County’s reaching out

Published 3:56 pm Thursday, October 30, 2008

When five Hispanic men were brutally murdered in a Hoover apartment complex, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!) was asked to help reach out to the immigrant community.

As a result of our success, Shelby County recognized the need to increase the means and methods by which county agencies interacted and built bridges with the immigrant community.

In January, ¡HICA! will open an office in Shelby County at the County Services Building in Pelham.

¡HICA! was incorporated in 1999 and has been providing services to immigrants since 2001. Our mission is to improve the lives of Latinos in Alabama by coordinating with community resources, providing transitional services and through education.

The services to be offered at the Shelby County office will include general information and referral.

Included in that is assistance with completing applications, providing referrals to other community agencies, limited case management and brokering for services.

¡HICA! will also assist several Shelby County offices such as the License Office where on a regular basis, ¡HICA! staff will provide interpretation for Spanish speaking immigrants who need to renew driver’s licenses, titles and other permits. ¡HICA! will also provide assistance to the new Community of Hope Health Clinic, which recently opened inside the Shelby County Health Department.

¡HICA! is so excited about this opportunity to partner with Shelby County.

We exist to be a community connector and as a United Way agency, we help agencies across the community effectively and efficiently serve the immigrant Latino community, many of which call Shelby County home.