Over $2 Million Dollars Distributed for Pre-Pandemic Financial Assistance  

In partnership with the Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services, Congreso is excited to announce over $2 million dollars in pre-pandemic financial assistance (PPFA) has been distributed to our communities since April of this year! 

The Pre-Pandemic Financial Assistance program was created to provide financial assistance to support households in securing or maintaining affordable, safe, suitable and habitable housing through the City of Philadelphia. Eligible individuals had up to June 18th, 2021 to submit applications. 

“We’re excited to meet this milestone after months of hard work. Stories from our PPFA clients show that these funds are a lifeline for families struggling with housing needs during the pandemic,” shared Katie Breiner, Family & Housing Division Manager. 

Tiffany, a PPFA recipient shared, “The financial support will aid us with housing and allow us to continue our journey toward home ownership. The process was simple and effortless and it made what was then an embarrassing situation turn into a joyful new beginning.” 


Testifying before Congress for Social Security

Thousands of residents in our neighborhoods receive Social Security benefits, but sometimes those funds aren’t enough to make ends meet. That was the main message that Elba Lopez, a Congreso Voluntarios en Acción member and resident of eastern North Philadelphia, bravely shared with the House of Representatives Ways & Means Social Security Subcommittee on June 15th. 

Ms. Lopez joined four other individuals across the nation who shared their experiences and stories as recipients of social security. The opportunity for Ms. Lopez to participate was made possible through Congreso’s affiliation with UnidosUs, the United States’ largest Latino nonprofit advocacy organization. We're so proud of Ms. Lopez's participation and are inspired by her story! 


Felicidades, Class of 2021!

The Congreso Familia would like to congratulate the Pan American Academy Charter School Class of 2021 and all of those graduating this month! We wish you nothing but the best and success in your future! 

Pictured here is grandmother, Sarail, and her grandson, Kelvin, who shared a special moment after Pan American’s graduation ceremony. Notice anything? They’re standing in front of a mural of themselves which was painted in 2014! 


After School Program Hosts Creando Tu Futuro Event 

Felicidades to our Creando Tu Futuro afterschool program as they hosted their Pop-Up Dream Stage Showcase this month!  

Roberte Clemente and Julia de Burgos 6th – 8th grade students held an exhibit to share creative videos, sculptures, and pictures with their families and community detailing what they aspire to be when they grow up. 

"The Pop-up Dream Stage Showcase was a testament to how instrumental our After School Programs have been in lives of our students despite our current circumstances surrounding the pandemic. Ms. Best, her CTF students, their families and the community got a chance to see their video's, miniature sculptures, pictures and other forms of their creative expression detailing what they aspire to be when they grow up. CYS is especially proud of their hard work and resilience,” shared Andrea Brown, Director of Youth Services. 


Sign up for Congreso’s Hybrid Summer Camp 

Let your children enjoy art, science, games, field trips, and much more in Congreso’s Hybrid Summer Camp! This camp is for grades k – 8 from July 6th to August 13th. 


VISTA team member highlight: Caroline Haeffner


This month we are introducing you to Caroline Haeffner, our Education & Workforce VISTA!  

What exactly is VISTA?  

VISTA is an AmeriCorps national community service program and stands for Volunteers In Service to America. VISTAs are specifically to provide capacity building, administrative support to agencies, such as non-profits, and serve for one year.   

Hi Caroline! Nice to meet you. Tell us about your work with Congreso as a VISTA.  

My role falls under the umbrella of the Education and Workforce division, where I provide capacity for various programs and initiatives. I’ve always had a passion for education, and my VISTA role provides me the opportunity to see education through a new lens. Depending on the week, I get to work with Pan American Charter School, Penn State Abington, the Human Services program, the Congreso Learning Evaluation team, and plenty of others. I am grateful to work with so many dedicated, ambitious, and involved people in my role, who continuously offer guidance and support.  

How has your time at Congreso been so far?  

My time at Congreso thus far has been nothing short of inclusive, engaging, and challenging in the best way. I am grateful to be immersed in a community and organization that prioritizes equality, culture, and service.  


Congreso’s Director of Primary Care Joins AL DÍA’s Roundtable

on Health Equity 

On Friday June 4th, Congreso’s Director of Primary Care Judy Emmons spoke at the AL DÍA Health Equity: No Matter Where You Live Roundtable. The event focused on how community members and organizations like Congreso are addressing health disparities and highlighted their work supporting families with healthcare and the social determinants of health. 

“Addressing the social determinants of health, in particular those that contribute to alleviating poverty such as education and workforce development, is vital for improving the long-term health outcomes of communities and breaking the cycle of preventable diseases like hypertension and diabetes, which are often caused by factors like poor diet, stress, and lack of physical exercise.  All of these risk factors can be alleviated through financial and educational empowerment,” shared Judy. 


Congreso Continues Vaccinations & Outreach in North Philadelphia 

As of last week, 70% of Philadelphia adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, city officials announced per the Philadelphia Inquirer. While this is a hopeful milestone, we recognize there is still work to be done and community access is a priority. Together with our partner organizations, the Congreso Health Center continues vaccination efforts  through ongoing in-person and mobile events! Stay tuned! 

Pan American family vaccine event 

On Tuesday, June 8th, Congreso’s Health Center welcomed Pan American Academy Charter School students 12 years and over, parents, teachers, and family members to receive a COVID-19 vaccine! Second doses were scheduled during the event. 

“The turnout was great. We plan on doing a ‘back-to-school’ vaccine event in August!” shared Judy Emmons, Congreso’s  Director of Primary Care. 

Taller Puertorriqueño Art Exhibition  

On Friday, June 25th, Taller Puertorriqueño hosted a children & youth art exhibition to celebrate and highlight young artists in the community. The Providence Center was present providing resources and Congreso offered on-site COVID-19 vaccines to anyone 12 years and over!  


About Us

Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1977 with a mission to enable individuals and families in predominantly Latino neighborhoods to achieve economic self-sufficiency and well-being. To learn more about our programs, check out our impact, or read about our leadership and advisory councils, click below!

Congreso relies on the support of generous individuals, foundations and corporate partners who support our mission. Your contribution helps us continue to provide innovative programming while growing our influence as an outcomes measurement thought leader.

Stay Connected!

216 W. Somerset St. | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19133
215-763-8870 | info@congreso.net

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