United Way of Lawrence County will be holding a town hall meeting in the New Castle High School auditorium Monday, November 28 to discuss the needs of local Latino families.

The event will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

In the fall of 2017, Lawrence County began to see an influx of Latino families arriving in the community after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico sending many families stateside.

Next to Florida, Pennsylvania had the highest number of families relocate due to the hurricane.

Commissioner for the PA Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, Maria Delgado alerted the United Way and has been working with the community to help this families acclimate to the community.

Delgado says the hardest challenges faced by these families is the language barrier. 

"Lawrence County does not have a Latino church, club or organization that could assist with this population as other cultures did when they arrived to Lawrence County and it has been a struggle for these families," Delgado said.

Lawrence County United Way Executive Director, Gayle Young says some programs were able to have been put in place thanks to community partnerships along with private donations to help support causes such as the Latino Needs Assessment.

"The Latino Needs Assessment was needed to determine the next steps for these Latino families by examining the nature and causes of any issues, and set priorities for future action," Young said.

Dr. Patricia Document of the University of Pitt says Lawrence County's Latino community has grown 110% between 2010 and 2020.

"It is a resilient community, anchored in family values and strong work and educational initiative. To fully achieve its potential, the Latino community could benefit from an organized community building effort, celebrations, offering English classes and hiring community health workers to offer services on special needs such as health, housing and education," Dr. Document said.