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El Centro turning newcomers into neighbors

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) - The staff at El Centro De Servicios are bilingual in order to help Spanish speakers who are new to the area get connected in the community.


El Centro Executive Director Lalo Muñoz said they welcome Spanish speaking immigrants into Topeka, "We help turn newcomers into neighbors." 


He said they connect people to the community in three ways.


"We do it by providing language services," Muñoz he said. "Second, we have a health program and last we have an immigration program." 


Administrative Assistant Griselda Martinez said those programs are in high demand.


"Our Hispanic community is growing so much the need for it is everywhere," she said. 

El Centro helps about 850 families each year. Last year, they helped 140 people become either legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens through their free or low cost immigration services. 


"This program helps individuals solidify their roots in the community and feel like they truly are part of our country and our community," Muñoz said.

He said he's proud El Centro is one of the first places many Spanish speaking immigrants visit when they move to Topeka.

El Centro also offers a Mobile Health Clinic to provide free preventative health screenings to community members. 


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