Health & Wellness Services
Lending a Hand
Regular health events, ongoing education, and referrals to health service providers all ensure that individuals receive early treatment to avoid more costly interventions. Our intent in providing health programming is to offer services that overcome cultural and linguistic barriers that make navigating the health system difficult for recently arrived immigrants and refugees. Through a partnership with St. Mary’s Clinics, a community health care promoter is onsite two hours each week to answer questions and provide referrals as needed. Seasonal flu clinics are run in partnership with St. Mary’s Clinics and Fairview Health System, which is recognized as a national model for reaching under served populations by the Center for Disease Control. We promote healthy lifestyles through weekly fitness classes. Access to counseling services and community support groups help families learn skills to cope with and overcome the emotional stress prevalent in immigrant communities struggling with poverty. More than 700 individuals receive wellness services each year.
More than 100 families receive services through our outreach programs each month. Assistance with basic needs can help stabilize a family during a crisis, as well as provide the support they may need to pursue educational and work opportunities. Walk in assistance for referrals are available every day to connect people with other community resources. We also offer seasonal outreach programs such as holiday food baskets and gifts. Faith based communities of all denominations, local businesses, and private individuals donate items and provide volunteers to assist with these efforts.
Some of the specific direct outreach activities taking place at Centro are as follows:
Hot nutritious meals are served onsite Monday through Thursday evening. Partner organization Loaves and Fishes coordinates volunteer cooking teams to prepare and serve the meals. Over 38,000 meals were served last year.
Weekly furniture referrals through Bridging Inc. provide access to quality, lightly-used furniture for struggling families. These services most often benefit children who may not have adequate sleeping space.
Monthly free store, offering fresh food (including meat and produce) and quality used clothing, house wares, cleaning supplies, and toys. More than 100 clients typically attend. Provided in partnership with The St. Vincent De Paul Society.
Winter coat distribution. Partnering with area churches, Centro undertakes the important task of distributing quality free coats to clients. Distributing winter clothing is critical since many of the community residents are recently arrived from warmer climates and are spending their first winter in Minnesota. Gloves and hats are distributed on an ongoing basis, as well.
Seasonal Holiday Outreach programs in November and December for client families. The Thanksgiving outreach provides more than 60 families with food and gift certificates to local grocers. The Christmas outreach program allows parents to “shop” for free new gifts for their children, with over 200 gifts distributed each year.