In the Northwood area, an “open-air labor market” began to develop next to Broadway and 44th Street several years ago. Up to a hundred day laborers, primarily Mayan immigrants from Guatemala and Southern Mexico, congregate daily in an unorganized outdoor labor market where employers pick them up for work.
A group of concerned citizens got together to address the problem in early 2019, and Esperanza Community Center was formed. It is our goal to transform the problem of an unsafe and contentious open-air day-labor market into a safe day labor center.
It is ECC’s vision to see that residents in the Northwood area and all of West Palm Beach appreciate their Latino neighbors and the role they play in the community and that the day laborers and their families in particular feel safe, welcome and able to access the resources they need to live healthy, happy and productive lives. These resources include nutrition and health care, affordable housing, legal services, workforce training, English as a second language education, and support services provided by the ECC for the day laborers (not all of whom are Latino) seeking to link up with customers wanting to hire day labor help.
ECC’s mission statement is “Empowering Northwood day laborers and families to thrive.”
ECC values empowerment, freedom of choice, financial independence, self-worth, and ability to dream and pursue one’s own highest potential. In addition, ECC values equality for people of all races, denominations, sexes and sexual preferences, age, and income levels. In support of this value, ECC’s services and programs are open to all in the Northwood area who desire assistance.
Promotes a harmonious integrated community in which all people can achieve their highest potential, and seeks to be a model for other communities dealing with day laborers.
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