April 2024

Education Programming Spotlight 

Community Collaboration

At our Parents as Teachers (PAT) Program, we are dedicated to supporting families and nurturing community connections. Recently, our commitment to empowering families took an extraordinary turn when the Christian Center of Park City, a prominent community partner, reached out to us with a unique request. 

The Christian Center urgently needed to identify a family in need of a car to connect them with a generous donor. Recognizing the sensitive nature of this matter, they turned to our PAT team for assistance. Without hesitation, our dedicated team took action. We swiftly identified a family within our program who would greatly benefit from the gift of transportation. This family, relatively new to the Park City community and with a newborn baby, had been facing significant challenges with transportation, especially during the harsh winter months. 

Understanding the importance of this opportunity, our PAT team worked tirelessly to facilitate the match between the family and the donated car. The result was nothing short of heartwarming. 

This experience exemplifies the power of collaboration and the positive impact that can be achieved when community organizations come together to support those in need. Through our partnership with the Christian Center and the dedication of our PAT team, we were able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of a deserving family. 

Health Programming Spotlight 

A Transformative Journey

In her early 40s, *Casandra experienced a stroke, leading to symptoms of depression for which she was referred to Holy Cross Ministries’ (HCM’s) dedicated bicultural/bilingual therapist, Liza Felix, at the People’s Health Clinic. Her life appeared overshadowed by fatigue, daily bedridden struggles, and a profound sense of loss in her roles as a mother and wife.

Liza’s compassionate approach and culturally sensitive techniques breathed new life into Casandra’s world. Over 15 sessions, Liza employed strength-based methodologies, guiding Casandra towards reclaiming her sense of self and purpose. With Liza’s unwavering support, Casandra rediscovered her resilience. She emerged from the shadows of depression, returning to work with newfound vigor, effectively managing her irritability, and experiencing fewer “cloudy days.” 

Their journey didn’t end with the closing of sessions; rather, it marked a new beginning for Casandra. Equipped with the tools to navigate her emotional landscape, she now confidently faces challenges, knowing she can lean on her support network during both good and challenging days. Liza’s commitment to empowering individuals like Casandra exemplifies the transformative impact HCM therapists can have, guiding their clients toward the lives they truly deserve. 

Justice Programming Spotlight 

Empowering New Arrivals

The Immigration Program has been working hard to help refugees and asylum seekers obtain authorization to work in the United States. When they arrive in Utah, many of these families are immediately eligible to submit applications to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting employment authorization documents (EADs). 

Recognizing the need to help new arrivals, HCM has been participating in clinics that provide legal assistance with completing EAD applications. Our rapid response expedites the process and decreases the need for temporary housing and homeless shelters because families are able to find work and support themselves shortly after they arrive in Utah. 

On February 3rd, HCM partnered with the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and the City of Herriman to offer a Pathways to Employment clinic where our team reviewed legal documents for more than 150 new arrivals, many of whom walked out with the application ready to mail to the USCIS.  It was a very long and memorable Saturday for our four members of our immigration team.  

After this successful event, Utah Center for Immigration & New American Integration then reached out to HCM’s CEO, Emmie Gardner, to request legal services at the Midvale Family Shelter. We immediately offered to send our director, Lorina Tester, and paralegal, Elsa Young, to help families at the shelter apply for employment authorization.

During the three days that Lorina and Elsa were at the shelter they identified families that are eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the U.S.  We invited those new arrivals to follow up with HCM in a special session to complete the TPS applications and EADs together with guidance from Elsa and Lorina. “It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know this group and humbling to receive their heartfelt hugs and tears of gratitude,” Lorina said.

We are currently planning another Pathways to Employment clinic to be held in Ogden in May and talking with community partners in Salt Lake County about offering a resource fair for foreign-born families who arrived in Utah within the past six to eight months.

Many new arrivals don’t realize they are immediately eligible to apply for work authorization, or if the do, they don’t know who to turn to and ask for help.  HCM is committed to providing legal services to new arrivals during the global humanitarian crisis that continues to increase as more people are forced to flee from their homes.

These new Americans are vital in Utah’s fast-growing and robust economy. HCM’s CEO, Emmie Gardner notes that, “New arrivals come for various reasons, such as forced migration, fleeing war and political conflict, and reuniting with family after years of separation.” 

 In 2022, Utah received 893 asylum seekers and refugees, and last year (2023) Utah welcomed 700 Ukrainians and over 900 Afghans. HCM’s Immigration Program hopes to be able to continue helping new arrivals obtain employment authorization in the future.

