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THE MAGAZINE OF CATHOLIC CHARITIES USA
Charities USA is the quarterly magazine of Catholic Charities USA. In each issue, you’ll find:
• Feature articles on the work of Catholic Charities • Poverty Reduction Success Stories • Updates on CCUSA’s legislative and policy work • News from CCUSA and member agencies • And so much more!
Catholic Charities agency employees can subscribe to CharitiesUSA magazine for $25. Subscribe online at www.CatholicCharitiesUSA.org
Last Issue: Winter 2011
The Catholic Charities Network
This year in Charities USA, we’re taking a closer look at what we as a network contribute to our society—the value we provide to our communities and to the nation. Often, this value gets lost in the media din that ensues when Catholic and secular values clash in a public way. At such moments, it’s important to restore a little perspective. As Msgr. Michael Boland, head of Catholic Charities in Chicago, comments in this issue, “We are honest about our beliefs and cannot be all things to all people, but when we can help we give our all.” And “our all” is an awful lot. With this spring issue, we decided to set the stage for the rest of the issues by exploring the essentials—who we are as a network, how we serve this country, and what our motivation is for doing so. In exploring who we are as a network, we decided to tap the perspectives of people throughout our network, asking them to share what they see as the strengths, qualities, contributions, abilities, and unique aspects of the Catholic Charities network. We got several good and varied responses that reflect who we are. In looking at how we serve, we drew from our most recent Annual Survey Report, released in July 2011 with statistics from 2010, to show the breadth and depth of our services nationwide. As I went through the survey report, I was amazed again at what we do across this nation. It reinforced a point made in this issue by Steve Bogus, head of Catholic Charities in Louisville: “We often go where no one has gone before, being willing to take on the newest challenge or intervening in the most serious or most dire of circumstances on behalf of the most marginalized persons in society.” Finally, in exploring more about what motivates us to serve as a faithbased network of agencies, we drew from a chapter written by Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, for the centennial book, Catholic Charities USA: 100 Years at the Intersection of Charity and Justice. His argument that Catholic Charities is the organized communal practice of charity that keeps the church faithful and authentic to the gospel call of charity gives understanding to both our personal and organizational commitments. We hope this issue affirms each reader in the way he or she contributes to the work of this amazing network—the Catholic Charities network. n
Charities USA (ISSN 0364-0760) is published by Catholic Charities USA. Address all correspondence to the Managing Editor. © 2012 Catholic Charities USA, Alexandria, Virginia. Editorial and Business Office Sixty-Six Canal Center Plaza, Suite 600 Alexandria, VA 22314 tel: 703-549-1390 • fax: 703-549-4183 www.CatholicCharitiesUSA.org info@CatholicCharitiesUSA.org Publisher Rev. Larry Snyder Executive Editor Roger Conner Managing Editor Ruth Liljenquist Creative Director Sheena Lefaye Crews Contributing Writers Roger Conner Ruth Liljenquist Patricia Pincus Cole Editorial Committee Jean Beil Kim Burgo Kathleen King Kristan Schlichte Rachel Lustig Candy Hill Jane Stenson Catholic Charities USA is the National Office for one of the nation’s largest social service networks. Member agencies and institutions nationwide provide vital social services to over 10 million people in need, regardless of their religious, social, or economic backgrounds. Catholic Charities USA supports and enhances the work of its members by providing networking opportunities, national advocacy, program development, training and consulting, and financial benefits. Donate Now: 1-800-919-9338
Ruth Liljenquist, Managing Editor
To comment on this issue, please write to Ruth Liljenquist at rliljenquist@CatholicCharitiesUSA.org.
Cover Photo: Laura Sikes, Catholic Charities USA
7 8 10 16 The Catholic Charities Network Who We Are Our Strengths, Contributions, & Qualities How Catholic Charities Serves America Catholic Charities The Communal Practice of Charity that Keeps the Church Faithful The Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America First Five Years Supercharging the Next Generation of Supporters Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Thinks Creatively to Engage Young People in Its Mission Providing DIGNITY Helping Women Escape “the Life” of Prostitution in Phoenix 22 26 30
4 34 36 38 44 President’s Column Disaster Response CCUSA Update NewsNotes Working to Reduce Poverty in America
| CHARITIES USA
atholic Charities USA made a commitment in 2007 to reduce poverty in the United States by 50 percent by the year 2020. In the five years since that time, we have done much work to educate and motivate people of good will to make this goal a priority for our country and to move our elected officials to enact legislation that will make it a reality.
