Multicultural Institute received the 18th Welcoming Stars award and was recognized at the North Fair Oaks Community Council and Redwood City City Council meetings. Executive Director and founder Father Rigoberto Calocarivas, Program Director Cesar Meza-Esveile,Multicultural Institute staff, domestic workers, and day laborers were present to receive the award.
For over 13 years, the Multicultural Institute has walked alongside the day laborer community in North Fair Oaks and accompanied them in their transition from poverty and isolation to workforce participation and prosperity. Within this time period, Multicultural Institute has served over 1,200 day laborers with wraparound services such as job placement, housing, legal aid, education, and healthcare. By conducting outreach directly out on the streets, Multicultural Institute staff builds trust within the day laborer community and continue to help the immigrant community reach economic stability.
Featured is the story of Martin Gonzalez, who started off working in the fields and as a dishwasher when he first arrived in the United States. He now is the owner of a landscaping business. Martin participated in Multicultural Institute’s Business Skills Development Program, his wife participated in the GED Program, and their children participated in Mentoring for Academic Success and the Youth Festival Writing Program. “I think in these classes, I was able to figure out how to climb up without falling,” says Martin.
Redwood City Together is the welcoming initiative of Redwood City 2020 that builds empathy, understanding, and supportive action to bridge social divides such as race, class, and immigration status. To honor local pioneers and programs which build an inclusive community, Redwood City Together gives a quarterly Welcoming Stars award. Nominate a Welcoming Star here!