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Groundbreaking of new Hispanic center occurs in Jonesboro

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

    Jonesboro’s population continues to grow as it is just under 70,000 people.  Roughly nine percent of that total population comes from a growing Hispanic population.  To accommodate the needs of that many Hispanics in Jonesboro, the Hispanic Community Services Incorporated are moving to a new location.  A groundbreaking occurred at the site of the 5,500 square foot building, which should open by spring or early summer of 2017.  Gina Gomez is the executive director of Hispanic Community Services Inc.  She tells what services are provided at the center.

“We provide services in 5 areas. Those areas include social, legal, educational, cultural and health,” says Gomez.  “They also include Spanish and English classes, ID cards, translations, interpretations and more.” 

Gomez has been in Jonesboro for 17 years.  She says she understands the challenges that are faced by Hispanics who first come to this country.

“When you come to a new country, you are not able to communicate in the language, or you may not know how the school system works, or how the health system works, you feel lost.  We want to educate people.”

Gina Gomez says Arkansas has one of highest rates of increased Hispanic population and she says Jonesboro’s many opportunities are attractive to Hispanics.  The $900,000 building will help expand needed services to many people, including international students who are attending Arkansas State University.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says he is excited about the new building.

“We are pleased this building will help provide more services for our friends and residents.  This will help provide opportunities for people of all backgrounds.”

The new Hispanic Community Services Center will be located at the intersection of Cate and Vandyne Streets in Jonesboro.