Social Service Programs
Food Assistance Program
In partnership with the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, Puentes de Salud works with families to determine their eligibility for the U.S.D.A.'s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Staff from the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger enrolls eligible families and manages this benefit for them. The Coalition also gives periodic charlas to educate patients in Puentes de Salud's waiting room about their eligibility for food assistance. Read more about the Puentes de Salud Charla Program. For families not eligible to receive SNAP, Puentes de Salud provides healthy, discounted foods to community members in partnership with Share Food Program of PA. Participating families complete 4 hours of community service for every package of discounted food they receive at Puentes de Salud. This program is coordinated by Puentes de Salud's promotoras.
Insurance Eligibility and Application Program
Since the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 (PRWORA), federal funding for medical assistance to immigrants has been severely restricted. However, individuals may still qualify for Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA) based on medical need. Since 1993, Puentes de Salud's Community Nurse Liaison has worked with state and hospital administrators to determine patients' eligibility for EMA and to apply on their behalf. This program has enabled life-saving and life-sustaining treatments at Puentes de Salud for patients who need them most, providing a crucial safety net for our community. Patients can schedule appointments at our main office with Puentes de Salud's Community Nurse Liaison, who reviews individual cases, gathers the necessary documents, and processes EMA applications.
Latina Domestic Violence Program (LDVP)
Working in close partnership with Congreso de Latinos Unidos' LDVP, Puentes de Salud refers adult female and child victims of domestic violence for individual and group counseling and for help accessing related legal services. Congreso provides crisis counseling through a 24-hour hotline (1-800-SAFE-014).
Latino Outreach Immigration Services Project (LOIS)
HIAS Pennsylvania, supported by a generous grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts, partners with Puentes de Salud and ACLAMO Family Centers to provide low-cost legal assistance to immigrants and their families through its new program, Latino Outreach Immigration Services (LOIS). Through this collaborative effort, HIAS Pennsylvania provides immigration legal assistance at ACLAMO Family Centers in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and at Puentes de Salud's main office in South Philadelphia. The LOIS Project brings specialized immigration services to organizations serving the Latino community in their respective neighborhoods. Individuals with immigration-related questions or concerns have the opportunity to speak directly with Spanish-speaking immigration specialists at the designated sites. The following areas are covered: family unity, citizenship, interpersonal violence, immigrant youth, deportation defense, asylum and humanitarian relief. Consultations with a bilingual lawyer are offered monthly and full representation is provided for eligible community members at a nominal fee, based on income. By providing this much-needed service in a trusted location, the LOIS Project hopes to serve more low-income Latino immigrants who may otherwise be unable to access immigration legal services.
Children's Health Coverage Program
Newborns of the rapidly growing families in South Philadelphia are eligible for full medical coverage through the State Children's Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP). Due to many factors including linguistic and cultural barriers, many infants and eligible children are not enrolled in this program and therefore do not have health insurance. Puentes de Salud's Community Nurse Liaison works closely with families to explore children's eligibility for SCHIP and assist with applications on behalf of eligible children. Future efforts will include outreach campaigns led by Puentes de Salud's promotoras and Community Nurse Liaison to identify children who are eligible for SCHIP, and then refer them to Puentes de Salud where their application can be processed and managed.
Victims of Violence Program
In immigrant communities, violent crimes often go unreported. Working in concert with local hospital trauma services and emergency departments, Puentes de Salud has established itself as a referral center for crime victims in the South Philadelphia Latino community.Through its referral network, Puentes gathers pertinent patient information and works closely with another nonprofit, Victim Witness Services of South Philadelphia, to provide direct assistance and support to crime victims.