By the time someone steps through the doors at Mi Casa, they’ve already accomplished one of the hardest things they’ll ever do: learning to navigate a new country with a different language and unfamiliar rules.
Luckily, the staff at Mi Casa are accustomed to building trusting relationships with their clients as they offer little-to-no-cost legal services. On any given day, their clients could be seeking assistance in applying for citizenship, filing a tax return, or finding a job.
“Many of our staff are children of first-generation immigrants, and it really makes a difference,” said executive director Nilda Cardenas de Lara. “It’s like we were raised to do this job because a lot of what we do at Mi Casa is what we grew up doing for our parents, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles. We don’t do it just because it’s a job. We do it because it’s our passion.”
Each year, Mi Casa serves more than 4,000 families with their dedicated and caring team. The organization prides itself on never turning anyone away and will often cover the filing fees required to submit legal documentation for those who cannot afford to pay. A grant from The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem helped Mi Casa extend their hours and serve more clients.
“Our goal is to help people transition from being new to this country to being part of the community, and not just part of the immigrant community, but the broader Winston-Salem community,” said office manager Frida Ayala. “We want to ensure that people are not just surviving but thriving—knowing their rights and feeling empowered to advocate for themselves and their families.”