The Centreville Immigration Forum began in the fall of 2007 as a project of the Outreach Committee of Wellspring United Church of Christ. This group began a series of open community dialogues to discuss the effects of immigration in Centreville.
By the spring of 2009, Forum participants were primarily from local churches and organizations with outreach to local immigrants; this included groups that offer ESL instruction and other assistance to low-income immigrants. For these groups, the Forum provided a way to learn about issues and to avoid overlapping services. Participants grew to include many area residents, including both business leaders and members of the day laborer community.
In 2010, the Forum accepted a challenge from local business and political leaders to provide management for an organized worker center. The Centreville Labor Resource Center is the result of this challenge.
Visit the CIF website for more information.
UCC-supported day laborers’ center in suburban D.C. has workers’ backs
Written by Jeff Woodard
March 13, 2012
When Alice Foltz and friends open the door of opportunity for others, warmth wafts outward.
“The most heartwarming and inspiring thing about this whole project has been the number of volunteers from across interfaith lines,” said Foltz who, along with her husband, Jerry, have been at the heart of operations at the Centreville (Va.) Labor Resource Center (CLRC).
Born out of the work of Wellspring UCC and reaching fruition courtesy of a shopping center owner who provided the space, the center opened Dec. 2 and has registered more than 170 area residents seeking temporary employment. A professional staff and 27 volunteers give out information and timely service to employers and employees alike.
“Centreville is a very diverse area of metro D.C.,” said Alice Foltz. “Housing is a little less expensive, and there are a lot of immigrants in the community. We never anticipated that we’d have a workers center, but … ”
And it came to fruition against some steep odds, she said.
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