From their origins as a small, bilingual youth outreach center founded in 1973, La Casa de Amistad has grown to become a leader in providing educational, neighborhood, and immigration advocacy services to the local Latino/Hispanic community. Against a backdrop where the local Latino population in South Bend has grown from less than 3% then to over 17% today, La Casa has increasingly strained to continue providing an ever-expanding level of services out of the same cramped space they moved to in the mid-1980s.
When an opportunity arose to consolidate their three existing locations totaling 14,000 square feet into a more easily-accessible 40,000 square foot building with adjoining land, the El Sueno (The Dream) Campaign was born. The Foundation, recognizing the longtime educational component to La Casa’s services, approved a matching grant to be applied towards the campaign goal. When completed, the relocation of the center and renovation of the new property will create vital bilingual youth educational programming, improve access to adult language and citizenship programming, and provide a public space for all St. Joseph County residents to experience a deeper understanding of the cultural history of our newer residents.