Health Equity Navigation

Health Equity Navigation

Providing King County families with assistance enrolling and applying for different services pertaining to their health care and basic needs.

This program aims to strengthen access to health services for low-income immigrants, refugees, and limited English-speaking families across the Puget Sound area. As a partner in the King County HealthierHere Consortium, we work with State, Regional and local healthcare and social service providers to connect people with services. These include health care, crisis intervention, food, childcare, affordable housing, tenant rights, legal services, advocacy, education programs and more. El Centro de la Raza and the WA State Dept of Health ‘Care Connect’ Program is currently providing regional support to locate and enroll in appropriate public services that are needed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our navigation staff assess participants immediate needs, identify available programs and services, determine eligibility, assist with enrollment, and remain engaged through what are often lengthy and complicated procedures.  

Eligibility Requirement

  • King County Residents

Program Managers

Susan Banhegyi

Susan was born in Venezuela and believes in the importance of understanding the culture and providing information in both Spanish and English. She has over 30 years of experience as a Social Worker working primarily with the Latino community, with 20 of those years working with domestic violence victims. She volunteers her time as a shelter advocate, facilitator and trainer for domestic violence programs.

For more information or to get help, please contact Susan!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Health Equity Navigation?

This program supports participants who are in need of assistance with anything that cause health care concerns. This includes finding affordable medical services, lack of food or housing or any other concerns that could cause mental or physical disadvantages.

How long can I stay in the program?

Once you are considered stable and have been referred to the appropriate program or has received the service needed, then your case will be closed.

After my Case is closed can I still get help?

Absolutely! We always assist anyone as long as their needs are something that can be advocated for by a Health Equity Navigator.

Partners

Best Start for Kids – Youth & Family Homelessness Prevention

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Best Start for Kids – Youth & Family Homelessness Prevention

We help youth or family at risk of becoming homeless to receive the support needed to resolve their housing crisis quickly, and to empower households to maintain stable housing for the future.

This program is part of coordinated system of addressing homelessness throughout King County, working to resolve housing crisis before they result in a housing loss. We focus on addressing the immediate issues placing the family or youth at risk of homelessness. We can help negotiate payments plans with your landlord, connect you to additional supports, and limited assistance with rent and housing costs in combination with case management.

Eligibility Requirement

  • Youth and young adults (12-24) and families with children under the age of 24.
  • Households must be at imminent risk of homelessness and considered highly vulnerable to becoming homeless without assistance
  • Family cannot stabilize without help (example: higher wage, lower rent, social supports).
  • History of homelessness and evictions

Program Managers

Bere Sanchez Headshot

Bere Sanchez, YFHPI Case Manager

Bere has over 10 years of experience working in social services. She has a passion for working with large diverse communities in King County.

Please contact Bere to get help!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does YFHPI NOT do?

This is not a rental assistance program and we cannot provide an ongoing rental subsidy.

Can my Case Manager pay my rent?

If there is rental debt associated with your current situation and you are at risk of becoming literally homeless, your case manager will discuss options with you. Some rental assistance may be available. If you are already being evicted, we have other programs to help.

Partners

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Government Benefits

Government Benefits

We assist veterans, seniors, and other vulnerable community members living in King County to apply for and receive public benefits.

Our Government Benefits Navigators can assist you in applying for food assistance, health insurance, veterans benefits, unemployment applications, Social Security, affordable housing, energy assistance and Medical and Family Leave in Washington.

Eligibility Requirement

  • King County Resident
  • Be a Veteran, Senior or Low-Income

Program Managers

Karen Calvo, Government Benefits Navigator

Karen is a Government Benefits Navigator with 10 years of experience helping advocate for the Latino community. She loves to assist qualifying families and individuals to apply and receive state and Federal benefits.

Contact Karen to get help or ask questions!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you able to answer/help with legal questions?

No, we are not able to offer any legal advice.

Can you help me find affordable housing?

We can assist you with filling out the King County Housing Authority Waitlist application.

Can you interpret for me at my medical, court, other meetings or appointments?

No, we are unable to provide interpretation services.

Partners

Senior Hub

Senior Hub

Nutritious lunch, social and educational activities as well as exercise classes for seniors age 55 and older.

Addresses emotional, physical, social, intellectual needs through nutrition and health education, nutritious daily congregate meals, a weekly grocery bag from our food bank, guest speakers, financial presentations, assistance with technology, recreational games like “Loteria” and more. Seniors take part in various social and educational activities daily and exercise classes are offered three times a week.

