Millage Recipient Profile - Hispanic Center of Western Michigan
Located in the heart of Roosevelt Park, the largest Latino neighborhood in Grand Rapids, the Hispanic Center serves more than 12,000 individuals annually. The mission of the Hispanic Center is to educate, advocate, and empower Latinos in West Michigan.
The Hispanic Center received funding for two of its programs and services through the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage beginning in 2021. One of the programs is for Navigation Services. Through this service, the Hispanic Center will support expectant mothers and parents with children age five and younger by providing them with opportunities to access resources and programs to enhance the development of their children. The focus on the whole family to assist with their basic needs will help them reach self-sufficiency.
In a letter of recommendation to the Resident Proposal Review Committee, we heard from Lucy Dyer Joswick, MYD, Executive Director for Camp Blodgett. She said, “By adding on staffing to their existing navigation and support services, the Latino community is gaining a trusted leader in the early childhood team. One who brings decades of trust and experience with this critical target population.”
The Hispanic Center was also chosen for its translation and interpretation services. The Center’s Language Services Department will provide translation and interpretation services to Ready by Five partner agencies. These services provided to expectant mothers and families with children age five and younger will be available in-person, via video, and over the phone. Although specializing in Spanish and its dialects, the Hispanic Center’s team offers more than 80 languages for both written and verbal services.
The Hispanic Center truly listens to the community members. They take the time to develop programs based on feedback from members of the Latino population and include local voices in their decision making. Other programs and services offered by the Hispanic Center include domestic violence support, addiction support groups, youth internship opportunities, a preschool site for bilingual children, workforce development, and community outreach. Learn more at www.hispanic-center.org.