In furtherance of HILSC’s strategic planning goal: “Equitable Access to Services” we have been using out convening superpower to organize ” Holistic Immigrant Services” to facilitate a discussion related to access to services. We brought together representatives from different service providers that work with immigrants to discuss what we learned about providing services in the pandemic era, how we are providing services now, and if there are any lessons learned we can apply to how services can be offered.
HILSC is aware, however, that access to services has two perspectives—two sides to the story: the story of the provider and the story of the immigrant receiver of services. This made us curious as to what Houston’s immigrant communities experienced when accessing services, because unless we know directly from the community, new approaches to providing services could be based on certain inaccurate assumptions. We wanted qualitative data upon which to base a potential plan for improved access to services. The HILSC team held two conversations with various Houston immigrant community groups to collect some of these perspectives and ideas about access to services.
On September 14th, we had a meeting that combined the immigrant community groups with service providers to discuss the themes that arose during the first two meetings. Four different priorities were identified by the group to focus our efforts. Below is a visual synopsis of the meeting.