lead lives of meaning and gratitude. We believe in the idea of serving a higher purpose and we’re proud of our long legacy of mobilizing people to come together and take care of their community.”

Here are four reasons why companies should create accessible and affordable pathways for people to give back and help them engage in their communities.

  1. Addresses the Needs of the Community

Accessible philanthropic and volunteer initiatives provide new opportunities for community members to partake, regardless of their financial position. This means that people can proactively participate in a program, such as a fundraiser or food drive, and make a difference without facing a financial burden.

  1. Enhances Brand Purpose and Reputation

By making philanthropy programs available to their customers, companies demonstrate their commitment to the overall community’s well-being. This, in turn, attracts new customers who are more likely to support a brand that aligns with their values and enhances the company's reputation as a purposeful brand. These activities help to build relationships with the community and strengthen corporate reputation.

  1. Boosts Customer Engagement

People are increasingly looking to give their business to companies that reflect their values. By offering hands-on community engagement programs, people are more likely to feel a sense of purpose and pride when they collaborate with a company that is making a positive impact. This can lead to increased loyalty and engagement. The key is to ensure that these programs are turnkey for them to be effective as an ongoing, repeatable effort.

  1. Leads to Innovation and Creativity

When companies engage with their customers and community, they gain a deeper understanding of the needs and challenges faced by those they serve. This understanding can lead to the development of new and innovative products and services that address these needs, which can ultimately lead to business growth and bigger impactful.

In today’s socially conscious world, community engagement has become an important tool for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to making a difference. As brand purpose takes on even greater importance, it’s critical to build trust and credibility with customers and stakeholders. As Thrivent’s recent milestone demonstrated, when companies engage with and invest in the community in meaningful ways, they help humanity thrive.

Learn more at

Marine Toys for Tots is a Year-Round Force for Good

(NewsUSA) - Marine Toys for Tots, which is traditionally known as a Christmastime charity, has evolved into a year-round force for good. The year-round assistance and emotional relief that the organization provides extends beyond the holiday season, because needs aren’t seasonal, and neither is Toys for Tots.

The Program’s year-round distributions reassure families, who face adversity and exceptional circumstances throughout the year, that Marine Toys for Tots is committed to delivering messages of hope, restoring and building self-esteem, and inspiring youngsters to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. The Program takes great pride in spreading hope around our Nation and being a force for good in order to promote a brighter tomorrow, especially during uncertain times.

In East Palestine, Ohio, children and families have recently faced devastating hardships due to the train derailment that left the river and air contaminated with toxic chemicals. East Palestine Social Concern, a local organization that assists families with rent and utilities, provided support to the impacted families, while Toys for Tots delivered emotional relief through the gift of toys and books to over 400 children in the local area. 

“This is so exciting because the kids really have been overlooked through this whole process. They haven’t had a voice, their fears and anxiety a lot of times are portrayed through what their parents are feeling, and they’re not really getting heard,” said a local volunteer. “And so, it was awesome that [Toys for Tots was] willing to give these [toys] away now and not make ‘em wait for Christmas. This is just fantastic. I love seeing the kids excited and the families.”

During their seventy-fifth anniversary last year, Marine Toys for Tots distributed more 24 million toys to nearly ten million less fortunate children, provided more than 6.3 million books to children in need through their Literacy Program and supported over 220,000 Native American children living on remote Reservations through their Native American Program. The Program also established their newest initiative to support children living in foster care and provided toys, books, games, and school supplies to over 447,000 children living in the Foster Care system.

Looking ahead to 2023, Marine Toys for Tots will continue to be the force for good that will provide significant comfort and relief to families who face hardships throughout the year. This spring and summer, Toys for Tots has committed to providing 100 truckloads of toys to communities throughout the U.S. and one million books to Title I funded schools. These existing programs and initiatives will bring emotional relief and reassurance in times of tremendous loss to children across the Nation – Toys for Tots is committed to making their days ahead a little brighter.

Visit to support the year-round Programs and be part of the force for good!

