When I first moved to Chicago several months ago, I never imagined that I would find such a kind, welcoming family as I have here at Taller de Jose. This feeling of belonging is something you feel the moment you walk through the door at our office on W 24th Blvd. This warmth resonates amongst our staff and our clientele and is the reason why many of our clients have formed lasting relationships with our incredible and generous staff throughout the years.
As a new year dawns I am confronted with the importance of the services that are offered by TDJ within the Little Village community. I am constantly reminded of the strength and resilience that arises from within the communities we work with. In the face of incredible adversity and looming political changes there is a sense of great determination and pride.
Daniela* came to us at Taller looking for assistance applying for a UVisa. As a survivor of domestic violence, Daniela, like many of our clients was apprehensive about telling her story. She explained to me that she never felt rushed to gain her legal status here in the U.S., but with the changing political landscape her family encouraged her to reach out to Taller and start the process. She approached the situation with courage and honesty. I referred Daniela to one of our partner organizations, Latinos Progresando, who guided her on the beginning of what will be a long and complicated process. As we begin to collect the documents required for her application she and I will be attending a UVisa workshop held by Latinos Progresando. As a new volunteer to Taller I am eager to learn alongside Daniela and provide what ever support I can.
That is what I appreciate most about Taller de Jose. Every day we learn new things from our clients and are constantly growing, together. Through understanding how to help my clients empower themselves I am growing with them. I am inspired by their commitment to family, community and hope in the face of uncertainty. We are all unsure as to what 2017 will bring, but one thing is certain: we look forward to facing any challenges our clients might face, together.
*Name and details have been changed to protect client’s identity.