Local Outreach To The Hispanic Community

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

October 15, 2005

The Church of the Incarnation and a bunch of local non-profit groups hosted a Hispanic community outreach initiative.

"Most people are not aware of services that they may be eligible for, and when talking to different agencies, the agencies are a little bit off balanced in terms of attending to people who don't speak English," said Peter Loach, Deputy Director of Operations for Piedmont Housing Alliance.

In an effort to improve interaction between the Hispanic community and local resource groups, local volunteers set up shop with information about a variety of services from housing to health.

"Last year we saw a significant increase in our Spanish speaking patients," said Erika Viccellio, Executive Director of the Charlottesville Free Clinic. "There are definitely more people in need of our services in this community, and this has been a great event for that."

"In the Charlottesville area, the Hispanic community the population itself has more than doubled in the last ten years," added Loach. "It's probably the fastest growing demographic in Virginia."

With the growing number of Spanish speaking residents, operations like the Charlottesville Transit Service believe spreading the word about their services is critical.

"We are working together to let people know how to get from point A to point B to be able to access all of the wonderful health, housing, educational services and job opportunities that are in our community," said Diane Taylor, Marketing Director for Charlottesville Transit Services.

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