Su Casa helps immigrants feel at home

Formed in 1997 in response to an influx of immigrants from Latin America, Su Casa was the first organization in the region to focus on the needs of a new generation of Cincinnati newcomers.

Originated at St. Charles of Borromeo Church, Su Casa entered under the umbrella of Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio in 2005; today it is recognized as one of the first places new immigrants go to help find their way in Cincinnati. Su Casa, a social service center, helps more than 100 families each month with everything from shelter, healthcare, employment and a place to feel welcomed.

Through its 14 years in Elwood Place, Su Casa has adapted to the needs of every person who comes through the doors. Major areas remain providing information and referrals, health promotion and literacy education.  With a Hispanic population that has doubled in the past 20 years—local estimates now range from 30,000 to 40,000—the city’s residents have a growing need for Su Casa services.

Workers at Su Casa assist clients in finding health care providers, obtaining food stamps and dealing with legal issues. Health services can include everything from finding a doctor to workshops about topics from domestic violence to asthma. Literacy education ranges from basic language classes to GED classes in both Spanish and English.

“Everyone has different needs,” says Giovanna Alvarez, director of Su Casa. “We do our best to help everyone that comes to us.”

Sustained through grants, donations and fees for some of their services, Su Casa’s social workers work with volunteers who even provide yoga and piano lessons. Their well-rounded approach enables immigrants to locate services and support, as well as establish a new and healthy life in Cincinnati.

Do Good:

Volunteer: With a wide variety of programs, there is a wide variety of volunteer needs.

Donate: Every bit helps Su Casa to integrate new immigrants into the community.

Attend: Su Casa’s annual banquet and silent auction and help support their mission.

By Evan Wallis
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