Everyone has a story about where they have been and what they have overcome. Staff at Hispanics United are exposed to stories and events every day that remind us how important it is to reach out to this community and support them through struggles and towards success.
Living in a Basement for a Week
A homeless refugee family recently walked into the organization. They spent their first week in Buffalo in a basement without heat or electricity. With limited resources, they were referred to HUB's Food Pantry. Learning of their living arrangements, a case manager placed them into emergency shelter. With limited English proficiency, the organization assisted them in applying for welfare. Within a day the family was approved, and within two days HUB found the family an apartment. The family is transitioning into new housing and applying for further government assistance programs.
This is one of the many situations refugees encounter when entering into the states. HUB looks to be one of many resources for the refugee community.
Escaping Domestic Violence: Becoming Self-Sufficient
A client came to the organization in November looking to break away from a domestic violence relationship. The client was immediately placed in a shelter, and assisted in finding a new apartment. HUB was able to give the client one month rent to begin the transition into a better life for the client and child. Two months later, the client successfully transformed her life and became motivated and determined to be self-sufficient. The client has a GED and is now looking to enroll into higher education.
After growing from the experience, becoming secure, and working her way up little by little, the client is applying for employment, keeping a positive attitude, and attending support group voluntarily. Through support group the client has been able to determine priorities in life and begin to work towards them.
"Success stories are people who are on their way to finding a job and becoming independent. People who don't need the government to carry them."
- Ada Rodriguez, DV Case Manager
From the Streets to the Business World
An 18-year-old client came to Buffalo from Puerto Rico homeless and pregnant. Looking to start life over she began working at a local gas station as a cashier until she worked her way up to an assistant manager. After two years she was laid off with the slow economy.
She soon had her baby, but because of her financial situation, she sent her baby to Puerto Rico to live with her mother until she could rebuild her life again.
She began her Medical Secretary Certification at the Adult Learning Center, but when she began struggling to find a job, she was referred to the Pre-Employment Department at Hispanics United. At HUB she developed a resume, learned interviewing techniques, and had mock interviews. The organization’s Housing Department helped the client search for an apartment and receive baby furniture. In February, 2010, she completed Job Readiness Training and was referred to Skyview Learning Group to improve her skills.
The client has recently accepted a position at Kaleida Health and looks to bring her baby back to Buffalo in the Spring of 2011.
This is a success story that touches many of the employees’ hearts in the Pre-Employment Department. With her drive to succeed from what little she was given, she has truly been an inspiration to the community.
"If you want something, you can do it no matter how hard it is."
- Adriana Gonzales-O'Dell, Educational Resources Manager
Success Comes with Passion and Drive
At the end of 2009, a client was referred to the Pre-Employment Department from Social Services. The client was enrolled into English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in hopes of improving English proficiency and finding a job. The client received job coaching and Job Readiness Training, and she became determined to excel within the program.
In less than a year, the client reached the highest level of ESL classes, and now was confident to take the next step and apply for a job. Through an Application Day at Hispanics United, the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel held open interviews for community members to apply for various positions. With high English proficiency, the client was offered a position in Housekeeping at the hotel.
The client has been employed since August, 2010, and continues to come to HUB for support and assistance.
Looking for a Better Life...
A family came to the organization from Puerto Rico in June looking for a second chance at having a better life. With a small amount of money in their pockets and no place to stay, HUB was able to find the family an emergency apartment the same day. The landlord offered the husband a job assisting in maintenance and slight property management. In August the family transitioned into a new apartment and the husband began the Welfare to Work program. By September the husband was given the opportunity to become a staff member at Hispanics United working in Maintenance.
He has been an inspiration to not only other clients, but the employees within the organization. Six months into the program the family is the most self-driven clients the Housing Department has seen.
The daughter is currently enrolled into school and wife is working on earning her GED.
This is one of the many situations Hispanics United encounters every week. It is families like this one that keeps the organization motivated and in high spirits.
"This is what I would consider to be a self-sufficient family within the program."
- Jennifer Arroyo, Case Manager
"If you think you are victim of domestic violence, please contact the HUB 24 hour confidential hotline at 716-481-8867"
- Domestic Violence Court Advocate