Ready to Volunteer…Now What? Here's How You Can Give Back

(NewsUSA) - Volunteering is a great way to help others and give back to our communities—and it’s good for our mental and physical health. People who volunteer for as little as two hours a week may experience improved mental, emotional and physical health—benefits that many older volunteers are gaining because, on average, they volunteer almost twice as much as people in other age groups.

Because volunteers can often set their own hours, volunteering doesn't have to mean a big-time commitment. So, decide what you're interested in—and spend time doing something that is meaningful to you! Whether you participate in a volunteer transportation program, make calls to someone who may be lonely, read to children at a local school or participate in a community day of service, you can decide what you want to do! The possibilities for volunteering are endless!

There’s no better time than now to explore the volunteer opportunities available in your community. Chances are, you’ll be in good company as you reconnect with old friends or make new ones.

Area Agencies on Aging, Title VI Native American Aging Programs and other organizations provide a variety of services for older adults and can connect older adults to volunteer opportunities. Do you want to volunteer but don’t know where to start? Through its website,, and national Call Center at 1-(800)-677-1116, the Eldercare Locator can inform and connect older adults to local or virtual volunteer opportunities.

Did you know?

An Eldercare Locator publication, Ready to Volunteer…Now What? A Guide on Giving Back for Older Adults, that can help older adults learn about the benefits of volunteering and how to find a volunteer opportunity. Consider reading this publication to help ensure that you learn how to get connected to in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities.

Helping our Nation’s Homeless Care for Their Pets

(NewsUSA) - People can become homeless at any time and for any reason, including people with pets. These individuals often face additional challenges of food and health care for their pets, and some are turned away from possible shelters or rent situations because pets are not allowed.

 “The animal-human bond is especially strong for people experiencing homelessness because those animals are with their people 24/7,” explains Genevieve Frederick, who founded the nonprofit organization Feeding Pets of the Homeless after observing the love between a homeless man and his dog on a street in New York City.

Feeding Pets of the Homeless believes in the healing power of companion pets and of the human/animal bond, which is especially important in the lives of many of the homeless. Homeless people find solace, protection and companionship through their pets, but they care for these animals on limited resources, often at the expense of their own needs. The mission of Feeding Pets of the Homeless is to provide food and basic emergency veterinary services for these animals, to help relieve some of the anxiety and anguish of their homeless companions. 

One of the organization’s success stories is Lucy, a Belgian Malinois living with a homeless armed services veteran in California. Lucy fell into a gopher hole while running through a park, and fractured several small bones in her leg. Her veteran companion learned about Feeding Pets of the Homeless, and Lucy was able to receive care through a partnership with a local animal hospital. Feeding Pets of the Homeless was able to provide financial assistance in the amount of $817 for the initial visit and diagnostics, and to pay for bandage changes once a week for seven weeks at $159 each. 

In 2021, Feeding Pets of the Homeless provided assistance to 1,263 homeless individuals and 1,379 pets, an increase of more than 50% since 2020. 

Feeding Pets of the Homeless also provides pet food and basic supplies to the homeless through donation sites that work with homeless shelters. 
The bond between pets and people doesn’t depend on a roof and a yard. Feeding Pets of the Homeless helps keep people experiencing homelessness and the pets they love together and cared for.

Feeding Pets of the Homeless does not received government subsidies and relies on donations to further their mission. Visit to learn more. 

La Oficina del Defensor de Inmigrantes Detenidos ofrece un nuevo enfoque de supervisión en los centros de detención de EE. UU.

(NewsUSA) - La Oficina del Defensor de Inmigrantes Detenidos (OIDO) es un recurso para defensores, representantes legales y familiares de personas detenidas para presentar quejas sobre mala conducta o malas condiciones de vida en la detención y custodia de inmigrantes de EE. UU.

El formulario de admisión de la Oficina, Formulario DHS 405, permite que las personas que han sido detenidas, o sus representantes, presenten reclamaciones confidenciales sobre el trato y las condiciones en los centros de detención de inmigrantes. Esto incluye cuestiones como la mala conducta del personal, tratamiento médico inadecuado, baños o áreas de descanso en mal estado, falta de acceso a un abogado o problemas de seguridad que podrían causar daño a los detenidos.

