Removing the Language Barrier – $4,800
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley was honored to support this valuable and critical asset need for the Community Resource Center of Teton Valley. One of the primary goals of the Foundation’s Competitive Grant Program is to support projects that reach underserved community members. The Community Foundation expects the results of having an interpretive service available will improve bi-lingual interactions with Resource Center clients and improve their quality of life.
Clients that speak Spanish as their first language comprise 35% of the Community Resource Center’s clientele. The number of new clients who report Spanish as their first language increased by 24% over the past year. Currently, no staff at the Resource Center or the Hispanic Resource Center, with whom the Resource Center shares an office, have representatives available for interpretation during the Community Resource Center’s business hours. The resulting issue is a language barrier between clients and available resources. This disconnect can compromise clients’ understanding of and access to available opportunities and assistance. With many of their clients facing an acute crisis, clients are often dealing with complex situations that are difficult both to describe and navigate. This has often left huge gaps in understanding between clients and staff.
Project Description: The Community Resource Center proposed a solution to this language barrier with the use of Trusted Translations, an over-the-phone interpretation service. By using Trusted Translations, they would not only be removing the language barrier but also improving the client experience. They expect the ability to communicate through an interpreter to increase the comfort factor for Spanish-speaking clients by reducing confusion and enhancing their ability to better explain their needs.
Additionally, it will maximize efficiency for both the client and staff, resulting in shorter office visits and easier follow-up over time. To further improve their bi-lingual service, the Resource Center anticipates hiring a full-time case manager within 2020, with a strong preference toward a candidate who is fluent in Spanish. If they are successful in hiring a Spanish-speaking candidate, the Foundation is supportive of diverting the funding to support this new position.
Summary: The Community Foundation commends the Community Resource Center for their forethought in having an interpreter available at any time to ease the client’s fears and reassure them that they are in a safe, non-judgmental environment. By increasing their clients’ comfort factor, they will be able to create a rapport that best supports clients in becoming self-sufficient.
Update: The Resource Center was able to hire sooner than expected and found a successful candidate who speaks Spanish! These grant funds have been diverted to support this new position.