FCA Launches Spanish-Speaking Bi-County Immigrant Helpline

FCA, a Long Island not-for-profit organization, has launched a COVID-19 Crisis Helpline and other aid for the local Nassau and Suffolk County immigrant population under the organization’s Immigrant & Refugee Support Services program.

The recent global pandemic has hit Long Island hard across the board from the healthcare providers on the front lines to local economies, educational institutions and everything in between. Those especially shaken have been the local immigrant communities. Dealing with a public health crisis is difficult enough for an individual, let alone their family, without also having to worry about other barriers to care layered on top. 

Many are faced with an onslaught of questions for which they are not sure where to even begin to turn in order to comprehend and resolve. The communities already burdened by a variety of daily challenges now must figure out how to protect themselves and their families during these challenging and uncertain times, some with medical insurance, many without. The anxiety and feelings of powerlessness and uncertainty can make this all too overwhelming for these groups who already were faced with the troubles of navigating an unfamiliar system.

As a result, FCA has stepped in to provide relief and a sense of hope for these immigrant and refugee groups. Services provided under the new Immigrant and Refugee Support Services program, funded by the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation and the Hearst Foundation, include the crisis support helpline, medical advocacy, translation assistance, and referrals to food, legal and other resources.  Other core components to this program include short-term childcare for children between the ages of two to five and case management for their families to help access needed community services.

The FCA COVID-19 Crisis Helpline is one of the first of its kind offered to the local immigrant communities.  All calls are answered by a trained FCA staff member.  Callers have the option of leaving a voice message should all counselors be busy helping others at that time.  All calls are returned that same day.

By calling the crisis support helpline, participants will have access to information about local food pantries, immigration resources, legal aid options, medical advocacy, translation assistance, and the opportunity to speak with a mental health counselor for short-term counseling before being provided with a referral for ongoing services at the client’s request. FCA reminds Long Island’s Hispanic community that they are not alone during these unprecedented times and that there is in fact a shoulder to lean on, one with 135 years of experience and success in protecting Long Island’s most vulnerable. 

As stated by Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, FCA President & CEO, “It’s become increasingly clear that the pre-existing health disparities that have plagued Long Island for generations are reflected in the individuals, families and communities most heavily impacted by COVID-19. FCA has a long history of assisting our region’s Spanish-speaking populations and recently arrived immigrants, so naturally we wanted to fill this gap in service delivery.”

For more information on these newly launched unique services, please call the FCA COVID-19 Crisis Helpline at (516)546-0357.

La línea de ayuda de FCA existe para las comunidades inmigrantes ahora y después del coronavirus (COVID-19). Al llamar, tendrías acceso a recursos de alimento, información de inmigración, asistencia legal, guía e información de tratamiento médico, y asistencia para traducir información en inglés al español. También tendrías acceso a consejería breve que sería seguido con referencia a servicios en curso si desea. ¡No están solos, FCA está aquí para ayudarte.

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