08/04/04 — Center opens to help Hispanics acclimate to new home

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Center opens to help Hispanics acclimate to new home

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 4, 2004 1:57 PM

A community center designed to provide assistance and information to the rising population of Latino residents opened its doors this week.

The Hispanic Community Development Center, at 1462 Arrington Bridge Road in Dudley, has been two years in the making.

Willie Cartegena, executive director, says it is has been "one step at a time" to bring the dream of a center to a reality.

Though the two-office building is small, the mission is broad. The hope is to respond to the needs of Hispanics in Wayne and surrounding counties.

All services will be free, and the goal goes beyond having social gatherings. There are plans for clinics and assistance in handling problems with domestic violence, drugs and alcohol.

There will also be help in areas related to immigration law; Social Services; law enforcement; medical and dental; educational, tutorial, guidance and abuse counseling; job assistance; and housing.

Simply put, Cartegena said, the center is a means to help Hispanics improve the quality of life in the community they now call home.

School board member Shirley Sims, who attended the grand opening ceremonies on Monday, said she supported the effort.

"It's a site where people can come to bring their problems and concerns," she said.

The center will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon. The phone number is 580-9073.