Creada por el Congreso en 2019, OIDO es una oficina independiente dentro del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS) de los EE. UU., separada del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) y la Protección de Aduanas y Fronteras (CBP). La Oficina está a cargo de investigar las quejas sobre el trato y las condiciones en los centros de detención de los EE. UU. que alojan a las personas bajo custodia federal de inmigración. OIDO también brinda supervisión para garantizar que los centros de detención cumplan con la ley y los estándares para la detención de inmigrantes.

“Nuestra misión consiste en evaluar las quejas individuales, realizar inspecciones anunciadas y no anunciadas, revisar los contratos de detención y realizar estudios y encuestas sobre las tendencias en la detención de inmigrantes para informar al Secretario del DHS, ICE, CBP y el Congreso”, señaló David, el Defensor del Pueblo interino de Inmigrantes Detenidos, David Gersten. “Nuestro singular rol distingue a OIDO como un conducto importante y objetivo de información sobre la detención de inmigrantes para los legisladores y el público”.

Un objetivo clave para OIDO es la accesibilidad, y esto incluye traducir la información y los recursos, incluidos los formularios de quejas, a varios idiomas y hacer que esos recursos estén fácilmente disponibles para los detenidos en los centros y para el público en Internet.

OIDO ha establecido una presencia persistente dentro de los entornos de detención y custodia. Los administradores de casos y los investigadores de supervisión de detención que entienden los asuntos de detención y pueden recomendar soluciones a las quejas sobre el trato de los detenidos y las condiciones de las instalaciones visitan las instalaciones de detención con regularidad. Al tener esta supervisión independiente constantemente presente en los centros de ICE y CBP, OIDO puede ser proactivo y oportuno para ayudar a resolver las cuestiones de detención.

“El personal de OIDO está capacitado y encarna la pasión por la inmigración, el cuidado y la custodia en detención civil y la protección de los derechos de las personas en detención migratoria”, señaló Gersten. “Estamos comprometidos a servir como un recurso confiable y neutral para la comunidad de detenidos y sus defensores mientras trabajamos conjuntamente para crear un sistema de detención de inmigrantes más seguro y humano”.

OIDO ha completado numerosas observaciones e inspecciones de sitios y centros de detención en los EE. UU., fortaleciendo sus capacidades y perspectiva de campo, difundiendo la conciencia pública sobre su propósito y sus actividades, y construyendo una red cooperativa de partes interesadas.

Si bien el cargo de OIDO es amplio, no tiene la autoridad para manejar asuntos relacionados con la liberación, la supervisión comunitaria, las alternativas a la detención, el estado migratorio o las solicitudes de asilo. Los resultados de una inspección de OIDO no afectan el estado del caso de inmigración de un detenido, ya sea positiva o negativamente.

El proceso de quejas de OIDO tampoco pretende sustituir o reemplazar los procesos de quejas existentes que se utilizan en los centros de detención; más bien, se considera una línea adicional de apoyo para hacer avanzar una queja hacia la resolución y está diseñado para complementar las funciones de supervisión existentes dentro del DHS. 

Si bien los funcionarios de OIDO cumplen su función de independencia y neutralidad, también reconocen los beneficios de colaborar con ICE y CBP para garantizar que sus recomendaciones para mejorar las condiciones de los centros de detención se implementen según lo previsto por el Congreso. OIDO tiene miembros del equipo que trabajan con el Centro de Admisión Conjunta de CBP para de revisar las quejas presentadas con respecto a esa agencia con el fin de garantizar la capacidad de respuesta y la imparcialidad. OIDO también coordina con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles y Libertades Civiles del DHS, la Oficina del Inspector General y el componente de las Oficinas de Responsabilidad Profesional para facilitar el manejo adecuado de los asuntos dentro de sus respectivas áreas de responsabilidad.

Mirando hacia el futuro, la visión de OIDO es crear conciencia y mejorar su rol como una entidad accesible y receptiva que brinda reparación a las personas en detención de inmigración. Esto incluye construir y fortalecer las relaciones con las agencias componentes del DHS, así como con los socios externos, aprovechar la información y la experiencia para informar a los tomadores de decisiones y al público, contratar personal de supervisión adicional, y crear una cultura laboral basada en la confianza, la transparencia y el impacto.