Elsa Young, HCM paralegal, and Lorina Tester, HCM's immigration director, at Immigrant Day on the Hill.

January 2024

Health Programming Spotlight 

Finding Compassionate Support in a New Community

*Claudia, a pregnant teenager who had recently immigrated from Venezuela, found herself standing at a stressful crossroads. Her journey took a dramatic and positive turn, however, when she met Yeniffer, a compassionate community health worker from HCM. 

Yeniffer, recognizing Claudia’s situation, offered comprehensive guidance on pregnancy care, labor and delivery, nutrition, and postpartum care. Upon completing HCM’s prenatal classes, Claudia received a layette, generously provided by the Saint Martha’s Baby Project, containing essential items for both the baby and mom. Additionally, Yeniffer assisted Claudia in applying for Medicaid, ensuring coverage for her child’s check-ups, vaccines, and any emergencies during the first year of the baby’s life. This support brought considerable relief and peace of mind to Claudia. 

We also connected Claudia to resources such as the Salt Lake County Health Department, where they gave her a brand-new infant car seat. She also received support from the Pregnancy Resource Center, securing essential baby items such as a bassinet, along with vouchers for clothing from HCM that could be redeemed at Deseret Industries. Not only did Yeniffer provide support to Claudia, but she also extended assistance to Claudia’s uncle, who, having recently immigrated from Venezuela, was connected with a shelter after spending nights at the airport. 

Claudia expresses gratitude for the comprehensive support provided to her and her family during this challenging time, acknowledging the collaborative efforts of various organizations and individuals in ensuring their well-being. 

 

Justice Programming Spotlight 

“Love Triumphs All”

Several years ago, HCM successfully filed a U visa case (this is a special visa available to crime victims who cooperate with law enforcement) on behalf of a married couple and their four young children. Following the approval of their U visa, three years later, the entire family obtained lawful permanent resident status through the adjustment of status process. Over the years, the children graduated from high school, pursued degrees at BYU, and embarked on their individual journeys. 

The youngest family member, Jared, met the love of his life, Megan, during a church mission in Mexico. Despite living in different countries, Jared and Megan sustained a long-distance relationship until he proposed and she accepted. After the proposal, Jared sought assistance from HCM to navigate the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. 

The COVID-19 pandemic’s international travel restrictions posed challenges for the couple, leading them to exchange vows in a unique civil ceremony at the USA-Mexico border. Jared stood on the U.S. side, while Megan stood in Mexico. 

Following their marriage, Jared returned to HCM for support in filing for his wife so that she can eventually join him in the U.S. Luzmila, HCM’s Department of Justice (DOJ) Accredited Representative, played a crucial role in guiding them through the petition process. During the waiting period for their interview, Jared decided to relocate to Mexico in anticipation of the birth of their first child. Despite the birth occurring in Mexico, Luzmila facilitated the registration of the baby as a U.S. citizen, due to Jared being a U.S. citizen. Zoom sessions with Luzmila prepared the couple for their interview in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, which took place at the end of 2023 with a successful outcome. Excited about their future, the family plans to visit HCM upon their return to Utah. “We want everyone to know our story, so they know that love triumphs all!” says Megan

Education Programming Spotlight 

Spreading Holiday Magic

Thanks to the Park City Sunrise Rotary Club’s incredible generosity, our education program families experienced a joyous holiday celebration. Their volunteers’ magical energy transformed St. Mary’s Catholic Church Social Hall into an enchanting winter wonderland!  

Beyond the unpacking of 160 toys provided by Toys for Tots, Park City Sunrise Rotary Club provided gift cards for 52 families, ensuring each household experienced some Christmas joy. The wrapping of the toys added a touch of warmth to every present, while laughter and joy filled the venue. Precious moments were also captured with Santa, and everyone enjoyed playing fun games like Jenga and bowling.  

The club’s assistance with post-event cleanup made the celebration seamless and enjoyable for everyone. Our deepest gratitude goes out to the Park City Sunrise Rotary Club for their support, helping us make an impact on the lives of the families we serve. Special thanks to St. Mary’s for providing the space for this festive and fun gathering and to Toys for Tots for generously gifting dozens of toys.  

The combined contributions of our partners vividly demonstrate the strength of community support, and HCM is profoundly grateful for their assistance in advancing our mission to better serve those in need.  

