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Commitment to Excellence in Social Services

Our commitment to excellence in social services comes from the fact that the CARECEN SF staff reflects the people we serve. Their stories are our stories. This fact makes it easier for us to connect and understand their needs and aspirations for self-determination. We are committed to respond and support our immigrant community through our Immigration Legal Program, Family Health Program, Health Promotion Program, Second Chance Youth Program and Tattoo Removal Clinic.

Here are some examples:

*pseudonyms have been used in order to protect the safety of our clients

Immigration Legal Program

Maria Mendez* was detained during a routine SFPD traffic stop in San Francisco, CA. Once SFPD dropped the charges, she was referred to ICE. Maria had recently given birth to a baby daughter and was still breastfeeding at the time of her arrest. Maria was separated from her 3 children and sent to a detention facility out of state. CARECEN SF was able to get her released from custody and later identified her eligibility for the U Visa. Under the U Visa program, CARECEN SF was able to attain legal status for Maria, her partner and 2 children. Now, the whole family is living lawfully in the United States.

Family Wellness Program

Ana Rosa*, a single mother with two young school age children. She and her children fled El Salvador after receiving death threats from gangs. She decided to come to San Francisco because of family she had in the Bay Area. When she arrived she realized her extended family was only able to provide her and her children with a place to stay for a short while and that she needed to help support her family’s basic needs. A family friend told her about CARECEN SF and came into our office to ask how we could help her family. Ana Rosa met with a case manager from the Family Wellness Program, who connected her with an organization that had an emergency food pantry, helped her and her children signup for medical services, and assisted her navigate the school enrollment process. Her case manager also connected her to low-cost immigration consultations services at CARECEN SF Legal Immigration Program and our in house mental health clinician for support dealing with the stress and anxiety she had been experiencing as a result of everything she and her family have been through. After working closely with her case manager for several months, both Ana Rosa and her children reported feeling more confident about navigating the medical and school services. Ana Rosa also reported decrease anxiety and stress. Also, her children’s teachers reported that they were doing well in school.

Health Promotion Program

Mattie Tellez* is a single mother of a son who has special needs. She came to the U.S. from Michoacán, Mexico. Mattie first heard of CARECEN SF at a resource fair where she heard about an opportunity to train as a Promotora de Salud (community health worker) focusing on diabetes prevention. Mattie was especially interested in the training because she knew how diabetes had negatively affected those around her and she wanted to make sure her and her son would not have to suffer from this disease. Since the training, Mattie has gone on to become a leading Promotora de Salud with over ten years of experience educating her family and community on diabetes and obesity prevention, oral health, and the importance of eating healthy and being physically active. The tools and knowledge she has gained has helped ensure that her and her son are healthy and that her community has the information to make healthier choices about what they eat and how much they exercise.