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Enhancing Quality of Life for Families in the South Bay Community

Casa Familiar Celebrates 50 Years of Advocacy, Lasting Impact. Sponsored by San Diego Foundation

SAN DIEGO — For the last 50 years, non-profit Casa Familiar has worked tirelessly to support the border community and enhance the quality of life for families and low-income individuals in South San Diego.

CEO Lisa Cuestas joins our Laura Cavanaugh to share more about the programs that are empowering and uplifting the community.

Casa Familiar understands the challenges faced by residents of the border region. The non-profit is the leading service and community development organization of San Ysidro, providing social services, youth, senior and bilingual programs.

“Casa’s mission is to enhance quality of life, so that covers a lot of ground,” said Cuestas. “We started focusing on direct services, advocacy, community organizing. We’ve expanded to meet the needs that means education programs, affordable housing, arts and culture, community and economic development.”

Casa Familiar has evolved from an immigration assistance and support agency to being a leader and advocate for all low-income community members. The organization believes in building equity within the community, not only through creating mixed-use affordable housing, but by creating a space where members of the community can gather and thrive.

Part of uplifting the community for generations to come also involves helping individuals thrive through by offering nutritional, fitness, yoga, Pilates and Zumba classes. Casa is an ardent supporter of arts and culture through The FRONT Arte & Cultura gallery, which is a space that promotes artistic engagement.

San Ysidro is one of the busiest land-border crossing in the world. Air pollution and its negative impacts are a serious concern. Asthma rates are higher near the border region. San Diego Foundation has been a partner in supporting Casa’s efforts toward addressing environmental concerns in our most vulnerable communities. Their $20,000 grant has helped with Casa Verde workforce development, making the connection with youth as future environmental advocates.

“They have supported Casa Verde,” said Cuestas. “Making sure that data exists now to prove what a big problem we do have in the region. For us, that’s engaging youth in a meaningful way to really build environmental justice awareness and the opportunity that the future holds for green jobs.”

The non-profit was founded in 1973 as a voice for an underserved community. This year Casa Familiar is celebrating 50 years with a unique and inclusive fundraiser. 

The Abrazo 5K Walk/ 10K Run kicks off Saturday, May 6 in San Ysidro.

“We will be uplifting folks who have been dedicating many years to immigrant rights, human rights and advocacy work,” said Cuestas.

For more information and to register




Sponsored by:  San Diego Foundation

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