Summer 2021 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 summer.

For more news, program information and summer updates, check out our website and follow us on social media!
Join us in person for our 2021
Autumn Harvest Benefit this October!

Please see more details below program updates
Justice Programming Spotlight
We are thrilled to share that Carlos Flores, one of HCM’s community health workers, became a U.S. citizen in May! HCM’s Legal Immigration Program was honored to support Carlos in the process.

Carlos’ journey to citizenship took over 20 years and began in 1998, when he first moved to the United States from Mexico. As a teenager and young adult without legal status, Carlos saw many opportunities pass him by. He excelled in high school but wasn’t able to attend college after graduation like his friends. And he didn’t have any employment options besides working as a dishwasher in a local restaurant or shoveling snow — both of which he didn’t enjoy. Like many immigrants, Carlos also lived with the constant fear that he might be deported. 

Eventually, he was able to apply for and receive his green card, though this was a lengthy and expensive process, especially considering that he was a young father at the time. After waiting the requisite five years, Carlos was eligible to apply for citizenship in 2020, and he approached HCM’s legal team for assistance. Within two days, his application was complete and submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. One of HCM’s legal assistants provided Carlos with the questions he should study for his upcoming citizenship test. One year later, he attended his naturalization interview, passed the test and received his certificate of naturalization.

Carlos is excited and relieved to finally become a U.S. citizen and forever grateful for the support of HCM’s legal team. He says he was eager to obtain citizenship so he could participate in our democracy and vote on issues he cares about, protecting the interests of his two daughters as well as those who don’t yet have a voice. We are very proud of Carlos and so happy for his success!

DID YOU KNOW? As of March 2020, 8,490 active DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients lived in Utah. Through the DACA program, HCM's legal team helps young adults like Carlos fully participate in the community and gain self-sufficiency by working and attending college in Utah.
Health Programming Spotlight
Many of the individuals we serve have experienced immense financial hardship and personal loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Rafael* and his family. Rafael’s family first connected with the community health workers in HCM’s Promotor/a Outreach Program during the summer of 2020, right after Rafael’s wife, Rosa*, tested positive for COVID. Rosa’s illness progressed very quickly, and she was soon hospitalized. When one of HCM’s community health workers followed up with the family two weeks later, we learned that Rosa had sadly passed away, leaving Rafael as the sole caregiver for their two young children.

We immediately provided Rafael and his children with emotional support and connections to community resources. Yet, unfortunately, his family experienced more challenges later that fall — Rafael lost his job, was evicted from his apartment and his car was stolen shortly afterward. 

HCM’s community health workers stayed in contact with the struggling family throughout the following winter and spring, offering frequent support, advocacy and connections to food pantries and rent assistance programs. We are very happy to report that Rafael recently found a full-time job with a landscaping company, allowing him to afford a new car and an apartment. Moreover, HCM’s community health workers assisted Rafael with an application for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program, and we recently learned that the thousands of dollars of debt Rafael incurred from Rosa’s funeral will be fully covered. 

Rafael and his children are still grieving the loss of their wife and mother. But Rafael says he feels happy and hopeful for the first time in a long time. He is also grateful to know that HCM’s community health workers will continue to support his family as they recover from an incredibly difficult year.

DID YOU KNOW? Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S. are two times more likely to contract COVID-19 than White, non-Hispanic persons, 2.8 times more likely to be hospitalized and 2.3 times more likely to die, according to COVID-19 data from the CDC. HCM remains committed to addressing these health disparities through the duration of the pandemic with its health outreach programming.
Education Programming Spotlight
Elena* is an incredible and independent single mom who started participating in HCM’s Parents as Teachers (PAT) Program two years ago. At the time, she was pregnant and a survivor of a recent domestic violence incident that forced her to leave her partner. Because of this recent trauma, one of HCM’s PAT parent educators quickly connected Elena with HCM’s Counseling Program and helped her apply for and secure a low-income apartment, where she could safely live separately from her abuser.

During her time in the PAT Program, Elena’s confidence and independence has grown tremendously. She has attended an ongoing support group facilitated by one of HCM’s therapists for domestic violence survivors, where she has found healing and community.

Elena also delivered a healthy baby boy named Julian*. Julian is now 16 months old, and he is exceeding all developmental milestones for his age. He has achieved the highest scores possible in the social, emotional and developmental categories of our PAT assessments, and he is already speaking in two-word sentences.

We are so inspired by Elena and her son’s amazing progress. HCM PAT Program Coordinator Lizeette Zurita says Elena is a warrior and a great example of how much you can rise above when you are determined and have a strong support system.

DID YOU KNOW? Domestic violence incidents in the U.S. increased by an estimated 8.1% after pandemic-related lockdown orders. HCM offers wraparound support to domestic violence survivors through mental health counseling, resource connections and legal services.
* In order to protect the privacy of those we serve, alternative names and images are used for HCM clients.
Announcements
SAVE THE DATE!
Saturday, October 2nd, 2021
We've missed you! And we are delighted to announce that Holy Cross Ministries' Autumn Harvest Benefit will be held in person at the DeJoria Center in Kamas, Utah, during the evening of Saturday, October 2nd.

Autumn Harvest Benefit is HCM's signature annual fundraising event that helps us enhance and expand our health outreach, counseling, early childhood education and legal services benefiting underserved families in our shared Park City community. Please stay tuned for email and social media updates on how to buy tickets in August!
Holy Cross Ministries is Certified Transparent
Holy Cross Ministries recently earned the Excellence in Giving Transparency Certificate by submitting 175 strategy, leadership, financial and impact data to Nonprofit Analytics. Review our cost-effectiveness by clicking HERE.