$100K grant to help Spanish-speaking seniors, adults with disabilities

07/14/2021 — Atlanta, Georgia — The exterior of the Latin American Association in Atlanta, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution

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07/14/2021 — Atlanta, Georgia — The exterior of the Latin American Association in Atlanta, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution

The largest Hispanic-focused nonprofit in Georgia recently received a $100,000 grant.

The Latin American Association, which is based in Brookhaven, received the grant to expand its services for Spanish-speaking seniors and adults with disabilities. The nonprofit said the money will help fund programs such as meal delivery, transportation to medical appointments, respite care and mental health care access.

The grant, which will be awarded over two years, was made by the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Aging & Independence Services, according to a news release. Becky Kurtz, managing director of ARC’s Aging & Independence Services, said the grant is an effort to address the underserved Hispanic community in metro Atlanta.

“We felt like that was a gap for us,” Kurtz said in the release. “We’ve made it a priority to have Spanish-speaking staff, but that still wasn’t enough to serve the needs of this population.”

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The LAA, which has centers in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties, said 12% of the population in the 10-county metro Atlanta area belongs to the Spanish-speaking or Latino communities. The organization previously used ARC funding to hire a social worker to work with elderly and disabled individuals.

“This type of funding is hard to access,” Cynthia Roman, managing director of family stabilization and well-being at the LAA, said in the release. “The partnership with ARC will go a long way to help this highly vulnerable population get the services and support they need to thrive.”

For years, ARC has fostered a similar partnership with the Center for Pan Asian Community Services to reach out to Asian groups in the Atlanta area. The LAA grant partnership attempts to mirror that model.

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“The LAA is a trusted entity in the Latino community, and they bring us cultural competency and language proficiency,” Kurtz said. “The LAA will help connect the Spanish-speaking population to existing resources that they may not know about.”

For more information, visit thelaa.org.