to change our focus and goals away from outputs (how many shelter beds were filled; how many meals were provided) to outcomes (how many people actually were able to leave poverty). All of this requires us to adopt different strategies, but first of all, it requires a different mindset. A true sign of hope is being developed through the combined efforts of the University of Notre Dame and Catholic Charities USA. The Laboratory for Economic Opportunity is being launched in the near future. This “poverty lab” will be different from other poverty labs already in existence in two critical ways: it will focus on domestic poverty and it will be the first lab that is the result of an intentional partnership between academics and social service practitioners. In short, we will now have access to academic research methods and tools that can help us truly measure the impact of the poverty reduction strategies we are using. This kind of information can then be taken to scale throughout our network in designing programs that truly help people out of poverty. The future demands that we not only be creative and strategic, but that we also be bold in our quest to design and implement new systems that impact the lives of those who turn to us for help. We made that commitment in 2007 and it is still our priority today. n
During these past five years Catholic Charities has also continued to be a critical part of the safety net in this country. We have seen the number of people who turn to us for services, particularly for food and emergency help, increase dramatically—well over 10 million in 2011. While we remain committed to responding one life at a time, we know that this is not the strategy for decreasing poverty. Simply doing more is not enough. The only way that we can truly change the outlook for people stuck in the downward spiral of poverty is to change the system that helps them survive, but keeps them from thriving. Our commitment is to change the current system that distributes benefits based on deficits to one that provides individual opportunity plans that begin with assets: the talents and skills that each person brings. We must also engage the market in a different way. We value corporate and business philanthropy, but think that they can make a greater contribution by using their creativity and business knowledge to provide market driven strategies to give people a ladder out of poverty. And while it is important to recognize and measure the services we provide, when it comes to poverty services especially, we need
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| CHARITIES USA
ay in, day out, around the clock, at over 3,000 locations across the country, Catholic Charities agencies serve. In 2011, the network served nearly 11 million people and in more ways that the network can list here. While these facts reflect a large operation at work, there’s more to it then that. An organization or a network of organizations simply doesn’t serve that many people a year in so many different ways without something phenomenal going on. We are a unique network. We have a unique history, heritage, and identity. We have great breadth and depth in what we do. We have tremendous knowledge, experience, and capacity. We are professional, hardworking, and innovative. We have a strong advocacy voice. We bring resources and a willing spirit to collaboration. We mobilize people and organizations to join us in doing good in our communities. We are motivated by faith, hope, and charity. And while we cannot always serve in the ways that some would like, we and many grateful people know the value of what we contribute to this country. In this issue of Charities USA, we explore this network a bit more closely, looking at who we are as a network, how we serve America, and what motivates us to do it.
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Who We Are
Our Strengths, Contributions, & Qualities
from the perspective of network members
Our biggest strength as a network is that we are committed to helping all people, regardless of their faith, because the church honors human life wherever and however we find it. From the homeless couple under a viaduct to the family mourning a suicide, we address people’s unique needs while seeing them all as children of God. Catholic means universal, and we are universal in our work. We are honest about our beliefs and cannot be all things to all people. But when we can help we give our all. In Chicago, we contribute greatly to the stability of our community as the area’s largest private social service provider, helping over one million people each year. Msgr. Michael Boland Catholic Charities, Chicago
Our network’s strengths are several: we are national in scope, having great breadth in our nationwide network and a national and global brand; we are local in approach, having depth in communities and being “locally owned” and responsive to local needs; we give mutual support, freely sharing best practices and resources and helping each other out as needed; we are a learning organization and share what we learn, from cutting edge strategies like social enterprise to the basics of good management and professional services; we are faith-based and have a strong Catholic identity—Catholic with a big C, meaning we are sponsored by the church and motivated by our faith to serve “the least of these” with a spirit of compassion and justice, and catholic with a little c, in that our services are universal, for all in need regardless of creed; we have a strong national advocacy voice backed by practical service experience; we are competent professional service providers with a proven track record of over 100 years; we are trusted collaborative partners and work with other groups to achieve our common goals; we are relational: our network works because of the relationships that have developed among the agencies and with the help of the national office; and…we aren’t just a bunch of grim do-gooders. We are fun. Greg Kepferle Catholic Charities Santa Clara County, San Jose, CA
