Qlarant Foundation Awards $30,000 to Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center
As part of the 2023 grant award cycle, Qlarant Foundation welcomed Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center (ChesMRC) with a grant of $30,000. ChesMRC empowers people from different cultures to become successful and engaged members of the community. While the organization serves anyone who requests assistance, the primary focus is to help Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals.
Qlarant Foundation’s funding provides free, quality, health navigation and wrap-around services to the LEP speaking community in the Mid-Shore region. This includes application counseling for Medicaid and Maryland Health Benefit Exchange; assistance applying for relief or setting up payment plans for medical bills; connecting to primary care providers and specialist referrals; and sight translations. Wrap-around services include application counseling for SNAP benefits; direct immigration services and representation before USCIS; interpreting services in Spanish and Haitian Creole; school enrollment; employment; and housing applications. The program supports clients in the Maryland counties of Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, and Queen Anne’s.
Funds from Qlarant Foundation will be used primarily to fund two, halftime positions of accredited Application Counselors (Navigators) Estela Ramirez and Victoria Gomez. Both Estela and Victoria are currently full-time employees of ChesMRC, and funds will be used for them to allocate 20 hours per week to the program.
“Workers record their time working specifically on these services in the database management program Cap 60,” said Matthew R. Peters, ChesMRC Program Director. “We will run monthly reports on clients served, services provided, and demographics including county, age, race, language, and income. Staff will be evaluated by the number of clients and services recorded each month to ensure that we meet our yearly goals for clients served.”
Some funds from the Qlarant Foundation will be used to create outreach event materials to promote the health navigation services provided by the center. “Our goal is to work closely with local providers and agencies to demonstrate the importance of keeping our clients up-to-date with insurance, completion of applications, and understanding recommendations and letters from providers and organizations,” added Peters. “By ensuring that…non-English speaking clients can continually have access to our services, we expect to see a healthier community and an improved standard of living for our clients.”
Matthew has a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University. He spent 1999-2001 as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala where he founded and ran the non-profit, Volunteer Peten, in the jungle of Guatemala from 2001-2012. Matthew is fluent in Spanish and is an Eagle Scout who is currently very active in the Scouting movement on the Eastern Shore.