News

How one business navigated the PPP program and the Pandemic

According to the NIH, in early 2020, the number of active businesses dropped in the US by 22%.  Latinx business owner activity dropped by an astounding 32% and women-owned businesses also took disproportional losses of 25%.

Elizabeth Sevilla, Owner of Yayis Service LLC

Like other residential construction businesses, by early 2021, Yayis Service LLC, saw their revenue decline as homeowners postponed projects due to the pandemic and material expenses continued to increase.  After several years of running a successful business, Yayis Service LLC owner, Elizabeth Sevilla, decided to reach out to our Business Opportunity Center Small Business Development (SBD) program to see how she could help her business cope with the pandemic.

To her relief, SBD walked Elizabeth through all of the requirements for eligibility of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a government funded program that provides low interest rates turned into grants through the Small Business Administration.  Through one-on-one conversations, SBD helped her navigate the process, in Spanish.  Together, they completed the application, from documentation gathering to contract signing.  The SBA approved Elizabeth for a $19,400 loan at 1% interest rate.  This allowed Elizabeth to keep her team on and fund payroll and continue her business.  

A photo from a Yayis Service LLC project on Thumbtack.com

Beyond navigating the process together, the SBD kept in touch with Elizabeth to ensure Yayis Service LLC was keeping records of its spending on eligible expenses, such as payroll.

In January 2022, Elizabeth became eligible to apply for forgiveness of her SBA loan. SBD guided Elizabeth on the forgiveness application process and she was indeed approved for loan forgiveness.  Thanks to the PPP and its forgiveness program, Elizabeth was able apply for a $19,400 loan, apply for forgiveness, and successfully turn her loan into a business grant – meaning no money owed!

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

February 2022: Salud in the Community

Vacúnese el 20 de febrero! Get Vaccinated for COVID-19 February 20th!

Charlas En Confianza y En Comunidad resumen cada Martes hasta Marzo!

Acompáñenos cada Martes a las 5pm para recibir la información más actualizada del coronavirus, compartir recursos, sus preocupaciones e identificar soluciones, mientras nos apoyamos uno al otro con confianza y en comunidad.

Aqui tiene el enlace para registrarse a la proxima charla: https://publichealthinsider.com/con-confianza-y-en-comunidad/

Refuerzos de COVID-19 y el Embarazo

Apoyo de FEMA para costos de funerarios para victimas de COVID-19 // FEMA assistance for funeral expenses for COVID-19 victims

February 2022 : Noticias Relevant to Our Community

FAFSA Support

Seattle Promise will be hosting two FAFSA/WASFA Completion Workshops for all Seattle Public Schools students during the month of February. These workshops are for any students/their families who would like to learn about state and federal financial aid applications.

Below, a checklist for the documents needed to successfully complete the FAFSA or WASFA.

Additionally, Seattle Promise will host the Discover Seattle Colleges series, where instructors will share different career streams and trajectories.

Applications for Seattle Promise and Seattle Colleges are due March 1, 2022. To apply or to learn more, click here.

Get Free Citizenship Assistance

February Citizenship Day
Dat
e: Saturday, February 26, 2022

Time: 10am-5pm by appointment.
Location: OneAmerica Offices in Seattle 

More information:  To make an appointment please fill out our intake form.

It is important to have all the required documents ready for Citizenship Day. For a full list of required documents, check here . If you have ever been arrested, detained, or have had to appear in court, you will need all the certified court documents and police reports. 

 If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact us at (206) 926-3924 by call or text. You can also reach us at wna@weareoneamerica.org

Free Tax Preparation until April 21st!

Inquilinos: Tienen derecho a Apoyo Legal para Evitar el Desalojo

Biden Administration Proposes Change to ‘Public Charge’ Rule, Allowing Immigrants More Benefits

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a change to the “public charge” rule that would increase the number of government benefits immigrants can receive without affecting their green card applications. Read More Here

February 2022: Cuentos from Our Work in the Community

Organizing & Training Our Environmental Justice Leaders

Training has begun for El Patio and Plaza Roberto Maestas residents in environmental justice leadership, education and community organizing in the Latino community.

Through this program, Beacon Hill residents are learning how to advocate for better health and environmental outcomes and influence policymakers to protect their community from the disproportional impacts of massive transportation developments in the works.

