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Three Questions with… Lorna Velazquez of Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley

Velazquez_Lorna - HCLV1. What is the Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley and what does it do for the community?

Our mission at HCLV is to improve the quality of life of Hispanic and other families by empowering them to become more self-sufficient, while promoting an intercultural understanding in the Lehigh Valley. We believe in a community that embraces economic opportunity for all and sees its cultural diversity as a foundation for building a stronger society and a more vibrant economy. We all believe at the heart of change is the individual’s desire and willingness to pursue a path toward their own independence and self-sufficiency. In order to achieve our mission, HCLV uses unique programming to promote education, health and wellness, and case management services.

Our goal to empower our community members in becoming more self-sufficient is realized through our programs and services, which include our Community Empowerment Program, Food Pantry, Senior Center and WIC (Women, Infants and Children) http://www.hclv.org/programs/. This model is an innovative approach to helping a community in need overcome systemic obstacles that are perpetuated by a lack of cohesion between various social services. By creating a one-stop shop where clients can learn job skills, explore employment opportunities, access basic human services, receive mental health services and connect to vital, quality healthcare, the Fowler Hispanic Community Wellness Center to be completed in Spring 2017 will make a profound difference in the community.

 

2. How do PNLV and HCLV work together? What goals do the two organizations share?

PNLV and HCLV have a strong partnership. They currently work alongside a group of partners with like missions offering monthly dinners as a way to promote community engagement. This is only the start of a long-term partnership where we will coordinate our efforts to serve our community. This allows us to both share resources and complement each other’s work. We share common goals. HCLV’s mission and PNLV’s nine promises go hand in hand. We both serve to strengthen our community.

 

3. What projects will you be working on with PNLV this year?

HCLV is in the process of renovating our Fowler building located at 502 E. 4th Street, Bethlehem. Once renovated, we will create a Center for Integrative Health, a one-stop shop of programs and services for our community members. We are working to have PNLV Bethlehem staff housed in our building.

 

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