Saturday, September 26, 2020

Hispanic Immigrants Feel Hope

253x190_49079

Yesterday as the first African-American president was sworn in, many Hispanic immigrants who live in homeless shelters on Los Angeles’s  Skid Row cheered Barack Obama as he became the nation’s 44th president.

Los Angeles’ Mission and Saint Vincent Mission,two homeless shelters, held watch parties so its residents and neighbors could see history unfold in Washington. “We believe that President Obama can improve the conditions of this countryif he applies his philosophy, knowledge, and applies his poetic words,” said Dimas Hernandez, a 57 year old Guatemalan. He has been unemployed since last year and has been unable to get another position.

Hernandez, who reads the newspaper in Spanish everyday, thinks that Obama “has good plans, a good heart, and the strength to make the reforms he wishes.”

“We hope he supports us as immigrants. We need at least identification and jobs,” said Hernandez.

In the kitchen of Saint Vincent Mission, they set up two television sets, one a 70 inch television that was airing CNN and another 32 inch television that had on Univision to accommodate Spanish-language speakers.

Many who were Latinos watched in silence as the events transpired in Washington, while some read La Opinión as the pre-ceremony was starting.

“The whole world is watching. We are all paying attention. I think we all want change; we all want to improve our situation,” said Pedro Gomez, a 43 year old Mexican, who has had prior drug problems. “Due to my drug addiction, I have been here in this shelter for a year.  I have ruined my life, but now, little by little, I am finding my way, even sleeping here in this shelter,” said Gomez.

All who watched the inauguration in the Los Angeles Mission shelter were emotional. Many waved American flags, applauded and shouted with glee. The president of the non-profit shelter, Herbert Smith, said they opened their doors so the community could feel as if they were part of history and inspire them to get involved and make a change.

“This community wants to see changes. There is a lot of optimism in the new government. The homeless want access to better services and to improve their lives. and The homeless who are being affected by the economic crisis are asking for the opportunity to work to remake their lives,” said Smith.

In Los Angeles, there are an estimated 73,000 homeless in the neighborhood known as Skid Row which has more homeless people than any other place in the country.

Hernandez, who reads the newspaper in Spanish everyday, thinks that Obama “has good plans, a good heart, and the strength to make the reforms he wishes.”

“We hope he supports us as immigrants. We need at least identification and jobs,” said Hernandez.

In the kitchen of Saint Vincent Mission, they set up two television sets, one a 70 inch television that was airing CNN and another 32 inch television that had on Univision to accommodate Spanish-language speakers.

Many who were Latinos watched in silence as the events transpired in Washington, while some read La Opinión as the pre-ceremony was starting.

“The whole world is watching. We are all paying attention. I think we all want change; we all want to improve our situation,” said Pedro Gomez, a 43 year old Mexican, who has had prior drug problems. “Due to my drug addiction, I have been here in this shelter for a year.  I have ruined my life, but now, little by little, I am finding my way, even sleeping here in this shelter,” said Gomez.

All who watched the inauguration in the Los Angeles Mission shelter were emotional. Many waved American flags, applauded and shouted with glee. The president of the non-profit shelter, Herbert Smith, said they opened their doors so the community could feel as if they were part of history and inspire them to get involved and make a change.

“This community wants to see changes. There is a lot of optimism in the new government. The homeless want access to better services and to improve their lives. and The homeless who are being affected by the economic crisis are asking for the opportunity to work to remake their lives,” said Smith.

In Los Angeles, there are an estimated 73,000 homeless in the neighborhood known as Skid Row which has more homeless people than any other place in the country.

La Opinión