Since its opening in 1998, the Sisters of Charity Multi-Service Center–Casa de Esperanza– continues to be a vibrant and welcoming center dedicated to improving the lives of new immigrants. Casa provides a safe haven where all are welcomed and treated with dignity and respect. Through the fostering of community and responding to the needs of the people, the Sisters of Charity and Casa’s volunteers seek to live out the Mission of Charity with all who come.
Directed by Sisters Jean Bocian, SC, and Terese McElroy, SC, it has expanded over the years to meet the complex set of needs faced by this population.
Thousands have been served by Casa de Esperanza, and the numbers are growing. While the majority of Casa’s families have come to the U.S. from Mexico and Latin America, others are from countries such as Haiti and the Middle East. Most have little education or other resources. What they do have is a strong desire to work hard and to make a better life for their families.
Among the many services offered at Casa are: ESL Classes, citizenship preparation, babysitting during classes, food and clothing, translation, networking, advocacy, as well as job opportunities in the local area and on-site. These on-site jobs include childcare, cleaning, and the cottage industries of sewing and food preparation/service. Legal aid is also provided through an onsite immigration lawyer.
Key to living the Charity charism at Casa is entering into relationship with Casa’s people, for in the relationship all are changed and graced by each other. Responding to the needs of a poor, undocumented population requires great flexibility, creativity and collaboration. The negative climate towards the new immigrant continuously challenges all at Casa to create a safe environment where immigrants are treated with dignity and respect, and have a voice to speak for themselves. The sense of belonging to an inclusive community fuels and fosters systemic change in their lives. Those served are deeply grateful for the friendship and community they experience at Casa de Esperanza and willingly spread it to the larger community.
Email CASA at: SCMULTICASA@aol.com