Our mission is to educate and empower Hispanic/Latino individuals and families toward thriving, self-sufficient, and healthy lives. We seek to serve Hispanic/Latino families in Council Bluffs, a population that grew 112% in Council Bluffs from the year 2000 to 2010.
Within this program, we help clients address their family's immediate needs by connecting them to resources to meet those essential needs. We serve as a bilingual and bi-cultural resource navigation service that guides clients through all of their options to find the right resources available for their current need, such as pantry services, housing assistance, and rental and utility assistance. We also guide clients through Medicaid, SNAP, and unemployment applications when they qualify and are in need of such services. Lastly, the program also assists clients with completing job applications and creating resumes in order to guide them toward self-sufficiency.
Civic Engagement and Leadership
This program empowers Latino residents to become civically engaged by meeting with their representatives, pursuing citizenship, and through voter registration. By doing this we strive to empower our local Hispanic/Latino community to have a stronger voice and enhanced their engagement in Pottawattamie County. We also call a quarterly meeting of the Council Bluffs Lideres Council, comprised of Hispanic/Latino leaders across different sectors and backgrounds in Council Bluffs. This group convenes to discuss issues affecting the local Latino community and contemplates way to collaborate and address those issues.
In this program we provide Spanish HiSET classes for Spanish speaking adult learners. The HiSET is Iowa's version of the GED exam/diploma. Participants go through classes that teaches them the curriculum that they need to learn to successfully complete all five exams required to obtain their HiSET diploma.
Immigration Legal Services
In partnership with the Immigrant Legal Center (ILC), we house a full-time ILC immigration attorney at Centro Latino. The ILC is a nonprofit immigration legal service provider specializing in domestic violence, child welfare, and refugee and asylum law. They have comprehensive knowledge of immigration law and provide the expertise to know which option is the best for individual clients.
We strive to building bridges in Southwest Iowa to increase understanding, collaboration, and compassion between the local Latino community and the at-large community. We do this through educational presentations to local groups and through our annual Latino Festival.