October 2023

Justice Programming Spotlight 

Overcoming Trauma: Patricia’s Path to U.S. Citizenship

Undocumented victims of violent crimes often fear reporting incidents due to their immigration status. *Patricia was referred to HCM by a police department victim advocate after being physically abused by her husband while six months pregnant. HCM provided legal immigration services to Patricia, offering to help and protect her legal right to remain in the U.S. with her children while she cooperated with the police investigations related to the criminal offender. While her immigration process was long and complex, the outcome resulted in a U visa, employment authorization and permanent residency (i.e., green card) in 2014.

Patricia’s journey has been particularly challenging, marked by the trauma of physical and emotional abuse. The Department of Justice Accredited Representatives kept in touch with her and gave her the support she needed while she cooperated with the investigation of the crime committed against her. Over the years, Patricia looked forward to the day that she could become a U.S. citizen.

In 2019, she tried for the first time to become a U.S. citizen; she studied all 100 test questions that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provided to prepare her for the test, knowing that she had to get at least 10 correct at her interview. When she attended her interview with the USCIS officer, Patricia became nervous and fearful. She seemed to experience a block when she was in front of the USCIS officer and couldn’t respond to any of the questions, despite knowing the answers. Patricia’s application for naturalization was denied and she was profoundly disappointed. She made another attempt in 2020 but sadly was denied again.

HCM’s immigration services team remained dedicated to helping Patricia prepare for the test once more this year. They processed a third application for her and practiced frequently, simulating the USCIS interview experience within the HCM office. The team engaged in role-play, posing questions like those asked by USCIS officers through the interview process, from the initial oath to confirm identity through to the civic questions at the end. All of this was conducted in English. Patricia passed the mock test three times before HCM determined that she was ready.

Accompanied by Luzmila, HCM’s Legal Representative, Patricia recently attended her third USCIS interview. At the beginning of the interview, Patricia froze once again and couldn’t move. Luzmila instinctively understood what was happening because of her training in trauma-related issues and her expertise working with victims of violent crime. As Patricia’s legal representative, Luzmila spoke with the immigration officer about how victims of abuse can react under pressure.  The officer’s tone of voice changed, he started to speak with her in a very gentle manner and he told Patricia that everything would be okay. This boost in confidence enabled Patricia to respond to all the questions, ultimately passing the test and the interview!

Luzmila believes that the officer’s exceptional attitude made a pivotal difference in this case. Patricia couldn’t contain her tears of joy upon learning that her case was approved. Luzmila said it was amazing to witness how Patricia overcame all the trauma that affected her for years. At the end of the interview, Luzmila shook hands with the officer, expressing how crucial his attitude had been to Patricia’s success. The officer humbly acknowledged Patricia’s deservingness and only asked for their prayers, recognizing the invaluable work that HCM does to support victims of domestic violence. 

Education Programming Spotlight 

Resilience, Growth and Family Healing

*Sarah, a mother of two daughters with a significant age gap, faced considerable challenges in her early years of motherhood. Struggling to balance work and parenting, Sarah relied on her mother to care for her older daughter, which created a sense of disconnection between her and her older daughter.

When Sarah welcomed her second daughter, her life took a positive turn. She enrolled in HCM’s Parents as Teachers Program, where she received invaluable support, guidance, and a nurturing community. Despite the improvement, Sarah realized the need for professional family support as a result of her estrangement from her older daughter and sought help from Holy Cross Ministries’ Counseling Program. This became a lifeline, offering emotional and psychological assistance facilitating family healing. Sarah went from feeling disconnected from her older daughter to cherishing every moment with both of her children, and the family’s growth and transformation is truly remarkable.

Sarah’s journey exemplifies resilience, growth, and the vital role played by the Parents as Teachers Program and Holy Cross Ministries. It shows that even in adversity, families can unite, heal, and flourish with the right guidance and resources, inspiring us all to embrace a brighter future. 

Health Programming Spotlight 

Finding Support and Healing

After experiencing assault, *Alejandra learned to overcome and heal from symptoms of trauma and depression. Initially, she struggled to connect with her family, including her husband and children, often withdrawing from them and experiencing frequent crying spells and panic attacks triggered by reminders of the traumatic incident.

HCM’s Counseling Program helped Alejandra gain the ability to recognize these symptoms and helped her practice grounding and relaxation skills. She also acquired cognitive reframing skills, allowing her to perceive vulnerability in expressing emotions to trusted individuals as a source of strength rather than a weakness.

Alejandra’s transformation enabled her to establish emotional connections with her husband and children, as she learned to effectively communicate and spend quality time with them. She learned to let go of negative thoughts and emotions that don’t pertain to her and were not hers to keep. Alejandra now treats herself with kindness and views herself as a survivor. 

