In 1994, Casa Latina was founded when large numbers of Latino workers began arriving to Seattle. Many of them lined up on the street in the Belltown neighborhood to wait for day jobs. Casa Latina was begun as a way to organize themselves and demand fair and just working conditions. Since then, the organization has grown both in terms of facilities as well as mission. Casa Latina started as street outreach from borrowed spaces. In circa 2010, it moved into the current three-building campus in Seattle’s Central District.
What began as an attempt to organize day laborers has now grown to a vibrant, immigrant worker rights organization and community. Casa Latina offers a range of services and programs. In addition to day labor dispatch, they also provide English classes, job skills & safety trainings, and community organizing for almost 500 worker-members. Most recently, Casa Latina has addressed domestic workers’ rights and women’s leadership training. Beyond the programs, it is a cultural center and a safe place, an anchor for immigrants new and not so new.
In addition to directly serving the Latino community in King County, Casa Latina has national impact as a model day worker center whose programs, curricula, and operations have been shared and implemented at worker centers throughout the country.
One of the three buildings which now serve Casa Latina, at the corner of 17th and Jackson, was constructed in 1951 as a medical clinic.