BROCKTON – When the Cape Verdean Association of Brockton was created in the late 1970s, the original members worked out of basements and livings rooms.
Eventually the group moved into downtown offices and, in 1999, purchased its current headquarters on North Montello Street, along with an adjacent three-family family home that provides the association with rental income.
Rodrigues said he believes the rate of immigration from Cape Verde has slowed since the 1990s because of restrictions implemented after Sept. 11, 2001, but that the population “is steadily growing.
The Brockton association is practically bursting at the seams, Rodrigues said. It can hold up to 25 students in its evening ESL classes, for instance, but 40 or 45 people seek enrollment each time.
Right now the largest hurdle to expansion is funding. Rodrigues said he and other group leaders are looking for grants, state and federal funding and any other available resources to get the project underway.
“It sends a message that the community is vibrant and growing,” said Moises Rodrigues, a city councilor and executive director of the association. “The issue is we’re becoming a catch-all for everybody.”
Officials from the Consulate of Cape Verde in Quincy hold office hours twice a week at the group’s headquarters, and it is certified by the state to help city residents apply for health and dental coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector.
“Sometimes you have people standing. The demand is there,” Rodrigues said of the ESL classes. “We hate turning people down.”
The Board of Directors is made up of a diverse group of people with different service backgrounds and expertise.
The Board meets once a month on the First Sunday of the month at the ACVB office location.