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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Puertas Abiertas - Building a Healthy, Integrated Community

Puertas Albertas which translates to “Open Doors,” is a community resource center working hand in hand with Latinos in Napa County. Their bilingual/bicultural staff is a trusted organization by our Spanish speaking community—providing accurate information, solving problems, and increasing well-being and productivity for a more economically vibrant community for everyone.

In addition to offering programs related to self-sufficiency and education, health and wellness, and community engagement—Puertas Abiertas CRC collaborates with various agencies to assist with legal navigation: immigration applications, DACA and citizenship applications, and free tax return and filing.

Puertas Abiertas partners with Bay Area United Way for the “Earn it! Keep it! Save it” program to provide free tax preparation to households earning less than $55,000 a year. Opening their doors back in 2005, one of the many needs was helping families successfully file taxes. Executive Director, Josefina Hurtado, explains, “Tax time can be stressful and confusing for families struggling to make ends meet, and can be even more intimidating for non-English speakers. The happiness that people experience when they discover they are eligible for refunds makes it a very rewarding program for clients and volunteers.”

Puertas Abiertas has offered this service for 8 years. Last year, six volunteers helped 250 Napa County families file taxes and, most importantly, receive $363,576 in refunds and/or the state and federal earned income tax credits of up to $6,000. Their dedicated staff encourages employers and organizations serving low-income and/or Spanish-speaking families to make them aware of this resource during tax season. The program is available for all community members and the majority of volunteers are bilingual. Appointments are available by calling (707) 224-1786.

In 2017-2018, Puertas Abiertas served over 2,252 individuals with an average family household of 5; an impact reaching over 11,000 people. A small but mighty facility, Puertas Abiertas was recognized by the Napa Chamber of Commerce in 2013 with the Outstanding Non-Profit of the Year Award.

The vision of Puertas Abiertas CRC is a healthy, integrated community where there is no longer any underserved population and where everyone has equitable access to services, resources, and civic participation.

Learning about all of the programs currently provided and what is projected to come, including a Food Pantry, I felt compelled to ask how they run all of these programs from their current location. The answer: creativity in utilizing their space, but as the growing need and success of the programs continue, they will be in need of a larger, more functional facility. For example, people who are utilizing their guidance in counseling do not have their own private rooms. A larger location would be on their “wish list” if the community could help in supporting that need.

Another Volunteer Income Tax Preparation (VITA) tax site that helps families in need of tax consulting and preparation is the Philips Family Resource Center located at Phillips Elementary School. SparkPoint Napa is a collaboration between On The Move, Phillips Elementary School and Napa

County Health and Human Services— to bring more resources, connections and opportunities to the underserved Phillips Neighborhood. Open by appointment, January 28 through April 15, 2019: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-3:30pm, with document drop off on Saturdays, 9:00am-3:00pm. To schedule an appointment, call (707) 287-1666.

Income Tax Preparation - please bring:

• Photo ID for each person on your tax return Social Security card or ITIN for each person

• All 1099s, 1098s and any other tax forms

• Last year’s tax return

• Child care provider information

• Your household’s health coverage information (Forms 1095-A, B or C)

• W-2s from all jobs

• Landlord’s name, address and phone number

• Savings and checking account and routing numbers for direct deposit

For additional locations and for more info

Puertas Abiertas CRC Programs:

Self-Sufficiency and Education:

Life skills, educational and advocacy courses to support personal growth and family stability—ESL workshops, Spanish literacy, college readiness, financial success, technology, cultural awareness, leadership and parenting groups.

Health and Wellness:

Direct support, guided referrals, access to healthcare and social services providers, and connecting clients to local nonprofit and government organizations that provide medical, dental and mental health services.

Community Engagement:

Educate and encourage residents to become active citizens through civic life and voting participation. Partner agencies reach the Latino community at public events, the media, and civic engagement workshops.

To donate or volunteer with CRC Programs


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