APOYO LATINO: The Greater Cincinnati Latino Coalition
In 2005, President & CEO of the Cincinnati Hamilton County Community Action Agency (CAA) Ms. Gwen L. Robinson observed a high volume of inquiries coming from individuals, families and other agencies, seeking assistance for Hispanic/Latino members of the community. In an effort to identify all organizations with resources and services for this population, CAA hosted a meeting for all interested service providers in Hamilton County.
On December 1, 2005, the first “Spanish Services” meeting took place at CAA with 25 participants representing 19 separate organizations -all with the same goals in mind; to connect with other service providers to form a network that would ensure no gaps in critical services to the Hispanic/Latino population, and to increase cultural competency in the delivery of existing services systems. The network would not only enhance communication between service providers, it would also improve delivery of information from service providers to Hispanic/Latinos by educating providers about the population’s rights, percent of population, culture and common barriers, among other issues, and by facilitating the use of bi-lingual workers, and Spanish language translations of all standard forms and phone recordings.
At the December 2005 meeting, a group of individuals volunteered to serve as a Steering Committee. They convened a second meeting on January 25, 2006, and the Greater Cincinnati Latino Coalition was officially formed.
Since then, GCLC has assisted numerous agencies in becoming more aware of and sensitive to the issues within the Hispanic/Latino culture here in Hamilton County.
In 2015 we changed the name of the organization to Apoyo Latino: The Greater Cincinnati Latino Coalition, and became a 501c3 non-profit.
Apoyo Latino has been developing a website with a comprehensive directory and cross-referral system of programs and services available to the Hispanic/Latino community. Its members continue to offer bi-lingual support and translation services; they act as advocacy partners to Hispanic/Latinos and as advisory partners to local government in immigration and other legal matters. Across the years much has been accomplished, though there is much more yet to be done.
Presently, Apoyo Latino meetings take place once a month, and provide a time for attendees to network, and to hear from a variety of “spotlight presenters” – representatives from area organizations and programs who make 20 minute presentations. Although the coalition is formed by many members, they all share the same passion and perseverance toward a common goal: to make positive changes in existing service delivery systems that will have a positive impact on the quality of life for Hispanic/Latino individuals and families within our community, empowering them to succeed and thrive.