News Hispanic Service Center of Imlay City Monday 8-6-2018
Hispanic Service Center set to sign papers for permanent home
BY PHIL FOLEY 810-452-2616 • [email protected] mihomepaper.com IMLAY CITY — After nearly 50 years of helping the Hispanic community and others in Imlay City, the Hispanic Service Center (HSC) is finally getting a permanent home and is changing its name. On Monday (Aug. 6), HSC board members will gather at Lighthouse Title Group Monday (Aug. 6) afternoon to sign mortgage papers to purchase the former Studio E Photography shop on North Almont Avenue. Board member Margaret Guerra-DeLuca said the name Hispanic Service Center is “something of a misnomer. We help everybody.” She noted that while HSC operates an emergency shelter for families, “we’ve never had a Hispanic family in it.” Mary Jones, who was recently elected president of the HSC Board of Directors, said she recently helped an Albanian restaurant owner from Fowlerville stop his Albanian wife from being deported. Along with moving, HSC is changing its name to Imlay HSC, GuerraDeLuca said, to better reflect its mission of helping anyone in need in Lapeer County. Jones said the new building at 113 N. Almont St. is about half the size of its current location on East Third Street, but owning their own building will allow the group to do things it never has before, like installing a commercial kitchen. Jones added mortgage payments on the 2,088-square-foot building will be less than what Imlay HSC is currently paying in rent. Jones said Imlay HSC would not have been able to put the deal Photo by Phil Foley Hispanic Service Center (HSC) board members Joe DeLuca, Mary Jones, Margaret Guerra-DeLuca, Lourdes Emke, Angie McCoy and Rosa Menedez show off the front of HSC’s new home. Hispanic Service Center set to sign papers for permanent home FANG on page 7A HSC on page 7A together without the help of Lakestone Bank & Trust’s Walt Bargen. Jones said the building had been on the market for $85,000, but they were able to get it for $76,000. She hopes the Imlay HSC will be able to move into its new facility by Sept. 1. The building is nearly move-in ready, though some minor things like repainting the black floor a lighter color, still need to be done. Imlay HSC was founded in 1972 as the Hispanic Service Center by a group of local Catholics and Baptists to meet the needs of Imlay City’s Spanish-speaking population. About 40 percent of Imlay City’s population is of Hispanic descent. Jones said the group formally incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1986. Jones noted that the HSC is not supported by the Lapeer County Senior Citizens millage. “We get no tax dollars,” she said. Board member Joe DeLuca said that while the new building is smaller, it just means HSC will have to be more efficient. Instead of having separate classroom and socializing space, the new center will have one room doing double duty. But the building will have a larger food pantry. Jones said Edward Neice, the Fowlerville restaurateur she helped, has donated a six-burner commercial stove and a four-bay commercial sink. They plan to convert a portion of the building into a commercial kitchen in the next few months. That, Jones said, will allow the HSC to hold monthly tamale sales to help support the center. Imlay HSC is governed by a nine-member board that includes Jones, Guerra-DeLuca, McCoy, Paul Bermudez, Cathleen Campbell, Amelia Coronado, Dora Shagena and Benita Rendom. Lourdes Emke is the executive director and Rosa Mendez is the senior coordinator. Emke said the group provides social, health, immigration, cultural and advocacy services for all Lapeer County residents. Imlay HSC also provides document translation services.
Director Mrs.Lourdes Emke Senior Program Coordinator Ms. Rosa Mendez
Board Chair Mrs. Mary Jones Board Vice Chair Mrs. Margaret Guerrero Deluca
Treasurer Mrs. Angelita McCoy Secretary Ms. Benita Rendon
Member Mr .Able Pena Member Mr.Paul Bermudez Member Mr. Joe Deluca Member Mrs. Angelita Ochoa Member Mrs. DOra Shagena Member
Hispanic Service Center (HSC) board members Joe DeLuca, Mary Jones, Margaret Guerra-DeLuca, Lourdes Emke, Angie McCoy and Rosa Menedez show off the front of HSC’s new home. Hispanic Service Center set to sign papers for permanent home .