News for Amigos de Casa San José: August 29, 2019

Dear Casa San José Amigos,

Welcome back to our email newsletter!

How to take action:

Join our partner Just Harvest to protest a new Trump proposal which would deny food stamps to millions of Americans of food stamps – 16,000 people in Allegheny County – and block many low-income children from getting free school meals.  Come to “Power of the Pen: Protect Access to SNAP” on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 6 pm, 1 Smithfield St. downtown – and write strong words to those in power.  You can register here.

How you can help:

Does anyone have an office-type wireless laser printer they no longer need?  Our East Liberty office needs one badly.  If you can donate one, please contact Andrea at andream@casasanjose.org.

News on what we’re doing:

¡¡Mil gracias/Thank you!! to all our Amigos who donated school supplies to our Back to School Bash, and were given out to our kids last Saturday. Here is our Youth Coordinator José with the packages that were arriving daily:


Hundreds attended the gun control rally to “disarm and dismantle hate” on August 8 in Squirrel Hill following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Casa San Jose was one of the sponsors and Monica spoke to the crowd.
Laura gave an extensive interview to Charlie Deitch’s Pittsburgh Current podcast , where she explains in clear detail what Pittsburgh Latino immigrants are experiencing, how ICE is operating locally, and what Casa is doing to help.  Please listen!
Sister Janice joined fellow Sisters Patti Rossi and Jeanette Bussen as they traveled to our Southern border in McAllen, Texas, to meet and serve the immigrants coming to the Humanitarian Respite Center, run by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.  The migrants arrived in a state of exhaustion and fear after a harrowing journey. The Sisters helped them with paperwork, transportation, meals, clothing, childcare, language issues, and distributed, among many other items, 260 pairs of shoes. The Beaver County Times covered the story.
Sr Janice at respite center
Save the dates –
Friday, Oct. 4 from 6-9 pm for the opening reception of award-winning Sculptor Jaime Guerrero’s exhibition at Pittsburgh Glass Center.  This extraordinary exhibit of blown glass children and angels, dramatizing the plight of refugee children, will extend through Jan. 26.  On Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 pm, both the artist and Sr. Janice will offer a talk about Casa’s involvement with the community, and how Jaime’s work with us as a volunteer has influenced this exhibition.  It is entitled “Cuando el Río Suena” (“When the River Sounds”).  The Pittsburgh Glass Center is located at 5472 Penn Ave.

Opportunities with our allies:

Our story, continued:

Laura, our Emergency Response Organizer, recently told us the story of Isabel (not her real name), a legal permanent resident in Pittsburgh. She called our emergency number to seek help for her sister who fled Honduras with her two daughters.  They had presented themselves at the Laredo border asking for asylum.  They were given a court date in 120 days and told to go back to Mexico. This is a policy by the Trump administration known as “Plan Mexico.”

That same day they were sent back to Mexico, they were kidnapped by narco-traffickers – who called Isabel to tell her to pay $7500 apiece to release them.  (They also told her that if she paid more, they would bring them to San Antonio.)  Isabel was worried sick, and started to look for money from relatives, friends, anyone, to pay them.  After she called Casa for help, Laura got in touch with the FBI, who were helpful, suggesting questions to ask and what to do.  Has she heard the voice of her sister, for instance, and when was the most recent time she heard all three? They emphasized that kidnappers don’t think twice about killing people.

Soon, Isabel was told to provide $2000 by the end of the day or they would be killed.  But miraculously, at the end of that day, the cartel suddenly let them go, and put them on a bus to Monterrey, in Mexico.  Now, Laura needed to find out how to help them in that city.  Casa contacted our friends and volunteers with connections in Monterrey. Through their help, Isabel’s sister and her children got to a shelter, the Albergue y Comedor Público para Mujeres Migrantes, and we got pictures of their arrival.  The challenge is now to get them back in time for their court hearing, and to find psychological help for the sister here, who has been traumatized.  That was one of 4 calls Laura got that day.

Learn more:


And read:

Thank you for joining us!

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