El Centro, a storefront immigrant day worker center in Port Richmond, Staten Island, was developed in 1997 by a collaborative effort of Project Hospitality, the Latino Civic Association, and St. Mary’s of the Assumption Church to address the needs of the newly arrived immigrant day laborers and their families.
Since 1990 thousands of immigrants mainly from Mexico and Latin America have immigrated to Staten Island. El Centro has created “a space where recently arrived immigrants can form friendships, receive information and training and make their own contribution to the Staten Island community.”
Through immigrant and labor advocacy, educational workshops, labor leadership training, and emergency intervention for hunger, homelessness and health/safety needs, El Centro provides opportunities for economic empowerment, community-building and organizing. Services include English as a Second Language, G.E.D. and Literacy classes, labor organizing, health education and screenings, family and immigrant rights services, immigration counseling, legal assistance, social activities, food and clothing distribution and community service.