St. Helena Day Labor Center Reopens

Center provides coordinated and safe hiring, fair wage

The St. Helena Day Labor Center is back in business following its temporary closure in late 2015. Operated by California Human Development, the center serves an important role in the community by offering day workers and employers an organized and safe setting to connect, arrange services, and negotiate a fair wage. Workers also receive access to important resources, such as health care and benefits screening, courses in English as a Second Language, and emergency aid to meet essential needs such as food and housing.

“We’re pleased to reopen the St. Helena Day Labor Center and are committed to renewing full service to area workers and employers,” says Christopher Paige of California Human Development. “The St. Helen center has traditionally been among our busiest and most-utilized locations—meeting a high demand for day labor services among the agricultural community, building contractors, and homeowners in the Napa Valley region.”

Temporary staffing issues forced the closure of the center but those issues have been solved, says Paige. A newly hired onsite bilingual representative is now in place to assist workers and employers, and the center is open six days a week. A wide range of services can be arranged at the Day Labor Center, such as cleaning, yard work and general maintenance; construction and other skilled labor; packing and moving; farm, ranch and vineyard help; and other jobs as needed.

The St. Helena Day Labor Center is located at The Work Connection at 100 Main Street South. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 7am to Noon. Workers and potential employers are encouraged to arrive early in order to connect, make arrangements and get the job done. Employers may also call 707.963.7805 to speak with CHD’s bilingual staff in advance.

Immigration Ruling Puts Families at Risk

Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court means U.S. born children will continue to live in fear of being separated from their parents or being forced to leave the only homes they’ve known. The decision upholds a lower court injunction against Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

“On a very real level, this puts children who live right here in our communities at risk,” says Kathy Differding, manager of the Immigration & Citizenship division of California Human Development (CHD). “Without DAPA, it’s not unthinkable or uncommon for a child to come home from school to learn that his or her parent has been detained for removal from the U.S. These families must then decide whether to uproot their children from their homeland…or leave them behind. As you can imagine, it’s excruciating.”

Differding has a list of 80 people who are eligible for DAPA in CHD’s Santa Rosa, California region alone and says that’s just a sliver of the number of people affected. CHD put its DAPA efforts on hold pending the Supreme Court decision.

“This is an extremely unfortunate ruling that will completely change the course of millions of lives and saddest of all are the children… who were born here and who are entitled to all of the opportunities that come with U.S. Citizenship,” Differding adds.

In December, California Human Development received grant funding to expand its DACA outreach and services, including free services for many applicants. DACA provides legal status to eligible young adult immigrants. This work is not affected by the Supreme Court ruling and CHD’s immigration experts are continuing these efforts in earnest. For more information call 707.523.1155.