My wife, Pam, and I have been volunteering at Casa San Jose for over three years, but unfortunately our participation - due to the pandemic and our age - has greatly curtailed our efforts. The organization works tirelessly to assist assimilation of the Latinx community into the larger Western PA community. We have done a number of activities with the group, from helping assist a young fellow go from ICE custody to an uncle out of state, mailing mats that folks had made from plastic bags to the Mexican border, and mostly recently, canvassing the Beechview area to make people aware of the financial benefits of participating in the 2020 census.
Casa San Jose has helped my family and has giving me the opportunity to give back to the community. Their mission is to help the Latino/a/x community and they always help people in any way they can. During my time at Casa San Jose, I have seen how much work is being in put to help Latino familes by providing any help they can give. They have been able to help my parents with interpreters and transportation in any time of need and I have been able to help kids struggling with school through their volunteer program. Honestly thier services are essential for many latino familes here in Pittsburgh.
I joined Casa San Jose in November 2019 as a volunteer and then became a staff member in March 2020. I was attracted to Casa by its mission and the services it provides to the Hispanic Community. The success of Casa San Jose, driven by its committed staff, immediately caught my attention and interest when I moved to Pittsburgh in June 2019. It then became clear for me that I should be part of this organization to improve the lives of the Latin community.
“As we come together in solidarity to help those in greater need and to fight the effects of the pandemic, the work we do at Casa San Jose is even more critical. I am honored to be part of the organization’s mission and efforts in support of our community members”. May God Bless all Staff and provided us with the wisdom to continue to lead this organization to a greater height.
As a volunteer with Casa San Jose for nearly four years, I have had many opportunities to contribute to the community and to witness the good work that CSJ does. Casa San Jose provides community members with the resources and tools that they need to feel welcome and to succeed in Pittsburgh. There is no task too big or too small for the staff and volunteers at CSJ to take on. It's an honor to be able to contribute in some small way to the tremendous amount of good work that CSJ does.
I think Casa San Jose is amazing. They do so much important work for the Latinx immigrant community and beyond, everything from opening a food pantry to offering tutoring to help kids with classwork. Before the pandemic, I volunteered with a program Casa offered on Saturdays, that brought kids together and gave them time to hang out and play, and also offered tutoring for kids who needed some extra help with school. Now, during the pandemic, I know the staff and volunteers have gone above and beyond to help families get the help they need, with rides to doctor appointments, help with immigration status, whatever the need. They're amazing.
Working with Casa is always a joy. The staff are organized, responsive, clear, and also happed to be delightful humans. The clients I've interacted with are caring and fun to be around, even as many of them work through tough spots.
Casa San Jose is doing such important and inspiring work! And they do it with compassion and energy.
I started volunteering with this agency over a year ago and they have been welcoming to me and supportive, flexible to my needs and still attentive to their clients. The staff has strong, capable and committed people. I have been most closely associated with Ruth Farrell and she has given me a variety of interesting and useful tasks. I have had the opportunity to work directly with clients (taking them to meetings, appointments, getting them necessities), doing data searches for rental places, and data entry. I have always felt rewarded for my time with Casa San Jose. They are an organization with heart, hope and help for Latino immigrants.
I have volunteered for Casa San José for over 6 years and have seen the organization grow from 3 Sisters of San José and small group of volunteers in a Brookline church basement to a large presence in Beechview (3 storefronts on Broadway) with the same 3 nuns plus staff, interns, and many volunteers and programs for Pittsburgh’s growing Latino community. They have also expanded to East Liberty, Coraopolis, and North Hills—the need is great throughout Allegheny County.
I’ve had the chance to help in so many ways: accompanying clients to health, legal and other appointments, delivering furniture, clothing etc. to those without cars, working with clients in the office which allows me to use my Spanish, and whatever else Sr. Valerie asks me to do.
Since March I have focused on providing food by delivering meals and boxes of vegetables weekly, working in the new Food Bank, and helping at larger events, always safely masked and distanced.
The need is great and I feel privileged to volunteer for this amazing organization.
Casa San Jose is a beacon of light and hospitality in Pittsburgh for immigrants and Spanish-speaking residents. The organization is staffed with caring, hands-on staff who embody the mission of service, respect, and dignity for all. It is a small organization that is making a large impact on the city and its immigrant families.
An efficient, accountable organization that supports greater Pittsburgh's Latinx community with everyday needs, emergencies, and long-term advocacy.