“Nuestro objetivo para 2023 es construir sobre el crecimiento organizacional sustancial que experimentamos en 2022, mientras cumplimos nuestro rol como un organismo de control objetivo, independiente e intermediario para las quejas presentadas por los detenidos de inmigración”, expresó Gersten.

Para obtener más información sobre OIDO o presentar una queja, visite

Office of the Immigration Detention Ombudsman delivers new approach to oversight at U.S. detention facilities

(NewsUSA) - The Office of the Immigration Detention Ombudsman (OIDO) is a resource for advocates, legal representatives, and family members of detained individuals to file complaints about misconduct or poor living conditions in U.S. immigration detention and custody.

The Office’s intake form, DHS Form 405, enables individuals who have been detained---or their representatives---to submit confidential claims about treatment and conditions in immigration detention facilities. This includes issues such as staff misconduct, inadequate medical treatment, poorly maintained bathrooms or rest areas, lack of access to counsel, or safety issues that could result in harm to detainees.

Created by Congress in 2019, OIDO is an independent office within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—separate from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The Office is charged with investigating complaints about treatment and conditions in U.S. detention facilities that hold individuals in federal immigration custody. OIDO also provides oversight to ensure facilities comply with the law and standards for immigration detention.

“Our mission involves assessing individual complaints, conducting announced and unannounced inspections, reviewing detention contracts, and carrying out studies and surveys on trends in immigration detention to report to the DHS Secretary, ICE, CBP, and Congress,” said acting Immigration Detention Ombudsman David Gersten. “Our unique role distinguishes OIDO as an important and objective conduit of information regarding immigration detention for policymakers and the public.”

A key objective for OIDO is accessibility, and this includes translating information and resources, including complaint forms, into multiple languages and making those resources readily available to detainees in facilities and the public online.

OIDO has established a persistent presence inside detention and custody settings. Case managers and detention oversight investigators who understand detention matters and can recommend solutions to complaints about detainee treatment and facility conditions regularly visit detention facilities. By having this independent oversight consistently present in ICE and CBP facilities, OIDO can be proactive and timely in helping to resolve detention issues.

“The staff of OIDO embody passion for and are trained in immigration, civil detention care and custody, and protecting the rights of individuals in immigration detention,” Gersten said. “We are committed to serving as a trusted and neutral resource for the community of detainees and their advocates as we collectively work to create a more safe and humane immigration detention system.”

OIDO has completed numerous observations and inspections of detention sites and facilities throughout the U.S., strengthening its capabilities and field perspective, spreading public awareness of its purpose and activities, and building a cooperative network of stakeholders.

While OIDO’s charge is broad, it does not have the authority to handle matters related to release, community supervision, alternatives to detention, immigration status, or claims for asylum. The results of an OIDO inspection do not affect the status of a detainee’s immigration case, either positively or negatively.

OIDO’s complaint process also is not meant to supersede or replace existing complaint processes used at detention facilities; rather, it is considered an additional line of support for advancing a complaint toward resolution and is designed to complement existing oversight functions within DHS.  

While OIDO officials fulfill their role of independence and neutrality, they also recognize the benefits of partnering with ICE and CBP to ensure its recommendations for improving detention facility conditions are implemented as Congress intended. OIDO has team members working with CBP’s Joint Intake Center to review complaints filed regarding that agency to ensure responsiveness and impartiality. OIDO also coordinates with the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Office of Inspector General, and component Offices of Professional Responsibility to facilitate appropriate handling of matters within their respective areas of responsibility.

Looking forward, OIDO’s vision is to build awareness of and enhance its role as an accessible and responsive entity providing redress to individuals in immigration detention. This includes building and strengthening relationships with DHS component agencies as well as external partners, leveraging information and expertise to inform decision makers and the public, hiring additional oversight staff, and creating a workforce culture built on trust, transparency, and impact.

“Our goal for 2023 is to build on the substantial organizational growth we experienced in 2022, while fulfilling our role as an objective, independent watchdog and intermediary for complaints filed by immigration detainees,” Gersten said.

To learn more about OIDO or file a complaint, visit

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