Puente del Pueblo

Launched in 2008 at Timber Lake apartments, Puente is a ministry of Wheaton Bible Church and Iglesia del Pueblo, the Hispanic congregation at Wheaton Bible Church. Outreach serves at Puente on behalf of Wheaton Bible Church, providing consultation, management and community services. In 2012, city officials asked Puente to take over its youth service system and expand its after-school and summer-school youth programs to more complexes in West Chicago. Today, Puente is offering programming at Main Park Apartments and continuing to expand at Timber Lake Apartments.

Outreach Community Ministries is a Christian community service organization, striving to put Christian faith into responsible action. The organization has been called into existence by local churches to respond supportively to the needs of young people and their families. The organization is committed to providing excellence in human services and demonstrating compassion for the whole person. Outreach Community Ministries also offers services through Warrenville Youth and Family Services (WYFS) and Wheaton Youth Outreach (WYO), the Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream (OCC) and York Community Resource Center.

Case management services assist adults struggling with life challenges, including financial issues, problems with public benefits, immigration issues, employment and more. The intern will assist Puente’s case managers in providing information, referrals and advocacy to navigate community services. They also provide budgeting and transportation assistance. Interns will work with case managers and clients to resolve current problems and plan for the household’s long-term stability. Case managers provide translation, relationships, spiritual care, resources and financial assistance.

Intern Responsibilities and Opportunities

The intern will be well supported by staff and also be expected to make positive contributions to the department’s workflow.  After training, interns will meet with clients daily, fielding a variety of concerns.  Through supervision, interns will learn interview and assessment skills, occasionally through home visits, gain understanding of community resources, provide referral information and take steps towards maturity as a professional people helper. Interns are responsible for advocating for clients.  Interns will learn and perform reporting for department performance evaluation and grant requirements.

Training and Supervision

The intern will receive experience in the overall working of a Christian, community based human service ministry. The intern will gain valuable knowledge of the issues confronting immigrant families, the working poor, those who are attempting to move from welfare to work, and the social institutions (government, religious, business), which most impact these populations. He/she will have the opportunity to join the PdP staff meeting to learn more about the many social services offered at the site.

Hours

Internship duration and weekly schedule is negotiable.  A variety of schedules (M-F) have worked in the past.  Typically learning objectives are difficult to accomplish with less than 250 hours of total commitment.

Requirements

Internships are available for MA or BA students in Education, Spanish, Psychology, Missions or Christian education fields. Must have a heart for working cross-culturally to embrace the theology of service to the vulnerable. Applicants must be supportive of the organization’s statement of Mission and Faith.  Must speak Spanish.

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