Eligibility Requirement

  • 55 years of age or older
  • Valid ID

Program Managers

Raquel Garcia, Senior Program Supervisor

Raquel, a dedicated professional with over 30 years of experience, is committed to serving and advocating for seniors, bringing bilingual and bicultural expertise from Tijuana, Mexico. Fluent in both English and Spanish, she seamlessly navigates between languages to bridge communication gaps and ensure her services reach a broad community. Raquel’s commitment to promoting inclusivity and understanding across cultural boundaries is a testament to her passion for fostering unity, marking her as a beacon of service with a track record of compassion and dedication to our Seniors.

Flor Gomez, Program Assistant

Flor holds a BA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College and has been working to benefit the Latino Community for over 30 years! In her spare time, Flor loves to travel and visit new countries.

Our Senior Program is open to walk ins with ID to verify age.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does this program cost?

This program is free for qualified participants!

WHAT WE OFFER

We provide free daily nutritious meals that meet one-third of the daily nutrition requirements for older adults in a congregate setting. Our Seniors, as a way of socialization, get to enjoy eating their nutritious meal with one another in our dining room 5 days a week from 11 AM to 12 PM.  We provide a weekly grocery bag from our food bank. We also provide essential nutrition and health education such as “Tomando Control de su Salud” workshops as part of the evidence based heal promotion program and the “Enhanced Fitness Program three times a week. Additionally, socialization activities such as ‘Loteria,’ karaoke, guest speakers, and financial presentations, are part of the wide range of services we offer, enhancing the overall quality of life of older adults.  

WHEN

5 Days a week, 9AM – 3PM 

WHERE?

El Centro de la Raza’s Historic Building in Beacon Hill, North Entrance. 

WHY

The Senior Hub is dedicated to making a positive impact on our beloved seniors’ lives, offering a holistic approach to their well-being.

Partners

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Food Bank

Food Bank

Nourishing our community with culturally appropriate food

At El Centro de la Raza, we meet our community where the community needs us. Food insecurity is on the rise, especially for our elderly neighbors on fixed incomes as food prices continue to rise. Our food bank provides nutritious, emergency and supplemental food to low-income individuals and families in the Seattle area three days a week. We also have dedicated navigators on-site to assists people in securing food stamps and other non-emergency food resources. Our food bank is open to all. Many of our seniors consider coming to the food bank as a time to socialize and connect to their cultures through food.

Eligibility Requirement

  • Have a valid picture ID

Program Managers

Jason Li, Food Bank & Nutrition Program Manager

Jason has been with El Centro de la Raza since 2021 and enjoys working to help our community. He supervises our food and nutrition program and looks forward to continuing to learn about and serve our community!

Frequently Asked Questions

What days are you open?

Wednesdays we are open for Seniors only, Thursday & Friday we are open for everyone!

Can I come more than once per week.

Yes, you can come twice per week.

Do you offer baby supplies?

Occasionally we have baby supplies depending on availability.

Partners

Healthier Here Care Connect Navigator

Healthier Here Care Connect Navigator

Direct assistance for community members who have tested positive for Covid-19 and require assistance to isolate.

This program is to help connect with members of our community who have tested positive with Covid-19 and provide essential items which are crucial for participants to isolate safely. Our team provides one on one assistance with a Navigator to help them complete the Heathier Here Care Connect applications. We can also refer you to other helpful programs within El Centro De La Raza as well as outside agencies.

Eligibility RequirementS

  • Recently tested positive for Covid-19
  • Come into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19
  • Live in the greater Seattle area
  • Isolate at home while positive.

Program Managers

Johnny Gonzalez, Healthier Here Care Connect Navigator

Johnny Gonzalez has been a Seattle resident for nine years and loves living in the Pacific Northwest. His favorite part of his work is connecting with members of the community and working together to find them the resources they need.

Call to register with Healthier Here!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can multiple people in my household sign up to get help?

We can only provide assistance to one person per household.

Can I get this help if I get Covid-19 again in the future?

We can only provide this direct assistance once per individual.

Can I get help with food to isolate?

Registered participants may receive a complimentary food delivery.

Partners

Pathfinders – Veterans Outreach

Pathfinders – Veterans Outreach

We connect people who have served in the United States Armed Forces to supportive services that are available throughout King County.

The Veterans of Color Pathfinders Program at El Centro de la Raza provides outreach, advocacy, and service pathfinding to all veterans, with an emphasis on assisting veterans of color and their families living in King County.

Eligibility Requirement

  • Reside in King County
  • A Veteran or family member of Veteran
  • Served at least 1 day of active duty

Program Managers

Ronald Jones

Ron has been working as a Veteran Outreach Specialist for the past three years. Prior to joining El Centro de la Raza, Ron worked in management and as an Adult Education teacher. He has an MBA in Managerial Leadership from City University, Bellevue. Ron brings his outgoing personality, positive attitude and attention to detail to the Veteran Outreach team!

