Moms First: La Casa de Amistad looking to expand
SOUTH BEND —
Since 1973, La Casa de Amistad has served the Latino community in Michiana with innovative programs and they have been dedicated to neighborhood advocacy.
But with all those programs, they are rapidly growing and without enough space.
The only real option they have is to expand but the problem is there's not a lot of extra land to do that.
They have had the same home for more than 30 years and it may be time for a change.
"I won't have to go home late and then I have to do my homework and that they can show me how to be a good person,” said Chuy Lagunas.
Founded as a youth center, at La Casa over 120 students from kindergarten to twelfth grade participate in academic and tutoring programs each day.
"Sometimes they don't get all the opportunities, sometimes whether it's language barriers, economic barriers, or at school or other after school opportunity,” said Assistant Youths Program Coordinator, Dalila Huerta.
La Casa De Amistad also runs an immigration legal clinic and Citizenship Class where adults prepare for the naturalization process. Alums have a 100-percent pass rate to become citizens.
"We are an opportunity center at the end of the day we’re here to give people opportunity and sometimes our families have dreams, their sueños, that are just a little bit out of their reach and what places like La Casa do they put those American dreams within reach,” said Sam Centellas.
They also have a preschool class called "I Can Read" designed to get students ready for kindergarten. The kids have a 100-percent acceptance rate into the Kennedy School’s magnet program in South Bend.
Packed with programming every ounce of space is currently being used so they say the next step is expansion.
La Casa De Amistad says they would like to grow programming for adults, as well as seniors, with ideas of recreational activities when they expand which could be anywhere from two to five years.