La Casa Hogar, a nonprofit organization that works to connect and educate Latino families in the Yakima Valley, asked Tuesday for the Yakima City Council to draft a letter of support for the agency as it seeks grant money.
Executive Director Laura Armstrong said the nonprofit would like to apply for a Cities for Citizenship grant, a national initiative aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible immigrants. The two-year grants range from $25,000 to $40,000.
The nonprofit currently offers a number of programs, including adult education, an early learning center, citizenship and civic engagement classes and bilingual language immersion practice.
Armstrong reminded the City Council that members had voted in October for Yakima to become one of the 73 Cities for Citizenship throughout the country.
“We see this as an extension of that partnership,” Armstrong told the council.
Armstrong was part of a group that addressed the council on La Casa Hogar’s behalf. Also present were Priscilla Trevino from the nonprofit’s board of directors, David Morales from the Commission on Hispanic Affairs and the Northwest Justice Project, and Sandra Aguilar, chairwoman for the city’s Community Integration Committee.
La Casa Hogar started offering its signature citizenship class in 2010 to help meet the community demand. The nonprofit sees a 92 to 99 percent success rate for applicants in the program, Armstrong said.
Present at Tuesday’s meeting were councilmembers Kay Funk, Holly Cousens, Jason White and Kathy Coffey. The four unanimously voted to add the topic of the letter of support to the council’s July 2 meeting.
Editorial note: This article has been updated to reflect that Yakima is one of 73 cities in the country that joined Cities for Citizenship.