We cannot say enough about the quality of services of Casa San Jose Latino Resource & Welcoming Center in Pittsburgh, PA.
We have been volunteers for nearly 2 years. Its online newsletter is full of important information and is how we first became involved. Through the newsletter Allan was informed about the desperate need for volunteers in El Paso, Texas in January 2019. After volunteering there for two weeks he returned to Pittsburgh and began volunteering at Casa San Jose.
It is truly a welcoming center where all people - clients, staff, volunteers, leaders - are treated respectfully, with kindness, in a family atmosphere. The directors and staff appreciate how much or how little you volunteer. CSJ promotes an environment in which we are all in this together.
There are many opportunities to volunteer. We volunteered with the children's summer camp program, accompanying them on field trips around the city. The staff and volunteers treated the children respectfully and warmly, giving the children a chance to be themselves. One example was the leader led a circle in which the children talked a little about themselves and where Allan was able to introduce himself.
Allan accompanied a client to court where a language barrier presented a problem and was able to assist which resulted in an outcome the client preferred. On another occasion as part of a team, we both accompanied a client to municipal court where ICE forcefully removed the client from the courtroom before the judge arrived. Through contact with the prison, CSJ obtained his release after several weeks and reunited him with his family. We delivered school supplies and distributed literature regarding the La Zona de Respaldo project. Allan tutored a 4th grader and Jo accompanied a mother and child to a hospital to help with communication.
We especially appreciate the staff we interact with. Thanks to Laura Perkins for providing excellent training, community and individual advocacy, and an undying dedication to this community; to Jose Ochoa for providing a loving environment for the children; and to Sr Valerie for keeping us well informed of clients' needs.
Submitted by volunteers Jo Schlesinger and Allan Willinger
I have been working with Casa San José folks for several years: a few of the ways are tutoring, watching kids while parents study English, hanging out with the teens on Saturdays, playing music, helping with court appearances. All these activities make me that I am doing some real good. The leadership is outstanding. So much good is done by all the staff and volunteers on behalf of families that deserve help. It has been so gratifying! The children and the parents are delightful. Many new friendships bless my life now.
Casa San Jose is a true community-based organization. They are so dedicated to their clients. They are more than just a service provider, they are part of the community they serve and they empower their clients to achieve their own goals. I have volunteered with them on and off for the past 3 years and it has been incredible to see them grow and adapt to better serve the ever-increasing needs of the Latinx community in Pittsburgh.
Casa San José me parece una de las organizaciones beneficas más comprometidas con la sociedad ya que ha permitido el acceso de los grupos de origen latino mas vulnerables a programas y cursos de alta calidad dedicados a niños y jóvenes, con el objetivo de mejorar sus habilidades académicas. Además, ellos ofrecen actividades de ocio y esparcimiento que a mi parecer son claves para alejar a los grupos jóvenes de vicios como el alcohol y drogas. Por otro lado, creo firmemente que la labor de todo el equipo de Casa San José marca la diferencia en un país en donde se está sufriendo una fuerte crisis social a causa del racismo hacia las minorías y que organizaciones como estás aportan su granito de arena hacia el cambio social tan necesario hoy en día.
This has been my favorite organization to volunteer with - they do incredible work with the community and I am always impressed by the energy and dedication of the staff!
Esta es una excelente organización, que conecta migrantes latinos con diferentes recursos, que van desde lo económico, hasta legales y educativos. Ayuda a las personas a adaptarse a la ciudad, conectando con servicios sociales y cívicos. Además, empodera a las diferentes personas de la comunidad latina para que conozcan y luchen por sus derechos y continúen contribuyendo al desarrollo de Estados Unidos.
During the pandemic, Casa San Jose's team has worked non-stop to provide relief to Latinx immigrants who have not been able to access the government stimulus. It raised nearly a million dollars to give $700 to more than 700 families. They have helped people apply for rental assistance as well as assistance with utilities and provided fresh fruit, vegetables, and dairy products as well as cooked meals to over 1,000 people per month since the pandemic started. Furthermore, in partnership with the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), Casa San Jose has provided Latinx families and community members with information about their rights as workers. They recently provided over 30 mattresses to Latinx people this past Friday and opened a nutrition center for those that need it the most. They keep working tirelessly to empower the Latinx community by educating them on why the census is important as well as on other themes that impact their lives.