Grantee Spotlight - Puentes de Esperanza
June 23, 2015
Community outreach is the heart of Puentes de Esperanza, and it's what allows them to provide help whenever and wherever it is needed. Every day they receive countless requests for services and assistance from non-English speaking residents across Southwest Illinois. With a fully bilingual staff and a growing reputation as the only service provider in the Metro East serving the limited English-speaking Spanish population, Puentes works across multiple systems in order to help those in need.
When a fire broke out in a trailer park in a Hispanic community and not a single first responder spoke Spanish, Puentes staff was there. They helped the limited English-speaking residents understand the situation, translated between police, firemen, and healthcare professionals, and connected them with vital resources in the community. And when language barriers threatened a young man's medical condition, Puentes provided critical one-on-one support for him and his family. Puentes helped the family navigate the complicated healthcare system so that they would better understand what was happening and he would have access to consistent and necessary treatment.
Puentes not only meets the basic human needs of non-speaking residents in the region, but they also provide opportunities for community advocacy and education. By teaching residents how to do for themselves rather than always doing for them, Puentes encourages a sense of competency, self-sufficiency, and dignity for non-English speaking residents in the region.
Images provided by Puentes de Esperanza