Expanding our community programs was a major objective for Hispanic Federation last year. Working with our member agencies we added a number of initiatives that ranged from money management to technical training for agency staff:
Mi Primera Casa: Homeownership is often a key to financial stability and building wealth. But in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008, lenders made the process of securing a mortgage more difficult than ever. The “¡Mi Primera Casa!” or “My First Home,” campaign builds awareness about needed reforms to the mortgage system. In addition, HF partnered with the New York Urban League to launch a new advocacy and community education project to increase Latino and Black homeownership rates and calling on the President to end the 2008 conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so these institutions can again begin to facilitate homeownership in low-income communities.
Hispanic Lung Health Education: Lung diseases exact a heavy toll on Latino communities. In 2015, Hispanic Federation launched a Hispanic Lung Health Education Campaign, which focuses primarily on asthma education and management while also touching on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and smoking cessation. HF and several member agencies sponsored asthma workshops and screenings for nearly 1,500 individuals and hosted a series of radio programs with a total reach estimated at 120,000 Latinos.
Friends of Immigrant Refugee Children (FIRM): The unaccompanied child migrant crisis of 2014 was heart-rending. But while media attention on the issues diminished in 2015, thousands of child migrants continued making the dangerous crossing across the U.S.-Mexico border. Hispanic Federation launched its FIRM program in order to establish a sense of community for unaccompanied minors, many of whom are dealing with the trauma of fear and loss due to the violence they witnessed in their home countries, the harrowing journey they took to get to the United States, as well as from their experiences in the U.S. court and foster care systems. In 2015, over 300 refugee children signed up to be part of this program.
Entre Familia: The backbone of our member agencies is their staff. Men and women who work tirelessly to serve their communities. In 2015, HF launched the “Entre Familia” initiative, a new capacity-building series which provides member agency staff with professional development through training in cutting-edge industry practices. During our first year we provided a total of 19 workshops serving 415 Latino nonprofit practitioners.