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Ongoing coverage of South Carolina's recovery from the flooding of 2015.What had been Lindsay Langdale's Columbia home October 3, 2015 was a flooded ruin the next day.This coverage is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In October of 2015, South Carolina received rainfall in unprecedented amounts over just a few days time. By the time the rain began to slacken, the National Weather Service reported that the event had dumped more than two feet of water on the state. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the subsequent flooding was the worst in 75 years.

Nonprofits Bridge Recovery Gap to S.C.’s Latino Community

PASOs logo
Courtesy scpasos.org

As the recovery from last October’s floods continues, long-term recovery groups have been struggling to reach one particular segment of the population: non-English speakers. In South Carolina, non-English speakers tend to be Latinos, who make up the largest growing demographic. South Carolina Public Radio’s Vince Kolb-Lugo spoke with Lisabeth Medlock, director of thePalmetto Project Community Flood Hub, and Ana Cossio of PASOs, about their organizations’ efforts to reach Latino families and other non-English speaking residents. Specializing in restocking and refurnishing, Flood Hub works with grassroots leaders called “Promotores” from PASOs to make whole the homes families lost. 

More on PASOs

PASOs Programs is a nonprofit organization that was created in 2005 in response to the maternal and child health needs of the growing Latino population in South Carolina. The organization offers:

  • Preconception Health Education
  • Early Childhood Development Education
  • Positive Parenting Skills
  • Healthy Lifestyle Education
  • Community Leadership Training
  • Resource Navigation

PASOs, which means “steps” in Spanish, seeks to bridge the gap in health disparities and expand access of information to the Latino community. Results from a gap analysis conducted by the Division of Perinatal Systems of the [South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control] (link to http://www.scdhec.gov/) and [Palmetto Health] (link to https://www.palmettohealth.org/) in Columbia, found that Latino families have limited access and information to health resources.

Responding to those findings, PASOs was founded in 2005, with support from the Division of Women’s and Neonatology Services of Palmetto Health and a grant from the South Carolina March of Dimes. The organization has since partnered with the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health  and expanded service to 28 counties.

About the Promotores

To reach individuals, PASOs relies on the skills of its Promotores, or Community Health Workers. These grassroots leaders receive training to enhance their skills so they may help educate their communities, connect them to vital resources, prepare and disseminate information, and promote strong and healthy families in an effective and culturally sensitive way. Through grassroots planning and promoting, Promotores are able to close the gap between the state’s health and social service providers, the Latino population. " For more about PASOs, visit the organization’s http://www.scpasos.org/.

Vince Kolb-Lugo received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish from Florida State University, where he worked at WVFS, Tallahassee. He has traveled to Europe, Africa, South America, and stepped foot in Asia. Vince lived, worked, and traveled throughout Spain for a couple of years before moving back to the states.