The Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden opened a resource center for Latino immigrants, Casa San José (House of St. Joseph), in 2013. It serves as a base of support for English language learners, helping them to access services – especially, services for children, youth, and families – in order to better acclimate to their new home in the Pittsburgh area and to know the experience of welcome here. The Sisters created Casa San Jose as an independent nonprofit with an independent board of directors in 2014. It now has a staff of eight people, three Sisters of St. Joseph, and 86 active volunteers.
This center was opened to support the ongoing and important work of Sister Janice Vanderneck, who has worked with the Latino community in the Pittsburgh region for many, many years. She has devoted herself to helping Latinos navigate the health system, social services, and the legal system to survive and to thrive in this community. More than 1,000 Latinos have benefited from her support over the years. Her vision has been to create a real community center for Latinos and to deliver the services that are needed as Pittsburgh attracts more and more Latinos to southwestern Pennsylvania. Her countless hours of support and commitment over many years has culminated with the founding of Casa San José as the trustworthy, go-to source of support to help underserved Latino immigrants access the assistance and services they need.
Casa San Jose is a community resource center that advocates for and empowers Latinos by promoting integration and self-sufficiency.
To model a strong culture of acceptance and integration in which immigrants and other newcomers are treated with dignity, respect, and kindness and can freely preserve and celebrate their unique cultures while adapting to their new lives in the Greater Pittsburgh area.