Houston is a city with a large population of immigrants from all over the world. We recognize that a diverse population also has divergent needs that social services providers are not traditionally structured to meet, particularly for vulnerable populations, including undocumented persons and mixed status families.
Our “access to services” bucket of work focuses on getting service providers to gradually become more immigrant accessible. The process incorporates training, including cultural safety training, followed by self-assessment of program inclusivity and accessibility, then integration of improved procedures and practices, and finally the commitment to remaining immigrant inclusive through collaborative engagement and regular reassessment.
HILSC’s collaborative conversations evolved to the stage where we regularly evaluate access issues, but there is more work to be done to build connections between the movements for racial justice and for immigrant access. We strive to move our collaborators from responsive problem solving to challenging the systems of power that purposefully maintain inequity for marginalized communities.