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United Way of Greater Lorain County partners with El Centro to launch Spanish Language 211 Information and Referral Hotline

United Way of Greater Lorain County has partnered with El Centro de Servicios Sociales to provide a Spanish language version of Lorain County’s 211 First Call for Help information and referral hotline.

The main 211 hotline operates 24 hours a day and serves over 10,000 callers annually by connecting individuals with resources in the community. All Spanish speaking calls will now be automatically redirected to a trained operator located in the El Centro office during normal business hours.

Victor Leandry and Celestino Rivera

The partnership was highlighted Saturday evening at De Luca’s Place in the Park as part of El Centro’s 40th Anniversary Gala as the recipient of the El Puente (The Bridge) Award. The El Puente Award recognizes a partnership where organizations have united forces to best utilize their unique expertise in order to better serve the community.

“Fulfilling the needs of our Spanish speaking residents is an important goal of our 211 service, and we’re excited that we’re able to partner with El Centro to help fill that gap in our community,” said Christine Matusik-Plas, community impact director for United Way of Greater Lorain County. “We’ve heard that our Spanish speaking neighbors were having a harder time accessing 211’s valuable resources, and this partnership allows us to make sure that everybody has access to the resources that they need.”

The local 211 website, www.211lorain.org, has also been updated over the past year to include Spanish language services and search capabilities.

“We’re proud to work collaboratively with United Way of Greater Lorain County to better serve our community,” said El Centro executive director Victor Leandry. “This expands the capacity of both organizations while helping more people get connected to needed resources. This is another in a long line of partnerships that we’ve shared with United Way and we’re excited to continue working together to make our community stronger.”

More information on 211 First Call for Help and United Way of Greater Lorain County can be found at www.uwloraincounty.org or by calling 440-277-6530.

11 awards present at the 40th Annual El Centro gala on Nov. 1st


La Familia Award – Sacred Heart Chapel – Fr. William (Bill )Thaden

To Sacred Heart Chapel for their collaboration in leading and organizing the Mobile Consulate of Mexico visit to Lorain Ohio.


Puente Award – United Way of Greater Lorain County -ETO Administrator of the United Way Marcos Cuevas

El Centro began providing the Spanish phone support for the 211 System of the United Way of Greater Lorain County, connecting Latinos to vital services. During the event El Centro officially Launch the Lorain County Bilingual 211.


El Provecho Award - Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio - Julie Chase Morefield Executive Director.   

In collaboration with Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio, El Centro is able to host a mobile food pantry every third Thursday of the month.  At a time of uncertainty, programs like the Mobile Food Pantry are essential.  Every month we reach approximately 300 families.

Orgullo Award - Lorain County Board of Mental Health - Executive Director Charlie Neff  

For decades, El Centro has been providing representative payee services to individuals with severe mental health illnesses throughout Lorain County as a member agency of the Lorain County Board of Mental Health network.  This program has been praised as the best program provided at El Centro by community leaders, funders, and consumers. 


El Maestro Award - Lorain County Community College’s Adult Basic Literacy Program.- Mary Murphy

Education is the key to a better life.  Lorain County Community College and El Centro partnered together to provide that key to our community through GED and English night classes offered at El Centro by the ABLE program. 


Voz Award- Mercy Hospital - President and CEO Ed Oley 

Last June El Centro entered into a partnership with Mercy Hospital to provide interpretation services through our Adult Supportive Services Program.   La Voz award recognizes Mercy Hospital for their commitment to El Centro’s mission and their dedication to the improvement of the Latino community’s health.


Recognition to El Centro’s board member.

Karen Mahan

Amy Garcia


 El Compadre Award

Homer Virden, Executive Director of Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority

Leon Mason- Lorain City, Director of Building and Housing

Celestino Rivera, Lorain City Chief of Police

Copyright © 1989 to 2014 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/04/14 22:28:24 -0800.




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