our strong families Program
Your source for building a stronger family, community, and future.
The Strong Families Program serves as the gateway for people who first come to ¡HICA! seeking information, and provides them with both internal and external referrals. As such, ¡HICA! is a strong partner with community agencies and organizations whose specialties range from case management, to court, family, and victims advocacy. Additionally, our Strong Families Program houses the Alabama Language Advocacy Project.
Information and Referrals
Criminal Proceedings Assistance
Victim and Court Advocacy
If you’d like help with any of the services mentioned above, please contact ¡HICA! today!
Our programs at work
From fear and worry to safe and sound.
*To respect their privacy, we’ve replaced the real names in the story below.
On June 25, 2018, a distressed man came into the ¡HICA! office. One look at his face, and our staff immediately knew something was wrong. “Juan,” after being greeted, wasted no time in telling us his story.
Juan, married and with three children, had recently moved to Birmingham from Tuscaloosa. He explained that, despite being undocumented, a court had recently awarded him custody of their children because his wife, an American citizen, was abusing drugs and pregnant with another child.
Juan moved to Birmingham to put some distance between him and his wife and to find better employment to support his children. He was able to purchase a home for his family and was beginning to settle into a routine at his new home when his wife showed up stating she had nowhere to go and needed a place to stay for a couple of days. Juan reluctantly agreed because he did not want to violate the custody order which basically stated the children could only have supervised visitation with their mother.
It didn’t take long for him to discover that his wife was still using drugs. To make matters worse, she was stealing money from him, and was often verbally and physically abusive towards him. When she began to threaten to take the children from him and report him to immigration if he took any action against her, he knew he had to do something.
Juan’s main concern was keeping his children safe. He came to ¡HICA! for a solution. After consulting with one of our advocates, we were able to assist Juan in filing a Protection from Abuse order. The temporary order was approved, and officers removed his wife from the home. But his battle to protect his children wasn’t over yet.
Working closely with Juan, our advocates continued counseling him with safety planning while connecting him to vital community resources. After much consideration, Juan recognized that the best thing for him and his children would be to sever ties with his wife, so he asked for assistance in filing for a divorce. Our advocate referred Juan to the free services available in Alabama to obtain legal assistance for divorce proceedings.
Throughout his divorce proceedings, which came at no cost to Juan, he is still often in contact with his advocate. Empowered by ¡HICA!, Juan was able to provide a safe environment for his children, securing childcare for all three, and has been able to maintain his employment throughout. His family, now thriving, no longer lives in constant fear. And, according to Juan, ¡HICA! is the main reason his life has changed for the better.
As a gesture of his gratitude and appreciation, when Juan received his Christmas bonus from work, he used the money to buy gift cards which he donated to ¡HICA! to give to someone in greater need.
If you, or someone you know, have a ¡HICA! success story to share, or would like to find out more about our Strong Families Program, please contact us today!