Latino center finds home in Medford

After a couple of months without a home, Unete, the provider and coordinator of many social services, classes and cultural events for the Rogue Valley's Latino community, is moving into the old Woolworth building in Medford.

"We are excited about our proximity to other organizations we work closely with," said Unete program coordinator Kathy Keese, "so this should help streamline our advocacy and organizing."

Unete is moving into the offices at 33 N. Cental Ave. this week and will open next week, though the new quarters doesn't have room for its language classes, which will find a spot elsewhere, she says.

Unete serves more than 1,000 people a year and provides classes in English as a second language, citizenship, leadership for teens, support classes for Latino parents, a passport and visa program with the Mexican consulate and celebrations of Latino and American holidays.

Several classes, including Razas Unidas (Races United), focus on mentoring teens and parents to help students master homework, get through high school and accomplish college and loan applications, said Charlie Bauer, migrant education and English language educator for Southern Oregon Education Service District.

The organization operated for 12 years at Medford's First United Methodist Church, but was told in October that the church needed the basement space for youth groups.

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