Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Network Would Connect Local Latinos

Local Latinos are trying to create a network of "promotores," or community members who would help connect others with with health-related services. The network would target two groups of immigrants: families with children and men who are living apart from their families.

Various groups offer health-related services to Latinos, but their efforts are fragmented. The promotores would serve as a central starting point to help immigrants who may feel isolated and may have limited fluency in English.

Patricia Documet, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health, is helping to coordinate the promotores effort. She moved to Pittsburgh from Peru seventeen years ago. Documet says her group applied for a grant last year, but it was rejected at least partly because they were trying to do too much. Their proposal also included a community center for Latinos. She says that's something they would still like to do one day in order to have a place where Latino immigrants could connect with social services and each other.

Allegheny County's Latino population is small, but growing. Latinos made up one percent of the county's population in 2000.

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