November 2020 Newsletter
Turning a New Leaf: Fall Updates at VWSSP
This past autumn, Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia (VWSSP) has welcomed new staff members to serve our South Philadelphia community. Additionally, we have revised our COVID-19 protocol in accordance with current Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
New and Familiar Faces
Caitlin Joyce (pictured left) joined this past September as our new Office Manager and Project Administrator. She is a graduate of Arcadia University with a major in Sociology and minors in Gender & Sexuality Studies and Cultural Anthropology. She previously worked as an intern with the LGBT+ advocacy nonprofit group Sean's Legacy, conducting research on health disparities within LGBT+ communities in China, Japan, and the Philippines. Through working at VWSSP, she hopes to become a positive presence in the lives of others. Outside of work, she enjoys studying Japanese language and crafting.

In October, Miguel Bacho (pictured right) started as a Victim Advocate in our Immigrant Victim Access Collaborative (IVAC). After studying in Chile, Miguel worked various positions in the United States, including at SouthCoast Fair Housing in Rhode Island, a nonprofit devoted to eliminating housing discrimination. Miguel is also a dedicated writer; he is in the editing phase for his novel, and also composes a monthly book review for an online publication circulated in his hometown of Iquique, Chile. A community-oriented person, Miguel is looking forward to using his Spanish-English bilingual ability to serve South Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Additionally, Esteban Calel (pictured left) has rejoined our organization as a part-time Bilingual Victim Advocate. Many may recognize Esteban as he previously worked at VWSSP for over a decade after graduating from Temple University. Now having years of experience in the field of social services, Esteban believes that "something beautiful can come out of [difficult situations]" through building trust and empathy with others. In addition to helping us part-time, he enjoys his work as a full-time custodian at the Lower Merion School District, traveling to the beach, and taking frequent bike rides.
November COVID-19 Policy
Distance
In observance of CDC recommendations and guidelines, our staff are continuing to work remotely as much as possible. Advocates may be available in urgent circumstances to meet with clients on a by-appointment-only basis. Masks and temperature checks are required by all prior to entering the office.

If you would like to request an appointment, please directly contact your advocate.

IVAC Joins PAICA Network to Provide COVID-19 Financial Relief
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic shutdowns, the IVAC team collaborated with other immigrant services agencies to form the Philadelphia Area Immigrant Collective Action (PAICA) network. PAICA developed an Immigrant Relief Fund that provides direct emergency assistance to people excluded from federal COVID-19 assistance programs due to their immigration status but are in need of immediate financial assistance. From April to September, the VWSSP IVAC team was able to distribute $800 in assistance funding to 28 clients, contributing to a total of $22,400 distributed by PAICA this year.
Help Support VWSSP
Despite the various challenges COVID-19 poses to our society, we will always be here to assist those in need. We recognize the economic difficulties many are currently facing, so we deeply appreciate any support you are able to give, no matter how large or small.
[Victim Witness Services South Philadelphia] | [215-551-3360] | info@vwssp.org |