Recovery is a difficult road. For non-English speakers, accessing services and understanding the roots of addiction is a greater challenge. When Latino families move to Oregon, they not only leave behind their relatives and friends but also their community and support networks.
Central City Concern developed the culturally-specific Puentes program to support Latinos in recovery in 2005. Puentes uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide alcohol and drug treatment and mental health care to individuals and to the entire family in a way that mitigates stigma and fear. Puentes staff are bilingual and bicultural; they understand Latino values, family roles and community structures helping Latino clients gain insight into cultural influences on behavior.
Puentes clients receive primary health care, a recovery mentor, a mentor for the entire family and a case manager to help with housing and follow up care. With treatment, support and shelter, the family or individual can move from crisis to stability and reunification.
In Spanish it means ‘youthful hope.’ Esperanza Juvenil offers young people hope and a hand up, showing them the way to a better future. Esperanza Juvenil works with Latino youth ages 14-21 who have drug or alcohol issues or are susceptible to gang involvement. Esperanza’s bilingual team provides addiction treatment, individual and family counseling, in home family support and education. The team partners with El Programa Hispano on gang prevention strategies and works closely with school counselors and the police to promote ongoing prevention and follow up treatment.
More than 600 individuals and their families have started the road to recovery at the culturally-specific programs offered by Puentes.