The Center for Hispanic Resources was developed in response to the largely unmet needs of Spanish-speaking individuals in the Chester community. Its mission is to help local Hispanic residents learn about and obtain community resources. The Center for Hispanic Resources is a one-stop-shop that connects program participants and other individuals with a wide range of services, including case management, translation, appointment scheduling, health education, assistance with applications and agency referrals. El Centro, which is part of the women and children’s programs of The Foundation for Delaware County, is designed to meet a broad array of needs within the Hispanic population. It is located at The Ruth Bennett Learning Center, 1350 W. 9th Street, Chester, Pa., and is open Wednesdays only, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The center’s staff members are volunteers from the foundation’s Healthy Start program’s bilingual staff. They include Erica Loizos, Jan-Melisse De la Cruz and Daisy Artiles-Strekis, who are Healthy Start bilingual case managers. Each provides home visiting and case management services for a large immigrant and Spanish speaking population in Delaware County. Their genuine commitment is based on their understanding of the needs and concerns of families they serve.
Loizos and her family are originally from El Salvador. For three years, she has been a passionate advocate for the Hispanic/Latino community.
De la Cruz is a native of Puerto Rico, and her family is of Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban dissent. Her mix of cultures gives her a keen awareness and understanding of what families need. She is passionate, full of energy and optimistic about the development of the center.
Artiles-Strekis is the center’s coordinator. Although born in the United States to parents who emigrated from Honduras, her upbringing was Honduran. Her parents instilled in her an intense sense of her culture, language, food, music and of helping and supporting family, friends and community. That sense of working to help others became a passion that has led to her career choices and way of living.
Interpretation and translation services also are available through several of the foundation’s other programs, including Cribs for Kids, Healthy Start, Nurse-Family Partnership and WIC.