» Public Benefits Outreach and Advocacy Program

Public Benefits Outreach and Advocacy Program

Governor Bruce Rauner has cut funding for this program. We hope that the funding for this program will be restored.

» Community Resource & Outreach

Community Resource & Outreach

Bilingual Information, Advocacy, and Referral

Centro de Información offers the following services in this area:

  • Information and referral
  • Job fairs and supportive employment search services
  • General interpretation and translation of written communications, e.g., letters, applications, birth certificates, marriage certificates.
  • Advocacy in the areas of housing, employment, and immigration
  • Emergency food pantry
  • Information fairs bringing local resources to our community
  • Jueves Informativos – legal clinics in the areas of labor, Social Security, domestic relations, housing, Workers Compensation, immigration, and others.

Centro's Community Resource and Outreach counselors are skilled in delivering culturally appropriate and relevant services within our communities. Centro de Información has been a place where our community feels safe, understood, and supported for more than 40 years. Centro is proud of its community and works hard to continue to strengthen a growing and vibrant suburban Latino community.

» Educational Seminars

Educational Seminars

Educational seminars are presented on a variety of topics throughout our community.

Agencies may request seminars at no cost. Presentations are made in Spanish or bilingually.

The following is a list of Educational Seminars:

  • Finding resources for your family in Elgin: Medical, legal, unemployment, immigration and naturalization, clothing, food, mental health, counseling, child care
  • Healthy lifestyles: How to eat healthy and exercise. A dietician makes the presentation
  • How to deal with common illnesses: Upper respiratory infections, colds, and ear infections. What parents and children can do to prevent them. A doctor or nurse makes the presentation
  • Employment: How, where, and when to look for employment. job applications, interviews, short resumes
  • Gang awareness: Methods parents can use to help their children stay safe, warning signs of gang involvement, and where to get help
  • Housing: How to buy a house, why a lease is important if you are renting , and local housing codes and standards
  • Building Family relationships: The importance of communication
  • Disciplining your children without abuse: Behavioral management techniques are taught and discussed
  • Child abuse/neglect: What is it, state mandates, and how to get help
  • Immigration and naturalization: (Many topics are available depending on the audience, e.g., Legal Permanent Residency, Naturalization, Waivers, Affidavit of Support, Final Interview)
  • Bank/credit: How to open, keep, and balance checking and savings accounts; other banking services; the importance of obtaining and maintaining good credit; the use of credit cards
  • How to establish a budget: Evaluating family needs, setting priorities, planning for present and future needs
  • Insurance: How and what insurance is appropriate for family needs (e.g., house, car, health, life)
  • How you can help your children succeed in school
  • Stress and burnout: How to cope
  • First aid: What to do in case of emergencies
  • Alcoholism: Symptoms, consequences, and treatment
  • Women's Health and Cancer Awareness: Breast self examination, pap smear, uterine cancer
  • Diabetes: Types of diabetes, symptoms, effects, diet, and treatment
  • Cholesterol: Causes, effects, diet, and prevention
  • Income Tax: Know your rights and responsibilities W7 and ITIN
  • How to buy a house

To schedule an educational seminar, contact Andrea Janos at (847) 695-9050 EXT. 306

» Emergency Food Pantry

Emergency Food Pantry

The Emergency Food Pantry is located at Centro's Elgin main office.

It serves principally the needy Hispanic population with special attention given to food that Hispanics eat on a daily basis. In 1999 Centro opened the emergency food pantry as part of its outreach efforts to help meet a need in the Hispanic community. The population is especially vulnerable because many times immigrants speak little English, and have substantially less income and education than the population at large, leaving them more likely to live in poverty.

The emergency food pantry needs a constant flow of food donations in order to meet the needs of the community. Centro has developed a supportive network of corporate, church, and community resources and volunteers.

Most of the people who come for food are adult Hispanic females with small children. The 2013 American Survey puts the Hispanic population of Elgin at 45%, Carpentersville at 50%, and Hanover Park at 37%. Centro has offices in all three communities, and the need for food is evident. Food is distributed by Centro on a daily basis. Approximately 2000 families use the emergency food pantry per year, and the food they receive feeds more than 8,000 (including family members).

Staff: Volunteer Coordinator Josefina Rodriguez 

» Parenting Skill Classes

Parenting skill Classes

Centro de Información provides parenting classes in English and Spanish. Each course is for nine week sessions, once a week for two hours. During the time of the course, parents have the opportunity to relate and share concerns with other parents. In each of the sessions, the parents receive small assignments to do at home and to complete the course, parents must pass the final exam.