Laura Aguilar

Laura is originally from Michoacán, Mexico but grew up in Wenatchee, Washington. Laura has always loved working in social services and has eight years of experience working with the homeless population in King County, including displaced Veterans. She has used her trauma-informed practices and motivational interviewing skills to shape the spaces she works in. When Laura is not out in the field working, she enjoys hiking with her partner in crime, Blue. A few of her hobbies include attending live concerts and festivals, watching documentaries and spending time outdoors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which discharge types are accepted?

Any type of discharge is accepted (DD, BCD, OTH)

How many years must I have served to become eligible?

You must have served at least 1 day of Active Duty.

My family member served. Am I qualified to participate?

Yes. Veterans and their family members may participate.

Partners

ESL Classes

ESL Classes

Free quarterly English classes for WA residents 18 and over

Free in person English classes for beginners, levels 1 and 2 provided by Seattle Colleges. Participants must live in WA state and be 18 years of age or older. New classes begin every quarter and are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 5pm to 7:30pm. Prospects will be assessed and registered prior to the start of every quarter. Internet access is necessary for participation.

Eligibility Requirement

  • 18 Years and older
  • Live in WA
  • Levels 1 & 2 ESL only

Program Managers

Veronica Gallardo

Veronica was born and raised in the Rainier Beach area of Seattle to Chilean refugees, who started coming to El Centro de la Raza for ESL classes while she was growing up. She is a proud University of Washington graduate, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Societies & Justice. She is now our Property Manager and oversees cultural events, ESL classes, and court-ordered community service, as well as an amazing team of maintenance, janitors and admin staff who support our important work. One of Veronica’s passions is health advocacy and as part of that she helps run the El Centro de la Raza champion softball team.

Tania Zarate

Born in Seattle, but Chilean at heart, Tania comes from a family of Chilean and Argentinean refugees. She grew up with the maternal side of her family which taught her about justice and social struggles. Her Tata always told her about his fight for social justice, their roots and how El Centro De La Raza helped them adjust to life in the US. So, when she had the opportunity to work here in 2022, she jumped on it!

Camila Puelpan

Originally from Chile, Camila moved to the US in 2000. She joined El Centro de la Raza’s Facilities and Housing Economic Development team in 2008. In her free time, she hosts karaoke nights in Seattle and enjoys camping, listening to live music and attending trivia nights.

Please send us your name and phone number to register or for more information!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the class cost?

The class is free.

What’s the schedule of the class?

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm – 7:30pm.

Digital Navigators

Digital Navigators

Learn computer skills quickly!

Digital Navigators is a month-long computer basics course aimed at teaching participants how to navigate the internet and use online tools such as email, word processors, presentation software and much much more!

Eligibility Requirement

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have access to the internet and a computer
  • Be a current resident of King County
  • Speak Spanish

Program Managers

Oscar Sepulveda

With over 15 years of experience in banking, insurance, financial services, and non-profit organizations, Oscar’s mission has always been to help individuals overcome their challenges through technology, process improvement, and good management practices. As a Digital Navigator, Oscar enjoys helping educate and mentor our students and has done so since the inception of this program!

For more information or to sign up, contact Oscar!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is this program and what time do you meet?

This program a four-week fully online course that meets Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-8PM

Is this an in-person course?

Nope. Digital Navigators is a completely online course, meeting via Zoom.

How much will it cost to join?

Digital Navigators is a free course.

Partners

System Navigator

System Navigator

System Navigators provide one-on-one navigation support to families to access their needs and help them work their way through the appropriate system.

Our navigators provide support to help families learn how to independently access services and navigate complex systems that offer needed services. These systems include but are not limited to city and county services, education, employment, federal and state social services, health, immigration, law enforcement and emergency response systems. This support includes information about the responsibilities of families within systems and the programs’ purpose and function.

Eligibility Requirement

  • Seattle resident
  • Family with children or youth under 24
  • Low income

Program Managers

Daniela Lizarraga, Navigator Supervisor

Daniela is originally from El Paso, Texas and began working at El Centro de la Raza in 2019. She is passionate about serving underestimated communities and advocating for their potential. When not working, she enjoys walking, dancing, traveling, and cooking.

Katie Yuen, Systems Navigator

Katie moved to Washington 10 years ago and worked at the Seattle Chinese Garden before joining El Centro de la Raza in 2017. She speaks Cantonese and Mandarin and works closely with clients to identify possible ways to lower their living cost in Seattle. In her free time she enjoys cooking and swimming.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I know if I need system navigation services?

If your family has difficulties in finding resources or needs help to adapt living in Seattle, please feel free to contact us.

How can I know if I am eligible for public assistance?

Different programs vary in eligibility requirements, please contact Daniela or Katie to find out what programs you qualify for.

I am living in King County, not in Seattle. Can I apply for assistance?

This program is mainly focused on Seattle residents with children or youth under 24. We have navigators in other programs to serve King County residents.

Partners

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