ROBSTOWN, Texas — Federal money has been awarded to the Nueces County Public Libraries to create a new program. To do this, they’ve also partnered with the Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi.
“Everybody right now needs help," Jeanie Garza, the Law Librarian said. "And so, every little penny that goes somewhere (...) We’re just excited to do that for them.”
$50,000 has been awarded in a grant to the libraries from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. $1.8 million in total was given out as part of the money from the American Rescue Plan Act.
The grant will be able to create a new program called the 'Pathway to Citizenship.' It’s something to help people get the ball rolling on becoming a citizen.
“It just brings them one step closer to being U.S. citizens because they do contribute currently," Garza said. "They pay taxes like everybody else, I mean they’re part of us.”
“She saw a need and she looked at several places in the United States that were providing different grants," Ida Gonzalez-Garza, the director of Nueces County Public Libraries said. "And this was one of the opportunities that she saw that needed help.”
In conjunction with the Catholic Charities of Coprus Christi, people can get a consultation about how to go about the citizenship process for free.
Then they’ll receive the supplies, like books and tools, that will be helpful for the citizenship test. Garza estimates the grant helping about 100 people.
"The main part of this grant is that it pays the $25 consultation fee for them," Garza said. "During the past couple of years, because of the pandemic, Catholic Charities lost all their funding. And so, this was a great opportunity to create this partnership with them."
Also part of the grant, the libraries were able to get subscriptions to databases like, LexusNexis Patron Access and LexusNexis Overdrive Digital Library. They are free to use for anyone.
Garza said the new program will run through Aug. 1.
If you’re looking to take part in the Pathway to Citizenship or have questions, you can contact Juanita Cardiel at Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi at 361-884-0651.
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