Spring 2022 Newsletter
Holy Cross Ministries (HCM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing health, education and justice services to families in Utah regardless of race, religion, income or any other defining characteristic. We hope you enjoy the following updates and stories about our work this spring.

For more news, program information and spring updates, check out our website and follow us on social media!
Justice Programming Spotlights
Celebrating the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
VAWA became a federal law in 1994, the same year that the Sisters of the Holy Cross created Holy Cross Ministries. Over the past three decades, members of Congress have renewed and enhanced VAWA protections in 2000, 2005, 2013, and most recently in March, with the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022. 

The reauthorization means HCM will continue to help VAWA victims eligible for immigration protection as we have since 2003. HCM has the distinction of being one of few nonprofit organizations that have been providing wraparound services to VAWA victims for decades. 

The Legal Immigration Program aids noncitizen victims of domestic violence when their abusers misuse the family-based immigration process to threaten, control, coerce, and/or intimidate them. The immigration services team supports victims by helping them apply for an immigrant status without the abuser’s knowledge, consent, or participation in the immigration process. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abusers.

Laws like VAWA bring victims of domestic violence to HCM, but compassion and service result in ongoing relationships, often until our clients become U.S. citizens. 
The Morales Sisters
Maribel Real, HCM's Immigration Services Manager, recently received thank you postcards from the Morales sisters, two young women who first came to HCM with their mother in 2005. The girls were both small children when they entered the United States two years before, in 2003. 
 
With the help of HCM, the Morales sisters managed to move through a complex immigration system until finally becoming naturalized citizens approximately 17 years later!  
"Dear Maribel,

It is with great joy I write you this thank you letter. I am so happy to report that my little sister and I have been naturalized as U.S. citizens and we could not have done it without your help! I am eternally grateful for your help in not only our citizenship process, but in helping our family obtain our green cards all those years ago. Thank you for all that you do, it truly changes lives. I know for certain it changed ours.

Best Regards,
Dalia Morales"
Education Programming Spotlight
Juanita* lost her husband two years ago, which was very hard for her and her two daughters. Being a single mom and taking care of her two little girls was not easy for Juanita. She works late at night to take care of her youngest daughter during the day, then sleeps for a few hours when she can before returning to work. Despite the difficulties she has faced, Juanita continues to work hard to provide for her family.
 
Juanita recently took a break from work to recover after undergoing ulcer surgery. Shortly after returning to work, she contracted COVID-19. While enrolled in HCM's Parents as Teachers (PAT) Program, Juanita received guidance from Hilda Marquez, one of HCM's PAT parent educators. Hilda listened to her and provided her with the emotional support she needed, giving her hope that everything would be okay. The PAT team referred Juanita to Jewish Family Service, who helped her with rental assistance. The PAT team also managed to provide diapers for Juanita's daughter and other available resources to assist her.
 
Juanita is currently on the waitlist for PC Tots, a daycare center for her little girl, so she can obtain a day job rather than working evenings. Juanita says Hilda's classes have truly helped her emotionally and that the PAT Program has encouraged her to stay motivated despite all the obstacles she's faced. Juanita appreciates the PAT Program's assistance and resources because they have helped her move forward.
Health Programming Spotlight
Laura* recently came to the United States seeking asylum. She was referred to HCM's Counseling Program due to her high levels of anxiety. Laura was diagnosed with moderate PTSD at the start of therapy and felt very hopeless. During treatment, it became evident that she was not only a victim of persecution in her home country, but also of domestic violence in the United States.

Laura learned about the resources available to women who are victims of domestic violence in the United States during therapy, and she was able to apply for a U visa with the help of HCM's Legal Immigration Program after completing a police report.

Laura is no longer subjected to domestic violence, and she has reduced the severity and frequency of many of her PTSD symptoms, allowing her to walk outside more frequently, engage in family activities, and become more involved in the community.
* In order to protect the privacy of those we serve, alternative names and images are used for these HCM clients.