Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Discover How Local Politicians And Community Leaders Are Investing 1.5 Million To Enhance Immigrant Health Programs

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New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, on September 2nd, joined Immigration Committee Chair Carlos Menchaca, Mixteca Organization and Street Soccer USA to announce the New York City Council’s $1.5 million investment for the Immigrant Health Initiative. Established in 2016, the Immigrant Health Initiative supports programs to decrease health disparities among foreign born and native New Yorkers by focusing on improving access to healthcare; addressing cultural and language barriers; and targeting resources and interventions.

Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Member Menchaca also gathered to celebrate the End of Summer with Street Soccer USA’s elementary school aged players where they distributed backpacks to the children and closed Street Soccer USA’s summer session.

“The Council’s Immigrant Health Initiative is one component of support for immigrants and their families,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “While the federal government continues to disregard the needs of our immigrant communities, New York City will continue to defend the rights of every single person who came to this country to seek a better life. I am heartened by having partners in government like Council Member Menchaca and organizations like Mixteca and Street Soccer USA who devote to the mission of assisting undocumented New Yorkers, many of whom are here today in Council Member Menchaca’s district. The New York City Council continues to serve as a model on immigrant issues in hope that other cities follow.”

All New Yorkers deserve access to health care. I thank Speaker Mark-Viverito for upholding New York City values by sustaining the Council’s Immigrant Health Initiative. This funding supports areas like Red Hook and Sunset Park with both high needs and health care access challenges. Immigrant communities are in a time of crisis and we rely on the commitment of leaders like Speaker Mark-Viverito along with the expertise of non-profit organizations like Street Soccer USA and Mixteca to promote health care access and healthy lifestyles,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Chair of the Committee on Immigration.

“Thanks to this program, more people are receiving  adequate health care services that address cultural and language barriers. Now more than ever, I am proud to stand with the Speaker and the Council to continue funding important initiatives that provide key resources to hundreds of low-income immigrant New Yorkers,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Chair of the Committee on Finance.

We applaud the Speaker and City Council Member Menchaca for supporting the mental and emotional health of the immigrant community that Mixteca serves. With funding from the Immigrant Health Initiative, immigrants in Brooklyn and New York City will now have increased access to culturally-competent mental health resources. With deportation and hate crimes on the rise, immigrant families across our country are living through a period of incredible stress and emotional hardship. It’s encouraging to see the New York City Council recognize the urgent emotional needs of immigrant New Yorkers by investing in the Immigrant Health Initiative,” said Rodrigo Camarena, Board President and Interim Executive Director of the Mixteca Organization.

At Street Soccer USA we play for more ‒ more safe, secure, and healthy spaces for immigrant parents and their children. We make soccer the gateway for immigrant families to critical services like the ones Mixteca provides as well as to other opportunities in education and employment. Our teamwork is made possible by public servants who are true advocates like Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Member Menchaca. It is their leadership that makes the difference in realizing the promise of our immigrant communities,” said Lawrence Cann, Founder and President of Street Soccer USA.

Established in Fiscal 2016, the Immigrant Health Initiative supports local clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), community based organizations and community health centers to provide primary care, mental health services for uninsured immigrants. According to the NYC Department of Health, foreign-born adults younger than 65 are over twice as likely to be uninsured, compared to those that are U.S.-born (22% vs. 9%).

Speaker Mark-Viverito and Chair Menchaca announced the following as part of the financial investment:

$163,500 for Mixteca Organization toward mental health services
$300,000 for Street Soccer USA toward soccer programs for homeless youth and adults
New York City’s immigrant communities are encouraged to visit the Council’s website for resources and information.

About Mixteca Organization, Inc.

Mixteca Organization Inc.’s mission is to empower the Mexican and Latin-American immigrants of the New York area by providing access to services that enhance immigrants’ quality of life and will allow them to reach sustainable social and economic development. Mixteca Organization offers a variety of programs and services that respond to the specific needs of recently arrived immigrant families and aim to build a supportive environment for the growing Mexican and Latin-American immigrant community.

About Street Soccer USA

Street Soccer USA is a national nonprofit that brings soccer to communities to help people of all ages and backgrounds discover their strengths and take positive steps forward in their lives. At SSUSA, we play for more – more opportunities for growth and more ways to win. For our players, winning is excelling academically, completing rehabilitation, applying for a job or graduating from high school. In just over ten years, Street Soccer USA has grown from a single team in Charlotte, North Carolina to a national network of 15,000 kids, teens and adults in 14 different cities. No matter the challenges our players face, SSUSA helps them discover their strengths and rise to new levels of success. To learn how you can Play for More, visit

Checkout This Video On NY City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's
Perspective On NYC Being A Sanctuary City To Protect Immigrants


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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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