On Saturday, November 5th, 2016, 91 Spanish Speakers and 24 children attended a resource event coordinated by the Newcomers’ Collaborative, a workgroup of the El Cajon Collaborative. The event provided an opportunity for newcomers to browse local resources and attend workshops on navigating the education system, immigration and civic engagement, Child Welfare Services, domestic violence, equal housing rights and employment. Attendees were also able to apply for public benefits such as Cal-Fresh and Medi-Cal on-site, or ask questions regarding their eligibility or specific case.
The event boasted entertainment by EJE Folklorico dancers and Native American drumming, free childcare and lunch from Salsa Mexican Restaurant. Resource tables were available throughout the day and highlighted information such as job-seeking, legal aid, youth services and much more.
The Newcomers’ Collaborative is focused on addressing the unique needs of newcomers to the United States, such as accessing health care, public benefits, navigating the school system and adjusting to their new culture and lifestyle. El Cajon is home to a large population of immigrants and refugees, and San Diego County as a whole hosts many different cultures, up surged in part due to proximity to the Mexican border. The Newcomers’ Collaborative looks at gaps in services, barriers to accessing services and works to fill these gaps and provide resources to new arrival navigate their new community.