July 2023

Education Programming Spotlight 

The Power of Early Childhood Education

HCM’s School Readiness Program celebrates the graduation of 23 students! These young achievers have completed the program successfully, with 21 of them preparing to join district schools in the upcoming fall. Among these wonderful students is *Enrique, a young boy whose journey through the program has been remarkable. 

Enrique began the School Readiness Program as a quiet and shy student who preferred to play alone rather than engage in conversation with his classmates. As time progressed, Enrique began to blossom. He made friends and gradually became more comfortable. Although Enrique was still shy, his intelligence shone through as he started distinguishing colors, shapes and mastering holding a pencil correctly to trace his own name. Enrique not only demonstrated academic success, but he also became a role model in the classroom, consistently demonstrating good behavior by following the class rules. 

On a particular occasion, Enrique started acting differently and arrived at the classroom later than usual. When approached by one of the teachers, his mother, *Estela, started crying and explained that it was due to a family situation. Recognizing the importance of support, Estela reached out to the program’s manager for guidance. When Enrique shared with one of the teachers a family scenario involving the police, the program staff took immediate action by thoroughly investigating the situation and connecting the family to various resources within HCM and the broader community. 

Our exceptional teachers go above and beyond, ensuring that every student and their families receive the help they need when they face difficult situations, extending their effort and concern beyond their classroom to support families’ overall well-being. Enrique not only completed the program but also exceeded expectations along the way, demonstrating resilience and growth with the help of our School Readiness Program teachers. Congratulations class of 2023! Off to kindergarten you go!

Health Programming Spotlight 

Navigating Medical Debt

HCM’s Community Health Worker (CHW) and Medical Debt Legal Advocate (MDLA), Carmen Cardenas, recently received a call from *Lisa, who was in desperate need of health insurance after the birth of her premature baby. Recognizing the urgency, Carmen assisted Lisa in applying for emergency Medicaid and securing Medicaid coverage for the baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). 

After a lengthy process, the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) finally approved Lisa’s and her baby’s Medicaid applications. However, Lisa still had to pay spenddown amounts (countable income you can spend down to become Medicaid eligible) for her and her baby which had accumulated to over $13,000. Carmen took the initiative to contact DWS and the hospital to confirm the amounts owed and review the processing times. After thorough investigation, Medicaid covered their portion, and the hospital approved the family for a financial aid program which covered the remaining balance. 

The total billing— including hospital bills, NICU expenses, anesthesiology, pathology and ambulance services— exceeded $300,000. The family expressed immense gratitude for Carmen’s valuable help and the support they received from HCM, which was provided free of charge. Lisa says that without Carmen’s expertise as a CHW and MDLA, she would have never been able to overcome the overwhelming medical debt. 

With HCM’s new Medical Debt Legal Advocacy Program, the first of its kind in the U.S., we can now extend assistance to numerous communities struggling with the complex and confusing medical billing system. Carmen Cardenas, CHW, has trained to serve as a bilingual Medical Debt Legal Advocate, allowing her to identify medical debt issues and advice clients on how to resolve them by providing limited-scope legal advice.

Justice Programming Spotlight 

Empowered by Support

Janet, a survivor of domestic violence, was referred to HCM by a victim advocate to receive assistance with filing for a U visa, a special visa available to crime victims who cooperate with law enforcement. Following the approval of the U visa, Janet returned to HCM to seek help in applying for her green card, which would allow her to live and work permanently in the U.S. She sought out Maribel Real, HCM’s Legal Immigration Program Manager who had guided her through the U Visa process, and trusted Maribel to provide step-by-step guidance again. 

Years after her green card approval, Janet became a U.S. citizen this year and expresses her profound gratitude towards HCM, acknowledging that the legal immigration team opened numerous doors for her. Their support not only motivated her to persevere but also empowered her to improve her life and pursue better employment opportunities to help provide more for her children. Janet also says that HCM not only provided practical assistance but also emotional support, making her feel protected and facilitating significant positive changes in her life. She also mentions that HCM has the power to transform lives, reshape mindsets and positively impact families and children. 

Janet’s son, Sergeant Bogar Diaz, who serves in the Marines, says he has seen remarkable growth in his mother’s moral and various aspects of her life. He credits HCM’s support for providing her with a sense of security and enabling her to make decisions guided by the organization. Sergeant Diaz believes that without HCM’s guidance and support, his mother’s journey would have been much more challenging. 

