We are deeply concerned by multiple crises affecting the most vulnerable communities. Most recently, the treatment of Latin American immigrant families on the Texas border has compelled us to focus our efforts on crisis relief for immigrant children in the Texas Rio Grande Valley.  Furthermore, we are responding to the trail of devastation left from natural disasters like the Volcán de Fuego eruption in Guatemala, the earthquakes that shook Mexico City, as well as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria.

Urban Strategies recognizes that relief endeavors must be comprehensive and consistent. Our impact is maximized and sustained through collaboration with multiple partners, including local churches, experienced organizations, and experts on the field. Juntos Podemos is a crisis relief fund that maximizes impact and serves as an engagement catalyst for concerned individuals, churches, and groups who desire to become immediately involved in crisis relief efforts. Learn more about where we work, our experience in crisis response, and the impact of Juntos Podemos below. To join this endeavor, please go to JuntosPodemos.Charity.org to become involved. For those in need of relief goods, please see the list of distribution sites below.

Our holistic model focuses on long-term development through collaborating with local partners, mobilizing the church, and investing in communities. We have focused on Latin American communities and immigrants for more than a decade. Consider joining us by investing in immigrant children and youth.

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where we serve

Immigrant Child Crisis in the Texas Rio Grande Valley

Every child has the right to be loved, cared for, and given a chance to succeed. We are mobilizing churches to provide support for immigrant children impacted by the separation from their parents upon reaching the Texas border.

Needs include:


-Mental and physical health support

-Legal guidance and support

-Basic education and job skills development

-A nurturing community of love and care

We can’t wait, they need our help.

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Volcano Eruption Disaster in Guatemala

On June 3, Guatemala suffered a natural catastrophe that has affected thousands of people in the mountainous area. The VOLCAN DE FUEGO exploded, throwing hot material that contained mud, lava, and water. More than 65 people have died and thousands have been evacuated from their homes. Funds given for Guatemala will be provided to vetted, local congregations who are closest to the need and are providing support to the families that have been affected. 

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Hurricane Irma and Disaster in Florida

HURRICANE IRMA: We supported the delivery of basic essentials to congregations in Imokalee, an area that was heavily hit by the hurricane and has a high number of migrant workers.

HURRICANE MARIA: We responded to the influx of Puerto Rican evacuees by organizing partners around our “La Bienvenida” initiative. We set up distribution centers in Miami/Dade Counties and in Orlando. To support the needs of families who migrated from Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria.

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  • Juan Salgado

  • Bienestar Regional Director for Central Florida

Hurricane Harvey and Mold Remediation in Houston

More than 12,000 homes were flooded within a two mile radius of our partner organizations. We facilitated the delivery of more than 15 trucks of diapers, mattresses, water, and food to four key church partners and a “newcomer” school located in Houston. We also developed infrastructure for witness and work teams to join with local congregations in rebuilding the homes of families in nearby neighborhoods. Our initial work also focused on developing tools and providing resources around mold remediation. In November 2017, work teams from Willow Creek Community Church and other congregations participated in on the ground home rebuilding efforts for those most in need

Contact Info

  • Carla Lafayette

  • Director of Residential Services

Hurricane Maria and ongoing Power Outage in Puerto Rico

RELIEF: Urban Strategies partnered with World Vision to provide relief items, food, cash assistance, and offer disaster preparedness training and child protection programs in the most-affected areas in Puerto Rico including, Utuado, Patillas, Orocovis and Morovis. Urban Strategies was directly responsible for organizing 500,000 pounds of relief essentials for shipment from Tampa to the affected areas. From Oct. 2017 to Apr. 2018, this effort reached 116,003 Puerto Ricans in 38,668 households.

We worked with our partners to help dislodge the bottleneck of containers of supplies in the capital to the communities most affected throughout the island, and we helped secure transportation and housing for volunteers.
Long before the hurricane, Urban Strategies identified mental health as a key necessity in Puerto Rico. The disaster exacerbated this issue and created an exigency for mental health services and trauma care.
  • We launched Family Friendly Spaces, a program that provides necessary resources for parents and caregivers during crisis, supports personal resiliency and limits psychological stress.
  • Play therapy is a key tool for helping children overcome the effects of trauma. We partnered with the Catholic University of Ponce to train 25 mental health professionals, professors and graduate students. We also facilitated connection between Puerto Rican-based professionals and our centers, providing culturally and linguistically-adapted mental health materials for dissemination.

HEALTH CLINIC: Through a partnership with Heart to Heart and the Family Service Alliance, we conducted two health clinics in Santa Isabel and Patillas.

SUPPORTING OUR PARTNERS: We worked to restore communication with congregations and other on-the-ground partners that had no access to any form of communication.  We believe pastoral care is crucial to moving forward. In April, we led a pastor’s retreat for twelve local pastors. Six spouses and adult children also attended. We are planning to lead a retreat for pastors’ children soon.

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  • Cristian Diaz

  • Program Manager

Bienestar Central Florida

The Bienestar Program is a ministry in which we are blessed to have the opportunity to change thousands of lives in Central Florida where the Hispanic community is growing every single day. Behind the Bienestar Program there are passionate and trained professionals that want to bring this program to the families, churches and the community in Central Florida. Our goal is to have communities that live in wellness. Our approach is to create awareness of the importance of wellness focusing on mental, physical and spiritual wellness.

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Bienestar South Florida

We are excited for the opportunity to work with our South Florida Hispanic community! Bienestar’s goal is to improve the health of the community one family at a time by providing knowledge of about physical, mental and spiritual well being. It is our desire that every faith-based organization in South Florida will begin a Bienestar health initiative to work towards addressing the most important health needs of the families in their community.

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Bienestar Rio Grande Valley

Bienestar Rio Grande Valley consists of a network of faith based organizations dedicated to improving the overall wellbeing of the Hispanic community, including body, mind and spirit.

In working with the McAllen community, the following information was gathered.

McAllen Community Health Information

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Bienestar San Antonio

Are you a Faith based leader in San Antonio, Bexar county area and surrounding counties? Are you taking a stand and being proactive in your physical, mental and spiritual health? We want to partners with you!

Bienestar strives to bring awareness in regards to some critical components that deal with health for our leaders, churches and communities.

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Bienestar Northern Virginia

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