The Latino Community Development Agency is expanding its services to help members of the growing Latino community.
“For the first time, we feel that the city and the state have realized about the growth of the population, and they are wanting to work hand and hand with us,” said Raul Font, president of the Latino Community Development Agency.
According to U.S. Census data, Oklahoma City isn't just growing, it's getting more diverse.
“It's crazy to know that we are almost 20% in the city area,” Font said.
Font said the agency has been serving the Hispanic community for 30 years with a variety of different outreach programs.
“There was nobody that was providing services for them. Services for them in their language and respecting their culture. Still today, unfortunately, we may be the only ones they trust,” Font said.
The agency is expanding services to an office space off Harvey and Commerce to include health services, economic development and other family services.
“We're that convoy. We will use our building for them to come to us. The SBA had all this PPE money to offer to small businesses, and our small businesses never applied, because they didn't know how to run a financial literacy establishment to ask for a loan,” Font said.
Font said what makes their service so special is that they are able to serve the community in the language they're most comfortable with. In the expansion, they plan to work with school districts to provide counseling to students and families which they think will be a huge benefit to students learning during the pandemic.
The agency is hoping to move into the new building in November. They're also working to raise $5 million for a brand-new building.