* In order to protect the privacy of those we serve, an alternative name and image is used for this HCM client.

April 2023

Health Programming Spotlight 

Prioritizing Clients’ Safety 

Many of our clients have been victims of domestic violence, various types of assault, or human trafficking, among other crimes. HCM’s bilingual, bicultural therapists prioritize clients’ safety by making it easier for them to receive mental health services. HCM’s Counseling Program offers stress reduction, grief and loss, and resilience groups to our clients, which provide relief and psychoeducation before, during, or after individual therapy. In addition to the groups that are currently available, our program has begun to implement a new process for prioritizing client outcomes.

During the initial intake, our therapists work with clients to develop individualized treatment plans that address the clients’ unique needs and goals. After four weeks of receiving therapy services, our clients are given a test so that our therapist can determine areas of progress and areas of concern. Depending on the results, the client and therapist decide whether the treatment plan should be continued, modified, or discontinued.  By reporting outcomes, we can continuously improve our services and provide the best possible care for our clients, empowering them and helping them build resilience as they navigate their healing journey. 

Justice Programming Spotlight 

A Dream of Becoming a U.S. Citizen Becomes a Reality

*Rosario initially received assistance for a U visa in 2008 and returned in 2013 for assistance in applying for lawful permanent residency, and again in 2021 for assistance in applying for citizenship. Rosario had cancer and was undergoing treatment at the time of her last interview, but despite her health struggles, Rosario remained determined to become a citizen and was overjoyed when she passed her citizenship test. Rosario was hospitalized and unable to walk when she received her appointment for the oath ceremony, where she could pledge her allegiance to the United States and formally become a citizen. Our immigration services manager immediately contacted the local USCIS Field Office and asked if it would be possible to have someone administer the citizenship oath at the hospital; they responded that it would be possible, but that it would take weeks. Rosario didn’t want to postpone her oath ceremony, so her daughter contacted the hospital case manager, who was able to arrange Rosario’s transportation to USCIS for the oath ceremony, and she was able to become a U.S. citizen early this year. HCM is happy for Rosario, and her story is a reminder that with determination, anything is possible.

On another occasion, HCM’s legal immigration team was also invited to meet at a local church to talk with a group of volunteers that provide assistance to displaced people in need of temporary housing.  Church leaders wanted to know how the immigration process works so that they could support families from the Ukraine arriving in Utah as refugees. HCM was honored to be able to share information and educate community leaders about temporary employment authorization and the complex process required to obtain permanent residence in the United States. Our Legal Immigration Program director, Lorina Tester, reported that “it was an incredible opportunity to meet with compassionate people who assist vulnerable populations that have limited resources available to them when they arrive in Utah.”

HCM’s attorneys and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Accredited Representatives work with immigrants and their families to gain legal status and participate fully in the community by providing consultations, legal support for immigrant victims of violence, support for humanitarian and temporary status applicants, family reunification assistance, and citizenship services. Immigration services at HCM are always provided without regard to age, gender, faith, race, ethnicity, or ability to pay.  Notably, these services are also provided at various locations in the State of Utah.  We strive to facilitate requests for assistance that come from the community – including hospitals and churches.  

Education Programming Spotlight 

Venturing for Success

Paula and Daniel Pedraza were unemployed due to the hotels where they worked closing during the COVID-19 pandemic. They saw this as an opportunity to venture and see how they could make money to cover their expenses. HCM Parents as Teachers Parent Educator Maria Elena supported the family and connected them to sewing classes around the area. Paula and Daniel first noticed a high demand for face masks after most masks in stores and online were sold out, so they decided to make cloth masks for the Park City community. The Pedraza family advertised their service on Facebook and was well received by families. They made masks for adults and children, some personalized and others with designs, which helped them cover some of their family’s expenses. As a result of their success, they began telling their friends, neighbors, and relatives that they could assist them with simple clothing alterations, and due to positive communication, they were referred to a laundromat in the city to make bags for industrial use.

The family’s entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to adapt to the needs of their community allowed them to expand their services beyond just making masks. Paula saw a need in the nail technician community for gift bags where people could keep their nail sets, so they began creating little bags with the leftover fabric from the face masks, then began looking for holiday and season-themed fabric to give out during festive days. Following a great start, they purchased a Cricut machine so they could offer a wider variety of bags and be able to personalize them. With the addition of facemasks, keychains, and hair ties, Paula and Daniel continuously explore new opportunities to grow their business, and now that summer is approaching, they started to personalize cups.

