An Atlanta planning agency and a Brookhaven-based Latin American nonprofit are partnering to help support Spanish-speaking adults with disabilities.  

The Atlanta Regional Commission’s Aging & Independence Services Group has issued a $100,000 grant over two years to the Latin American Association, according to a press release. The grant is intended to better serve older residents in the city’s Latino community, as well as those with disabilities. 

“The LAA has been serving Latino seniors for over 20 years,” said LAA CEO Santiago Marquez in the press release. “We are fortunate to have such great partners as ARC and to have some funding to help us welcome our seniors back to our building. We look forward to expanding the services offered to Latino seniors.”

As part of its outreach, the LAA works to connect older adults and adults with disabilities with resources to help them live more independently, such as meal delivery, transportation and access to mental health services. 

The funding from the ARC will help the LAA provide these communities with culturally appropriate referrals of community services. The LAA has also been able to hire a social worker, and LAA staff have joined the ARC’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection advisory committee.

“This type of funding is hard to access,” Cynthia Roman, managing director of Family Stabilization and Well-Being at the LAA, said in the press release. “The partnership with ARC will go a long way to help this highly vulnerable population get the services and support they need to thrive.”

The partnership will help the ARC to expand its reach among Latino residents, which according to the ARC make up 12% of the population in the 10-county metro area. The partnership is modeled after the ARC’s existing partnership with Center for Pan Asian Community Services, which is an Asian and Pacific Islander health and human service agency located in Chamblee. 

“We are very excited to be partnering with the LAA as we strive to better serve the needs of metro Atlanta’s growing Hispanic population,” said Becky Kurtz, managing director of ARC’s Aging & Independence Services, in the press release. “The LAA is a trusted entity in the Latino community, and they bring to us cultural competency and language proficiency.”

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.