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Join an organization the promotes Latine thriving

Posted by | Catholic Charities Communications

A long-established service organization working with Oregon’s Latine community is seeking new board members to sustain its life-giving mission.


El Programa Hispano Catòlico, a member of the Catholic Charities of Oregon network, serves about 32,000 individuals annually via efforts in economic sustainability, education, community wellness, domestic violence healing and sexual violence survivor support.

The vision of El Programa is a Latine community living to its fullest potential. Board members place high importance on providing high quality services to the Latine community.

A board recruitment happy hour is set for Thursday, June 6, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. at the El Programa office, 333 SE 223rd Ave., #100, Gresham, OR 97030.

It will be a casual evening of networking, mingling, and an opportunity to learn more about using skills for a good cause.

El Programa Hispano Catòlico’s roots go back to 1982, when a small group of outreach workers from Catholic Charities began to provide services to Latine migrant farmworkers in East Multnomah County.

In the 1990s, El Programa expanded to meet the pressing needs of the fast-growing Latine community by connecting them to adequate housing, food security, healthcare resources, legal services, translation assistance, and domestic violence prevention and education.

In 1995, EPHC hired its first domestic violence advocate, marking the beginning of UNICA, Oregon’s first fully bi-lingual and bi-cultural response and prevention program for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. At this point, El Programa Hispano established itself as a trusted place for domestic violence survivors seeking refuge.

As the demographics in Oregon changed and the Latine population quickly grew, so did their needs. El Programa has continued to respond to those needs by developing additional programs and critical services.  

The mission of El Programa is to “advance racial equity and social justice through the power of our Latine culture, community, and self-determination.”

Natalie Wood, executive director of Catholic Charities of Oregon, is herself Latine and an El Programa board member. She urges leaders to consider joining the cause.

“El Programa Hispano Catòlico has a unique and powerful role in Oregon, applying the beautiful Catholic social justice principles for children, abuse survivors, families and seniors,” Wood says. “This smart organization has set just the right path to help a community thrive. And now it needs bright leaders to keep it moving forward.”

To register for the free happy hour, go to the link:




Services of El Programa Hispano Catòlico

Education — Early education helps fill gaps in readiness. A summer program advances early success in learning. Education reengagement supports young adults who are at risk of leaving school. Family advocates work alongside families to help reduce barriers and stressors in the home and promote self-sufficiency so that students can learn.

Support for survivors –The state’s first bilingual/bicultural domestic and sexual violence survivor program offers round-the-clock support. Services include urgent response, case management, housing stabilization, legal and medical advocacy, peer group and mental health help. A youth program aims to prevent future abuse.

Community wellness – Meals, groceries, activities and case management assist seniors. A mobile health van provides accessible health care and dentistry.

Economic sustainability – Programs offer rent aid, utility bill help, and offer education in improving earning potential. Legal support can prevent eviction and discrimination.