|Help Hispanic leaders to better respond to the needs of newly arrived immigrants in the St. Louis community|
The St. Louis metropolitan area has been one of the fastest growing areas in the country for immigrants, both documented and undocumented. Many of the new immigrants are Latina single mothers, dealing with significant trauma experienced in their home country, during their migration, and now in their adjustment to life in the United States. Most can readily find work but they are vulnerable to exploitation as they try to adjust. Without advocates to help them navigate their new situation, many feel lost.
An additional crisis that these families experience is that because mothers often work two jobs at odd hours, their children are not always provided with the kind of adult supervision they need.
Most of these immigrants are hesitant to reach out for services either because of their undocumented status or their fear of seeking services impacting their path to citizenship. Most rely on people they know from their country of origin and their clans. This networking although vital for their survival, often leads them into situations of exploitation from landlords, unscrupulous employers and ill-informed friends who provide inaccurate information.
Sr. Rosario Bobadilla was working in the Hispanic community and noticed a growing trend of single mothers needing assistance. In 2018, she found funding for 12 Latinx leaders to attend a workshop to develop skills to better organize the Catholic Latinx community to respond to the needs of newly arrived immigrants.
Two priorities noted by Sr. Rosario are: 1) obtaining support for safe and appropriate housing, and 2) adding resources to address the danger of teenagers and young adults who are being lured into gangs.
Funds Needed: $50,000
How funds will be used:
- Rent and utilities assistance for a minimum of 25 families: $25,000
- Youth leader training and programming: $25,000
Hispanic leaders will be better prepared to serve the St. Louis immigrant community, helping them to adjust materially, culturally, emotionally and spiritually through home visits, telephone support and community programming.
Supporting Hispanic Leaders Helping Migrants Better Adjust to Their New Community