The strength of Catholic Charities is that we serve the most vulnerable in our communities with a vision to meet the needs of the community and the needs of the individuals served. Our services are delivered in a spirit of “love,” the true meaning of charity. Further, as our communities’ needs change, so do the services we provide. Catholic Charities agencies also understand that there is a component of advocacy that must accompany the “good works” to ensure that systems that impact the most vulnerable are changed to protect them. Carolyn Tisdale Catholic Charities of West Tennessee, Memphis
Our agencies each have their own special qualities and characteristics, but, at the same, we have so much in common, so much to discuss among ourselves whenever we get together. We always find common ground and outstanding support about whatever challenge or opportunity we face. Also, when we are acting at our best, we are most especially flexible and creative. Like Star Trek, we often go where no one has gone before, being willing to take on the newest challenge or intervening in the most serious or most dire of circumstances on behalf of the most marginalized persons in society. Steve Bogus Catholic Charities, Louisville, KY
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At Catholic Charities in Baton Rouge, perhaps we have experienced more dramatically than most the gift of the Catholic Charities network. In the immediate aftermath of Katrina/Rita, and then Gustav/Ike three years later, local governments were helpless, the state was overwhelmed, the federal government confused. People were dying and families were scattered. The Catholic Charities network brought resources—funds and personnel, which enabled us to meet the needs of a region devastated beyond anything previously imaginable. These resources and the technical know-how that CCUSA brought to us went beyond the ability to provide housing, food, or gas money to reunite families. Because we are NOT the government, we have the flexibility to minister to the whole person. People approach us asking for help with a material need. With the backing of the network, we can touch the physical, but most importantly the emotional and spiritual. And in doing that, occasionally we bring a fleeting spark of the love of Christ into the hearts of the people we serve. David C. Aguillard Catholic Charities, Baton Rouge, LA
As a network, we have an abundance of hope, which inspires our work to end poverty. Despite Catholic Charities of Idaho being but ten years old, we are the only state-wide, faith-based organization with a vision of ending poverty here in Idaho. We understand that poverty is not merely the absence of financial resources and we know that money alone solves few problems. We also know that poverty is the absence of hope for the future, the gnawing sense that all one’s tomorrows cannot be better than today. Therefore, hope is the only antidote to poverty. Our programs focus on strengthening frail and broken families and encouraging self-investment as well as engaging in legislative advocacy on both a state and federal level. We seek a person-centered, far-ranging reform of social service policy in Idaho. A cynic might ask: “Isn’t ending poverty in Idaho a bit like reaching for a star?” Our answer at CCI: “We might not quite grab that star, but neither will we end up empty handed.” And that goes for the entire network. John Fiedler Catholic Charities of Idaho, Boise, ID
What I believe is most unique about Catholic Charities is that generally we are the direct arm of the local bishop helping him administer the corporal works of mercy. The heritage of our work ties directly to the work of the first deacons as the church found ways to ensure that both the Hellenistic and Jewish widows were cared for adequately. Today, we proudly continue that tradition of the church’s direct response to the widows, the orphans, and the strangers among us. Rooted in Scripture, especially the parables of the Last Judgment and the Good Samaritan, we “organize love” (Deus Caritas Est, par. 20) to help the faithful carry out our personal and corporate response to those persons and families in need. Brian R. Corbin Diocese of Youngstown, OH
One strength of our Catholic Charities network is the executive directors group and the commitment to ongoing training for us and for our staffs. Our trainings in mission help us to develop cohesive agencies with shared goals. I know that many organizations provide training, but ours is unique in its faith dimension. Those of us who have participated have been educated in the mission and transformed by our faith. Meg Andersen Catholic Charities, Youngstown, OH
The Catholic Charities network is unique in that its leadership calls us to action, based on our faith. Catholic Charities USA challenged organizations across the United States to share a common agenda, which is to cut poverty in half by 2020. This challenge allowed core groups of Catholic Charities’ leaders to begin working in our local communities and neighborhoods to find innovative ways to make this a reality. CCUSA also facilitated communications so we could share ideas about best practices while having honest conversations about what isn’t working. Our next significant opportunity will be developing a shared way to measure our good works. Cathy B. Peterson Catholic Charities Community Services, Prescott, AZ
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How Catholic Charities Serves America
n 2010, Catholic Charities agencies served 10,270,292 unduplicated consumers nationwide through services that provide food, build strong communities, strengthen families, provide housing, respond to disasters, and meet basic human needs. Accounting for consumers that received multiples services, Catholic Charities agencies provided these services 15,448,529 times.
Agencies reported serving approximately one million more clients through food banks and food pantries in 2010 than in 2009, a sign of a still weak economy. This increase is part of a larger trend. The number of people receiving food services through food banks and pantries increased 81 between 2005 and 2010.
Home Delivered Meals 2% Soup Kitchens 20% Other Food Services 7% Food Banks and Food Pantries 59%
Congregate Dining 12%
Catholic Charities in St. Louis sponsors City Greens, a community garden and produce market on wheels that brings fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables to low-income areas of the city.
