May 5, 2000

Honoring the Strength of the Women and the CalWORKS Welfare to Work Program

At 1 o'clock on Friday, May 5, the mural "La Fuerza de las Mujeres" (The Strength of the Woman), located at 1141 E Street, will be unveiled. Hosted and painted by the women of The Latina Center - South Bay, the mural will be dedicated to the City of San Diego as a token of appreciation for the contributions of the CalWORKS Welfare to Work program providing resources for the bilingual and bicultural needs of Latina women.

The presentation will be given by Kimberly Bond, chief operating officer, Mental Health Systems, Inc. and Dr. Piedad Garcia, clinical director for the San Diego County, Health and Human Service Agency, Mental Health Services. Raphael López, an award winning internationally recognized illustrator who created the mural, making a total of five of his murals covering the walls of downtown San Diego, will also be present.

"We are delighted that we've been given this opportunity to show our gratitude for the programs and funding that support The Latina Center and its women," says Jazmin Jackson, program coordinator of the center.

The Latina Center was initially created in response to the bilingual/bicultural needs of Latina women in the CalWORKS Welfare to Work program. The program now includes non-Latina women, as well.

The Latina Center addresses issues such as substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, parenting issues, legal problems, health issues and numerous other issues. At the Latina Center, opened in September 1999, women are able to come and receive case management, advocacy, treatment and share with other women who face similar issues.

"Our clients face many serious problems," said Jackson. "We help these women to gain their independence and move forward with their lives and the lives of their children."

The Latina Center is a program operated by Mental Health Systems and funded by the San Diego County, Health and Human Service Agency, Mental Health Services and the CalWORKS Welfare to Work Program.

Following the dedication, The Latina Center will host an open house from 2 to 6 p.m. at 1105 Broadway Avenue, Suite 207, Chula Vista. Guests will tour the facility, enjoy ethnic refreshments and music and presentation by Dr. Piedad Garcia.

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