For context, Beacon Hill is already surrounded by major roadways.  On average, every 90 seconds, an aircraft will fly over Beacon Hill.  70% of aircraft traveling to and from Seattle fly over Beacon Hill. This causes intense noise pollution, which has adverse effects on stress levels, sleep, cardiovascular health, and youth’s learning capabilities. Though they are certainly considered a vertical fenceline community, they are not a fenceline community and are not eligible for mitigation. Additionally, residents of Beacon Hill are predominantly people of color, who already tend to be disproportionately harmed by environmental issues.

Apart from learning to measure air and noise pollution and advocate for bills that address this issue, participants were able to connect with other environmental justice-based organizations such as the nonprofit organization Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC).  Residents learned how other communities are organizing and supported the DRCC’s signature-gathering efforts for their petition on Change.org. 

Through storytelling, community building, and leadership development, participants are prepared to effectively fight the proposed Sea-Tac Airport Sustainable Air Master Plan (SAMP).  Follow and join our movement against SAMP here:  We Fight For Environmental & Health Justice – El Centro de la Raza

Our Highest Turnout and Certification for New Homebuyers Yet!

In the face of a deepening housing crisis, we are proud to report the highest level of enrollment and certification for our first-time homebuyer workshop of 2022.  A total of 84 participants enrolled, and 42 received a two-year certificate that will grant them access to Washington Housing Finance Commission programs and Down Payment Assistance.

Apart from providing these classes online in English and Spanish at no-cost, our program is unique in providing home loan options for ITIN holders. 

To offer a comprehensive overview of the process, we welcomed a real estate agent and a lender certified by the Washington Housing Finance Commission.  The topics we covered ran the gamut from credit-strengthening and budgeting to title, escrows, home insurance and inspection.

Please share our joy with the future homeowners from our program below:

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

Legacy Award Nominations are Open


El Centro de la Raza turns 50 this year! Help us celebrate by nominating someone who is doing important Social Justice work in our community for the Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award. The Legacy Awards are our way of honoring of our late founder, Roberto Maestas, who helped organize the 1972 peaceful occupation of the abandoned Beacon Hill school, which later became El Centro de la Raza as we know it today. Roberto Maestas’s life was dedicated to building “Beloved Community” through multi-racial unity. He deeply believed that poverty, racism and social inequity could only be eradicated if people of all races and backgrounds came together to do so.

The 12th Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award will recognize two individuals who have exemplified Building the Beloved Community through multi-racial unity and working to eliminate poverty, racism and social inequity. We encourage people of all races, ethnicities, ages, and gender identities to apply for this award. 
 
El Centro de la Raza will celebrate awardees and their contributions by making a $1,000 gift in their name to an organization of their choice.  Award recipients will be recognized at El Centro de la Raza’s 50th Anniversary Building the Beloved Community Gala, which is set to take place on Saturday, October 8, 2022.
 
Legacy Award applicants can self-nominate or be nominated by someone else. Recipients are asked to attend El Centro de la Raza’s Building the Beloved Community Gala.
 
Deadline for application submission is Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 5:00pm Pacific Time. 

Please nominate yourself or someone you know today via our form.

Read about our 2021 honorees, Dr. Estell Williams and Edwin Lindo

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

February Classes & Programs

Curso de Computación Incial para Familias! Apúntense!

Is your home at risk of foreclosure? Our counselors at El Centro de La Raza are here for you

El Centro de Raza is offering education and counseling one-on-one for individuals at risk of facing foreclosure. Sometimes, circumstances might arise that make it difficult to keep up with the mortgage payments. The good news is there are different options to avoid foreclosure and keep you housed.

El Centro de la Raza is a Certified Agency by Housing and Urban Development Department and counts on Housing Counselors to help people to navigate through the lender’s options to find an alternative before you lose your home.

For more information, contact Oliver Contreras, Business Opportunity Center Manager at ocontreras@elcentrodelaraza.org or (206) 717-0085.

Upcoming Training Sessions at the Business Opportunity Center

Want to sign up or learn more? Please contact our Business Opportunity Center Specialist, Ivette Aguilera at 206-883-1981 or via email iaguilera@elcentrodelaraza.org

January 2022: Cuentos from Our Work in the Community

Vaccines for Familias on MLK Day

We are as proud as the little gentlemen above of the vaccines we were able to deliver on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in partnership with the City of Seattle and the Othello Station Pharmacy!

In total, 110 vaccines were administered to families, including 17 pediatric Pfizer vaccines.

Thank you to our partners, our community, and our donors for helping make our communities safer!

