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Source: Newcomers’ Collaborative

November 20, 2016 (El Cajon) -- On Saturday, November 5th, 2016, 91 Spanish Speakers and at least 24 children attended a resource event coordinated by the Newcomers’ Collaborative, a workgroup of the El Cajon Collaborative. The event provided an opportunity for newcomers to browse local resources and attend workshops on navigating the education system, immigration and civic engagement, Child Welfare Services, domestic violence, equal housing rights and employment. Attendees were also able to apply for public benefits such as Cal-Fresh and Medi-Cal on-site, or ask questions regarding their eligibility or specific case.         

The event boasted entertainment by EJE Folklorico dancers and Native American drumming, free childcare and lunch from Salsa Mexican Restaurant. Resource tables were available throughout the day and highlighted information such as job-seeking, legal aid, youth services and much more.

The Newcomers’ Collaborative is focused on addressing the unique needs of newcomers to the United States, such as accessing health care, public benefits, navigating the school system and adjusting to their new culture and lifestyle. El Cajon is home to a large population of immigrants and refugees, and San Diego County as a whole hosts many different cultures, upsurged in part due to proximity to the Mexican border.

The Newcomers’ Collaborative looks at gaps in services, barriers to accessing services and works to fill these gaps and provide resources to new arrivals. The members of the Collaborative are agencies that work directly with newcomers, but meetings are open to anyone who is interested in assisting families and individuals navigate their new community.

East County, particularly El Cajon, has seen a large growth of refugees. Recent statistics have shown that El Cajon is now home to the largest population of Middle Eastern refugees, mainly from Iraq.  The El Cajon Collaborative formed a working group focused on the unique needs of our newcomers.

For more information,  visit  or contact Estela del los Rios, Chair at

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