Hundreds of San Diego residents receive assistance through Pilipino Workers Center

Photos courtesy of Pilipino Workers Center

PWC culminates Team and Changes special outreach project with a free-check up for caregivers

SAN DIEGO — Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) San Diego culminated their Team and Changes special outreach project with a community presentation outreach last May 27 at the National Public Library in National City, CA. The event was the final leg of a 3-month long outreach program, which collectively has reached more than 700 residents of San Diego.

Previous outreach events occurred on March 31 at Parkwood Villa Apartments and on April 8 at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA in San Diego.

Through the Team and Changes program, Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) provides assistance to communities with limited English proficiency, low-income individuals and families, and the elderly population who are often technologically challenged and vulnerable to scams. Close to 500 people attended PWC’s April 8 outreach event, majority of whom were from the elderly population and who were in dire need of assistance.

“My heart bled seeing so many people with oxygen tanks lined up before we started setting up at 8:30 a.m., and come to find out they had been there since 6:30 a.m. The event wasn’t set to start until 10 a.m.,” said PWC SD organizer, Nicanora Montenegro.

In the series of outreach events, Pilipino Workers Center, in partnership with various allies in the community such as Grandparents Connection, Mabuhay Foundation and National Federation of Filipino Associations (NAFAA), organized workshops to educate the community about understanding the charges on their telephone, internet and utility bills. As hundreds of people showed up seeking relief from inflated debt and rate hikes, the organizers offered assistance through education and resources for bill-related issues.

“There were people here who couldn’t write their names, and most didn’t understand the breakdown of the charges on their bills. This program was designed to assign them a caseworker to help them understand that,” said Montenegro.

Although Pilipino Workers Center explained that the organization cannot pay the bills directly, they are offering direct assistance to consumers and can advocate for them in conflict resolutions and cases. Additionally, PWC is able to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate assistance for the Filipino community with workers speaking fluently in Tagalog or Filipino, Bisaya and other dialects.

PWC also provided $20 gift cards to the first 200 attendees of the events who brought bills. It will continue to provide assistance and resources to San Diego residents who are in need. Inquiries can be made by telephone through these numbers: (619) 316-7996 or (619) 601-8855.

The Team and Changes is a community assistance program brought by the California Public Utitlities Commissions (CPUC) with assistance of community-based organizations. The TEAM (Telecommunications Education and Assistance in Multiple-Languages) program provides services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) consumers with telecommunications issues by focusing on three service components – consumer education, care assistance, and program outreach. Assistance is provided statewide through community based organizations that work with LEP consumers in their preferred language and with cultural sensitivity. CPUC’s CHANGES (Community Help and Awareness of Natural Gas and Electric Services) program provides services to Limited English Proficient consumers who need help with energy issues. The program provides consumer education, case assistance, and program outreach.

Founded in 1997, Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) is a grassroots non-profit that organizes, educates, and mobilizes worker and immigrant Filipinx communities. Through culturally and linguistically appropriate programs and services, PWC aims to build collective power in order to change non-inclusive and oppressive systems to secure the dignity, safety, and economic stability of the Filipinx community. For more information visit www.pwcsc.org.

(PWC Release)

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