WHITE PLAINS, NY — Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino joined Westchester Independent Living Center (WILC) today to officially launch La Fuente, a new website and coalition of service providers devoted to helping Spanish-speaking residents gain access to information about jobs and health benefits, social services, and education opportunities.
“It is so vitally important that Westchester’s growing Hispanic community has access to the information it needs,” Astorino said. “La Fuente will complement the county’s efforts to better serve our vibrant Hispanic population.”
The latest U.S. Census shows that Westchester’s Latino population grew 44 percent between 2000 and 2010. During that same period, the total population of Westchester County grew by less than 3 percent.
Since its inception in 1981, WILC has maintained a steady presence in Westchester as one of the leading advocacy organizations for individuals with disabilities. WILC developed La Fuente in an effort to help connect Latinos to services while also facilitating better coordination among service agencies. The new website can be viewed at www.LaFuenteNY.org.
“The ultimate benefit will be if people who are Latino can find what they need in the community,” said Joseph Bravo, executive director of WILC. “That is the challenge and that is the objective of La Fuente. We need to help connect the Latino population with the resources we know are out there, but many Latinos are not availing themselves of what’s being provided.”
Astorino shares the commitment to expanding Spanish-language content. He has done so by initiating a dedicated Spanish section on the county’s website at www.westchestergov.com/enacción. In addition, Westchester County partners with the United Way of Westchester and Putnam’s 2-1-1 helpline, which provides free, multi-lingual support for those in need of assistance.
“There are so many great resources available to the people of Westchester, and we don’t want language to be a barrier,” Astorino said. “That’s why partnerships such as these are so beneficial for the county. I also want to thank the Westchester Hispanic Advisory Board for helping to identify the need for this outreach with La Fuente.”
Among other critical issues, La Fuente aims to address questions about child care, domestic violence, family court services, housing, immigration, health care, English language services, employment, medical information, transportation, and more. WILC’s Minority Outreach Program offers direct services in both English and Spanish and works with numerous community agencies.
To learn more about partnering with La Fuente, contact Tamaris Princi at (914) 682-3986.
Member organizations currently include:
· Westchester Independent Living Center
· AZOR Home Health Care
· Cancer Services of the Hudson Valley
· Family Service Society of Younkers
· Fidelis Care of New York
· Food Bank for Westchester
· Hope’s Door
· Lower West Side Household Services
· Open Door
· Parent Training and Information Center
· The VIVE School
· Westchester ARC
· Westchester Hispanic Law Enforcement Association
· Westchester Institute for Human Development
· Westchester Residential Opportunities
· YAI Network