The Covarrubias: From a Dream in Oaxaca to Home Ownership in Tacoma

On La Hora del Centro de La Raza‘s radio hour, Ana Covarrubias shared how she and her husband, José Pablo, moved from living with relatives as newly arrived immigrants from Oaxaca, to eventually buying a three-bedroom home in Tacoma after participating in El Centro de La Raza’s Certified First Home Buyer Program.

Once they arrived to Seattle, she and José Pablo faced what she described as typical challenges encountered by immigrants; navigating a new language, culture, and credit system, while working to secure their livelihood and find employment. Throughout these challenges, their primary dream in this country, to own a home, stayed at the forefront of their minds.

Ana Covarrubias and Oliver Contreras on La Hora del Centro de La Raza’s Radio Hour

Since arriving, they lived with relatives and eventually rented for five years. Ana felt rent was eating a large part of their income. According to research, one in four Latinos spend more than half of their income on rent and, indeed, this poses a major challenge for wealth building for the community. In mid-2020, she reached out to El Centro de La Raza.

She signed up for a webinar for first-time homebuyers, where she learned strategies to budget and improve their credit. At the same time, she signed up for the Unidos at Work classes to improve her technology skills and enrolled in entrepreneurship courses also offered by the Business Opportunity Center. This holistic approach led to improved savings and income generation for their household.

Upon completion of the home buying program, participants earn a certification recognized by the Washington Housing Commission, which is valid for two years and qualifies participants for down payment assistance.

Ana said the program was very comprehensive and made her feel confident navigating the home buying process at every step. When Oliver Contreras asked how she felt as a homeowner, she said, “Indescribable. It has changed our life, definitively.” Others always ask her how much it cost her to enroll in the program and she tells them it was at no cost to participants, and she hopes others will take the leap and start their homeownership journey.

The Covarrubias lovely new home!

Want to learn more about what is going on in the community? Tune in to La Hora del Centro de La Raza on Seattle’s 1360 El Rey on Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00 PM EST.

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

Meet Dallanary Santos – Future Teacher and Job Readiness Training Grad

Just three years ago, Dallanary Santos and her family moved from Honduras to the United States. It was a decision her mom Dania Romero had sometimes second-guessed because of the difficulties they have faced but seeing the opportunities her children have here and the support her two daughters have found support at El Centro de La Raza to discover and pursue their dreams has really made her confident it was the right move.

To adjust to the new culture, Dallanary enrolled in the Youth Job Readiness Training (YJRT) Program at El Centro de la Raza, where the program equips students with job readiness, career development, post-secondary options, while building self-sufficiency skills at school and at work.

Through the YJRT program, Dallanary landed an internship at the Center for Wooden Boats and the Business Opportunity Center with El Centro de la Raza.  Through these experiences and one-on-one career orientation, Dallanary has chosen to pursue a major in Education at Seattle Center College, where she has been accepted. She is excited to graduate in June 2022!

Dallanary attributes her success in school and in life to her mother, Dania Romero. Dania has four children and has signed up her two oldest daughters to the YJRT program. She has seen her daughters find confidence within themselves and flourish and said she admires the dedication and work ethic the staff at El Centro de la Raza bring. Dania is proud of her daughter Dallanary for her accomplishments and is looking forward to seeing her graduate in June.

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

An Excellent Posada Night Market for our Businesses & Community!

El Centro de la Raza’s Business Opportunity Center (BOC) would like to thank everyone that joined us for the Posada Night Market on December 17, 2021!

In the spirit of the holidays, and as an effort to help promote local small businesses, BOC planned and promoted a holiday outdoor night market, which was held at Plaza Roberto Maestas on Friday December 17, 2021. The event was Ugly Sweater themed, where individuals were able to buy arts & crafts from small businesses owned by some of our Small Business Development Program’s participants, listen to music produced by DJ  Sabrocito, and take pictures at a Christmas-themed stage provided by Luis Enrique and Piscis Photo & Video Studios. Attendees also enjoyed delicious food from participants of the food incubator program including Antojitos Lita Rosita, Shark Bite Ceviches, Outsider Pizza and Recetas de Abuelita!

The event helped promote 17 vendors showcase their food, craftsmanship. Many of the featured vendors have just started their businesses and this was their debut into the community. As a result, vendors received revenue that day that will allow them to keep investing in their businesses!

Thank you all for your support! Happy New Year!!!

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.