The Hammond Hispanic Community Committee (HHCC) was formed at an Area Career Center meeting Hammond, Indiana, on March 10, 1993. We are a non-profit, 501(c) 3 organization.
It was formed to address the needs of Hispanic Community in the City of Hammond.
HHCC had its origins at the office of the
City of Hammond Department of Planning & Development,
when a Hispanic mother, Aurora Aguilar, originally from the
City of Chicago, went to see Joseph Alamillo, a Hispanic City Planning & Development staff manager. Her major concern was about the gang activity that was going on in her neighborhood. It was her feeling that because of the tide of youth violence, the city needed to have some sort of conflict resolution program and that this had to be a part of the education that the children were receiving.
After that meeting Mr. Alamillo contacted, at that time, the only city council person of Hispanic origin, Pete Torres (Pete was also a City of Hammond Police officer) and community activist Joe Rodriguez, about having a meeting to discuss Ms. Aguilar’s issues. After a meeting or two, others in the community were contacted and there was soon, a core group that began to categorize some priorities as identified through discussions with Mrs. Aguilar, other mothers, and other community people. These meetings led to the decision that a not-for-profit would be the most appropriate vehicle to help address these very important issues. At about this time the gang activity was beginning to percolate throughout the community and children were being recruited, children were being shot, and neighborhoods paralyzed by the increase in community violence and the corresponding gang activity.
Because of Mrs. Aguilar’s experience in Chicago, she was aware of a federally funded youth program that reenacted real life scenarios that many children were facing in their daily lives. With the assistance of the city administration and school city administration, HHCC hosted its first program to help children deal with real life scenarios through what was called a “youth fair”.
Starting in 1996, HHCC evolved into an organization that partnered with other businesses, educational institutions, and social services, e.g., Centier Bank, School City of Hammond, the Hammond Police Department, Geminus Corporation, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. We also continue to seek partnerships with other community entities.
Area Career Center
Latino Resource Fair – HHCC has held resource fairs since the year 2003. We attract more than 50 vendors yearly from social service agencies, educational institutions, and health organizations. The vendor fair attracts 400 plus, community people on a yearly basis and provides information that is available to the community. 2015 – We were awarded the 2015 Community Relations Award awarded by the Urban League of NWI.Citizenship and ESL Classes – HHCC has sponsored the Citizenship and ESL Classes that were held at Greater Hammond Community Services by the Adult Education Program from the School City of Hammond.
The Hammond Police Department is an active partner with HHCC. They provide regular updates on crime statistics and address community concerns about public safety. One of the officer’s sits on the sits on HHCC’s Executive Board.
Tree Streets Project – We were asked by the City of Hammond to work with them in analyzing the problems and needs of the Tree Streets neighborhood in north Hammond and propose solutions that would help improve the neighborhood.
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration – HHCC helped the City of Hammond hold celebrations during the Hispanic Heritage month. The celebrations showcased some of the talent available in NWI in entertainment and the arts.
Monthly meetings - we invite representatives from numerous organizations and businesses throughout the city of Hammond, Lake County and the State to share information on the services they provide. Some of the organizations and businesses that have been participating are banks, social services agencies, School City of Hammond, various departments from the City of Hammond, and local universities.
U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute – Leadership Program. Several HHCC members are graduates of the U.S. Hispanic Leaderships Institute’s Leadership Program.
All America Cities – HHCC worked with the City of Hammond in support of their past All-American Cities application. Some of our members also participated at the competition event.
Some other events and workshops we sponsored have included: 1) “The National Missing Kids Day”, an event sponsored by The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; 2) a workshop for NWI Latino Leaders on Latino issues affecting NWI and immigration, presented by MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund; 3) a Summer Blast Fair in the year 2009, that showcased vendors that had children’s summer programs; 4) sponsored School City of Hammond High School Latino student attendance at the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute Leadership conference in Chicago, IL and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., 5) Sponsored Books Brushes & Bands music students, 6) Arte Muerte, A Day of the Dead Celebration by CISA Studios.