Four organizations have joined forces to provide language interpretation and translation services to crime victims with limited English proficiency (LEP).
Family Service of Roanoke Valley, Salvation Army's Turning Point, TAP Domestic Violence Services and Sexual Assault Response and Awareness received a $280,000 grant from the Department of Criminal Justice to provide interpreters for refugees who need services, including counseling and crisis intervention.
The interpreters for Health and Wellness Interpreters of the Roanoke Valley will come from Volatia, a leading provider of professional on-demand interpretation and translation services.
"There has always been the need," VOLATIA CEO Baraka Kasongo said in an interview. "And we certainly, all of us, have recognized the diversity of our region, but at the same time we are getting to the point where organizations are realizing that this requires a collaborative effort."
Roanoke is home to more than 100 nationalities, and area agencies will now have access to interpreters in more than 280 languages.
"We are making a commitment to not make any victim of a crime feel isolated or hopeless because they are not able to access services in their primary language," Sharon Thacker, president and CEO of Family Service, said Tuesday in announcing the initiative.