The new Hispanic Community Services Incorporated center is now open. The 5,500 square foot facility is located at the intersection of Cate and Vandyne Streets in Jonesboro. Executive Director of Hispanic Community Services Inc. Gina Gomez says the new building is the result of at least four years of work, including a strategic plan that was funded by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. The site the new building is on also allows for potential future expansion—something that Gomez sees as a potential necessity. This is because of the rising Jonesboro population, which also includes a rising Hispanic population.
“We estimate in the Jonesboro area there is about 6,000 and in Craighead County there are about 12,000 people,” says Gomez. “We know the population keeps growing and it does grow because of the different opportunities here.”
Gomez says Arkansas has one of the highest rates of increased Hispanic population. Northeast Arkansas is very attractive because of the many opportunities that Jonesboro provides. She says the new building will allow the center to provide more social, legal, educational, cultural, and health services to people than in the past. This is because the new building is twice the size of the previous center. She tells about what the new center has in it.
“We have educational rooms and they are much larger than previous rooms,” says Gomez. “We have computer labs, a commercial kitchen, and more space to host the Mexican Consulate when they come. This will be helpful because we can host them at one site.”
Gomez stresses this is a center for the entire community.
“I think the Hispanic center is a cultural center as well,” says Gomez. “We have partnerships with different organizations that allow students to come and work their internships there. This is also a helpful place for international students because we know how scary it is for them to come to another country and we help them with those areas.”
Gomez says she is excited about the new center.
“This is a unique model that combined the community coming together to make this happen. We are excited about this because it is a huge goal that we had and now it is here.”
Gina Gomez. Their new website can be accessed here.