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December 31

La Casa de la Raza

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Organization Mission

La Casa de la Raza, the Cesar Chavez Center was founded in 1971 to provide a non-profit community center on the Eastside of Santa Barbara. The mission of La Casa is to develop and empower the Latino community by affirming and preserving the Latino cultural heritage, providing an umbrella for services and by advocating for participation in the larger community. La Casa de la Raza provides both direct support and innovative programming to help individuals and families better themselves in the greater Santa Barbara community. Its general services include a Family Resource Center, Youth Center, and Cultural Arts Events. Through a spectrum of need-based programming, La Casa works to empower community members of all ages with information and skills needed to overcome obstacles and achieve personal successes. Most services and programming are offered year round free of charge.
Over 2000 people will walk through our doors on a monthly basis, serving over 21,000 people yearly.

The Big Idea:
Family Resource Center’s Sabadito Saludable/Healthy Saturday

La Casa de la Raza’s Family Resource Center provides consumer rights and advocacy through referrals and assistance with issues such as health; housing; tenant, worker, and legal rights; and translation of legal documents. Our clients are among the most isolated and undeserved in our community. Our “Big Idea” is to hold “Sabadito Saludable/Healthy Saturday” beginning January 2018. These bilingual workshops and support groups for adults and youth will focus on immigration/legal rights and responsibilities, mental and physical wellness, cultural arts, and self-care. This bimonthly workshop series will serve up to 200 families for free.

I first came to La Casa in 2014 when I join the mental health support group. My diabetes was out of control and I would cry every day because we could not afford the medication. My husband is a cancer survivor and was working full time but our budget was limited. I spoke to staff at La Casa and with their help obtained health insurance and took nutrition classes offered at La Casa. I can tell you that I am now very educated about my illness and feel healthy. I also want to add that my husband and I are now U.S. Citizens thanks to La Casa’s staff that supported us through the whole process. The most important and unique thing about La Casa is the quality of service by staff. They make us all feel safe, respected and most important, they make us feel like we are family. The staff always has a solution to our needs and issues. They always give you hope. We need La Casa now more than ever.

— Maria Ofelia Lopez, Age 58, Santa Barbara