Covington translates documents as the Hispanic population grows

COVINGTON, Ky. – A new change within the City of Covington is making it much easier to access grants and programs for residents who are not fluent in English.

The city announced Wednesday that it has uploaded translated copies of documents and guidelines regarding homebuyer assistance, homeowner repairs and lead reduction programs from English to Spanish.

“It’s going to be an ongoing thing, I think you’ll see a lot more material down the road,” said Jeremy Wallace, the city’s federal grants manager.

It’s a move that comes as the Latino population continues to grow in Northern Kentucky. Data from the 2020 census showed the number of non-English speakers in Covington to be over 1,000. Wallace said the number is likely much higher.

“This is the first time we’ve crossed the threshold,” Wallace said in a city news release. “We’ve passed the number of 1,000 people who didn’t speak perfect English, and frankly that number is probably low. You can reasonably assume that the census probably doesn’t capture the total number of Spanish-speaking people.

Prior to translation, Spanish-speaking residents should request a translator. Reid Yearwood, executive director of the nonprofit Esperanza Latino Center, said the move was great for a community that may face obstacles.

“It’s just one more step in that direction and more work on their end to make sure the community knows they’re welcome,” Yearwood said. “Anything we can do to inform (this community) of all of the City’s programs, initiatives, grants and opportunities, and let them know that they don’t have to overcome barriers to understand them, is great. “

Dan Hassert, Covington’s communications manager, said the city hopes to use American Rescue Plan Act dollars to expand those efforts.

A copy of the translated documents is available here.

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