After learning about their business, our education director, Miriam Garcia, informed the Pedraza family of our Small Business Assistance Program and referred them to our coordinator, Sergio Bernabeu. This program helps immigrants and traditionally marginalized communities throughout the entrepreneurial process by guiding them and empowering them. The Pedraza family is excited to grow their small business and aspire to one day open their own online store where they can display all of their products and their customers can make a secure purchase. We hope to see the Pedrazas’ family business thrive and become a successful venture. Give funny_goodies a follow on Instagram!

* In order to protect the privacy of those we serve, an alternative name and image is used for this HCM client.

January 2023

Justice Programming Spotlight 

Welcome Back Ana Flores

We are thrilled that Ms. Ana Flores has returned to Holy Cross Ministries as an attorney. Ana began her career at HCM as a client intake specialist in 2015, shortly after she was promoted to legal assistant, and then became a Department of Justice Accredited Representative. Ana quickly realized that she was passionate about helping vulnerable immigrants obtain permanent residence and authorization to work in the United States, and she decided to apply to the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law.

Ana was well prepared for law school, having previously attended Middlebury Institute of International Studies where she earned a master’s degree in international policy with a concentration in human security and development. She also earned a bachelor of arts in global studies, attended the Danish Institute for Studying Abroad in Denmark, and successfully finished a prestigious program at the Ashesi University in Ghana.

Ana has developed a keen understanding of how important it is to promote access to immigration-related legal systems that support social justice. Over the years, she has assisted countless victims of domestic violence escape dangerous living situations and eventually become naturalized citizens. Ana also expertly provides legal services to victims of certain violent crimes, DACA recipients and displaced immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S.

HCM quietly announced that Ana would be returning to HCM’s Legal Immigration Program at the recent Autumn Harvest Benefit. Staff members were overjoyed to find out Ana is now an attorney and news traveled fast in the community. “I was amazed by the number of people who already know Ana!” says Lorina Tester, Director of the Legal Immigration Program. “When she arrived at HCM, she immediately began providing representation for our legal immigration clients, and we are truly blessed that she is back. Everyone in the Holy Cross family hopes that she will be with us for many years to come.”

Education Programming Spotlight 

A Memorable Christmas

Every year, Toys for Tots donates toys to our families in our education programs, bringing joy to the faces of many children. To distribute these toys, our education director and manager planned a Christmas drive-thru celebration with the help of volunteers and supporters. This year, 41 volunteers from Park City Sunrise Rotary and South Summit Interact Club spent an estimate of 104 hours unpacking and preparing gifts. 

Gifts were distributed to 56 families from the Parents as Teachers Program and the School Readiness Program. In addition to the toys, thanks to Park City Sunrise Rotary, families also received a $50.00 gift card, a bag of ingredients to make a warm and delicious hot chocolate, instant photos, and the opportunity to meet Santa! We are grateful to all our volunteers and supporters for making this day so special for so many of our families.

Health Programming Spotlight 

Wraparound Services for Esteban

*Esteban was contacted by Carmen Cardenas, one of HCM’s community health worker/promotoras, who learned that Esteban had no medical or dental benefits, was struggling with food insecurity, and was unsure where to turn for assistance with his needs. Along with all these issues, Esteban was also not feeling well, lacked the financial means to seek medical attention, had a language barrier, and lost a significant portion of his small family business.

Carmen jumped in and assisted Esteban in applying for Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as well as in contacting other community resources for immediate assistance, as there were many available to assist with medical needs. She also met with him at the 4th Street Clinic to ensure he received the necessary medical care for his illness. They were able to schedule appointments for dental, vision, and health care together. Carmen and Esteban collaborated for months to submit numerous applications for services that Esteban qualified for.

HCM offers wraparound services to all our clients, one of which is the Small Business Assistance Program. This program assists immigrants and traditionally marginalized communities in obtaining resources to start or grow their businesses. Esteban’s small business was financially impacted by the pandemic, and he was forced to sell his home. Carmen connected him to HCM’s Small Business Assistance Coordinator, Claire Shaver, and together they applied for several grants to help his business.

Esteban recently contacted Carmen to inform her that he had been approved for all the services they had applied for and was extremely grateful for the assistance that our organization provided him in working through the application process. He is now waiting to hear back about the small business grants, and he expressed his gratitude to Carmen for connecting him with community resources and taking the time to help, explain, and complete applications that assist people with their specific needs.

 

 

HCM's Promotor/a Health Outreach Staff

* In order to protect the privacy of those we serve, an alternative name and image is used for these HCM clients.

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