CARECENCentral American Resource Center
Thanks to several foundations, the DC Housing Department, and lenders such as Bank of America and the La Raza Development Fund, CARECEN had the good fortune to celebratethe inauguration of its new ofﬁces in 2005. Consistent with our tradition of service tothe community, our new ofﬁce space is part of a three building complex that also includesa number of units of affordable housing for low to moderate income families. Celebrat-ing with us that joyous day were seven families who had ﬁnally realized their dream of becoming homeowners, purchasing a condominium unit in CARECEN’s mixed-usedevelopment project at half the market price.During 2005, our service to the community also included providing direct assistance tonearly 5,000 Latinos in the Washington metropolitan area. In addition, thousands morebeneﬁted from our outreach advocacy efforts.2005 also marked CARECEN’s adoption of an outcome based planning model developedby the Kellogg Foundation which provides a framework for measuring not only the num-ber and types of services delivered, but also how effective these services are in helping recipients to achieve an improved quality of life. For example, our goal for our citizenshipstudents is not simply to have them complete the citizenship class, but to insure that atleast 85% of them pass a mock interview at the conclusion of the course, thus signaling that they have gained sufﬁcient knowledge to pass the actual naturalization examination.Given that the average citizenship student at CARECEN is a middle-aged woman with only a few years of formal education, achieving an 85% pass rate is a signiﬁcant accomplish-ment.In 2005, CARECEN helped many families stay together or be reunited by assisting clientsto complete the immigration procedures that made it possible for spouses, or for parentsand their children, to once again live under the same roof.For many low-income Latino immigrants, keeping their homes in the District became anincreasing challenge in 2005 as gentriﬁcation became more pronounced in many Districtneighborhoods. However, with help of CARECEN, many tenants were able to challengeunlawful rent increases and defend against efforts to force them to leave their apart-ments.So, this is the 2005 story we want to tell you, a story of how Latinos served by CARECEN were able to stand up, work and live while making strides toward achieving full recogni-tion in the nation’s capital and the metropolitan area.
BOARD/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MESSAGE
The Immigration Legal Services Program defends the legal rights of Central Americansand other Latinos residing in the DC metropolitan area by providing quality, low or nocost, bilingual legal services including legal counseling and assistance in applying for a variety of immigration beneﬁts, including temporary protected status, permanent resi-dence and citizenship.
Making a Difference in 2005:
Informed 1032 Latino immigrants of the legal options available to them,thereby making them less likely to become victims of unscrupulous im-migration consultants.Helped 1023 Salvadorans to re-register for Temporary Protected Status(TPS), making it possible for them to continue supporting their families. Assisted 37 legal permanent residents and 575 other Latinos with pending immigration applications to renew their work authorization documents,insuring their continued employmentHelped 166 Latino immigrants to apply for legal permanent residence,moving them one step closer to citizenship. Aided 47 legal permanent residents living in the United States to apply forcitizenship opening the door to greater civic participation.
With the support of local businesses, CARECEN opened a branch ofﬁce in Virginia to fa-cilitate the participation in our activities of Latinos from that area. Classes on citizenshipand civic participation were initiated.