These workshops are designed to comply with the Department of Children and Families Services, (DCFS) requirements. If parents are referred by DCFS, this instructor makes up to four home visits within the nine weeks of the course. If parents are referred by court or private agencies, the cost is based on the agency and court requirements. For more information, please contact Aurora Flores at (847) 695-9050 EXT.303

Lessons that you will learn:

1. Understanding Yourself and Your Child
2. Understanding Beliefs and Ideas
3. Encouraging Your Child and Yourself
4. Listening and Talking to Your Child
5. Helping Children Cooperate
6. Discipline that Makes Sense
7. Choosing Your Approach
8. Just for Parents
9. Money Management and Budgeting

» Employment


The employment program focuses on assisting Hispanics and low-income adults who have limited English-speaking skills to obtain employment.

Centro has developed job-seeking training, techniques, and strategies in Spanish and holds seminars on such topics as how to look for job openings, how to dress, dos and don'ts of interviewing, how to use the telephone and letters to find and respond to openings, and the importance of being on time.

Centro has identified and contacted employers to learn of training programs and jobs available in the area. Centro hosts weekly job fairs in Elgin, Carpentersville, and Hanover Park. In the next year we will give increasing emphasis to Internet employment resources to allow clients to respond to such employment opportunities.

Employers are encouraged to call Centro de Información with job openings.

For more information contact Andrea Janos at 847-695-9050 EXT. 306

» Housing


Tenant and home owner counseling is offered in Centro's Elgin office

Through individual counseling, case management, and outreach activities Centro connects tenants and current/future homeowners with housing, financial and legal resources.

Questions about modifying your loan?

Would you like to reduce your monthly payments?

Do you pay a high interest?

Are you in danger of losing your home?

Have you been a victim of fraud?

For help with landlords, evictions, buying a home, or at risk of foreclosure, please contact;

Aurora Flores at (847) 695-9050 Ext. 303

» Immigration and Naturalization Services

Immigration and Naturalization Services

Immigration law is complex and ever-changing.

The many forms and requirements can often confuse applicants who want to receive immigration benefits. Immigration law provides that aliens in immigration proceedings have the privilege of being represented, at no expense to the Government, by counsel selected by the alien and authorized to practice (Section 292 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C.1362).

Centro de Informacion is a BIA accredited organization, that has been offering immigration  services to the far northwest Chicago suburbs for more than 40 years. Our immigration counselors have received BIA accreditation and are dedicated to guide clients through their immigration process by explaining and assisting with necessary forms and responding to questions on immigration benefits.

Some of the services provided in our office include: Family-based Petitions, Adjustment of Status applications, Employment Authorization Cards, Consular Process, Temporary Protected Status, Naturalization and Citizenship. A modest fee is charged for these services.

For an appointment to complete any of these processes or an appointment to consult with our immigration counselors, please call (847)695-9050.

Immigration Program Staff:
Veian D'Abreu, Coordinator of Immigration Services EXT. 317

Susana Tinoco, Immigration Counselor, BIA Accredited EXT. 309

Juan Cruz, Immigration Counselor EXT. 316

Helpful Links:
United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (U.S.C.I.S.)
Chicago Office at 101 W. Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL 60604
Customer Service Number 1-800-375-5283 or at www.uscis.gov
U.S. Department of State www.travel.state.gov http://usembassy.state.gov

» Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Please be Aware that DACA proposed on June 15, 2012 still continues and people can still apply for it. The Expansion proposed by president Obama on 11/20/2014 has been put on HOLD for now but that has no effects on  the deferred Action that was originally announced in 06/2012!



DACA is no conferring immigration benefit.

On 06/15/2012, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum allowing undocumented individuals who came to the U.S. as child and meet certain guidelines to apply for DACA.



- Came to the US under the age of 16

-Under 31 years old before 06/15/2012

-Physically present in 06/15/2012

-They have to proof that they have been living in the US since June 15, 2007 to present time.

-In School (HS or GED) or Graduated from a High School or GED Program in the U.S.

 -Do not represent a threat to National Security or public safety 



-DACA recipients receive permission to live and work in the U.S. for two years (may be renewed).

-DACA recipients may apply for a social security number and in most states a driver's license.

-DACA recipients may apply for permission to travel abroad.