One in ten Washingtonians is Latino, and the majority are immigrants; many have fled violence at home, and all are seeking better opportunities. Whether they have well-established roots in the US or are newly arrived, they face a host of challenges, including limited English skills, unstable employment and housing, and low wages. So CARECEN provides a one-stop shop where Latino immigrants can access the tools and resources they need to lead secure and productive lives. Direct legal services and consultations (offered at low or no cost) allow them to resolve their immigration status, secure work authorization, and gain permanent residency. The next step is citizenship, and CARECENís citizenship coursework (including mock interviews and ESL tutoring), voter education, and civic engagement activities prepare Latinos to fully engage in civil society. Housing counseling promotes safe and stable homes for all through education on tenant rights, foreclosure prevention, and financial literacy. And an after-school youth program prepares the next generation to become the leaders of tomorrow. Together, these programs strengthen our Latino community Ö and our society.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 1

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Fairfax

Age Groups Served: Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+)

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Immigrants/Refugees

  • Number of people (clients, patrons, students, etc) we serve annually:   2500
  • Number of volunteers who work with us annually:   100
  • Number of clients that recieve immigration legal assistance:   1752
  • Number of participants assisted in the housing program:   775
  • Number of individuals benefited from citizenship classes, tutoring, citizenship info sessions:   594

Awards & Recognition

Proclamation for 35th Anniversary, 2016
Community Partner Paper Award, 2016
Partner Award from Capital Area Asset Builders, 2011
Latino Non-Profit of the Year Award, 2011
Recognition from Embassy of El Salvador, 2011
Servant of Justice Award, 1992
Hugh A. Johnson Jr. Memorial Award, 1990


Budget (FY2015)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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