More Catholic Charities consumers received food services than any other category of service. In 2010, Catholic Charities served 7,146, 490 people by:
• Operating 118 soup kitchens, 637 congregate dining sites, and 1,645 food banks, pantries, and cupboards. • Delivering 3.3 million meals to homebound seniors and people with disabilities. • Distributing additional food through food co-ops (like SHARE), food voucher programs, government bulk food distribution, summer lunch programs, and other services. • Sponsoring more than 30 community gardens.
Catholic Charities in Brownsville, TX, administers a summer food service program for children in the impoverished “colonias” along the U.S.-Mexican border.
| CHARITIES USA
Agencies reported serving approximately one million more clients in food banks and food pantries in 2010 than in 2009, a sign of a still weak economy.
Pregnancy Services 8% Addiction Services 9% Refugee Services 11% Adoption Services 4%
prenatal care, job training and placement, life skills training, provision of maternity clothing and infant supplies, adoption counseling, and other services.
Counseling and Mental Health 38%
• Adoption services, which include adoption search and placement (infant, relative, foster care, special needs, and international placement), home studies, post-adoption services, adoption support groups, and other services.
Immigration Services 30%
In 2010, Catholic Charities agencies served 1,063,830 clients through family strengthening services related to behavioral health, immigration, refugee resettlement, pregnancy, and adoption. Catholic Charities provided:
• Behavioral health services, which include counseling and mental health services, addiction recovery and prevention, and treatment of co-occurring disorders (mental health and addiction issues combined). • Immigration services, which include counseling, legal services, assistance with citizenship and residency applications, family visa petitions, asylum petitions, removal proceeding, and other services. • Refugee services such as housing placement, interpretation, job training and placement, language instruction, case management, transportation, cultural orientation, citizenship training, marriage and family strengthening, and other services. • Services for Pregnant women, birth fathers, and intact families such as counseling, case management, parenting education,
The Refugee Youth Program of Catholic Charities in Nashville, TN, provides after-school and summer activities, casework, school preparation, and family enrichment services to empower refugee children and their families. The program helps refugee youth, who face serious gaps in education, learn fundamental reading, writing, math, science, and computer skills so they can more successfully integrate into school.
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Building Strong Communities
Socialization and Neighborhood Services 10% Health Related Services 7%
Education and Enrichment Services In 2010, Catholic Charities agencies provided a number of education and enrichment services, such as:
• Head Start, Early Head Start, and similar programs for low-income preschoolers • Financial literacy, asset development courses, and individual development accounts
Social Support Services 53%
Services to At-Risk Populations 11% Education and Enrichment 19%
• Marriage promotion and strengthening classes, parenting classes, and family leadership training • Life skills education
In 2010, 4,224,224 clients were engaged by Catholic Charities agencies in some form of service that helps build strong communities. These services are categorized into five broad areas: social support services, education and enrichment, services to at-risk populations, socialization and neighborhood services, and health-related services. Social Support Services In 2010, Catholic Charities provided services for:
• Seniors, which include case management, transportation, adult day care, homemaker services, guardianship, home repair, senior companion, spiritual support, and social activities. • Children, such as quality child care for low-income families and before and after school programs. • People seeking employment, such as job search and placement, resume development, interviewing skills development, employment training, job coaching, and job program for special groups (seniors, youth, welfare recipients, people with disabilities).
• High school drop-out prevention and GED assistance • Fatherhood programs • Abstinence education and promotion classes • Adult education and computer literacy
The four Catholic Charities agencies in Kansas—in Kansas City, Salina, Wichita, and Dodge City—offer Marriage for Keeps, a program designed to strengthen the marriages of low-income couples with children.
Socialization and Neighborhood Services In 2010, Catholic Charities agencies:
• Operated numerous family, community, senior, and youth centers nationwide. • Offered various programs and services, such as health fairs, support groups, summer youth camps, sports and recreation for children and youth, youth development, thrift stores, senior socialization activities, community gardens, and cultural enrichment. • Sponsored community organizing activities.
Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia’s guardianship, conservatorship, and representative payee services protect vulnerable seniors who can no longer manage their affairs and who cannot rely on friends and family to assist them.
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Services to At-Risk Populations In 2010, Catholic Charities provided services:
• for individuals who are at risk of neglect or abuse (domestic, child, sexual, or elder abuse). • for children placed in foster care and other child welfare services. • to keep families intact or reunify children with families. • to assist runaway or homeless youth. • to homeless people and to prevent homelessness.
Catholic Charities in Pittsburgh operates a free health care clinic that provides quality medical and dental care at no cost to individuals who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance, cannot afford private insurance, or who do not qualify for Medicaid or other types of assistance.
Community Service Innovation
Some Catholic Charities programs defy easy categorization because they incorporate many other services into an innovative service model or they go beyond traditional social service provision to empower families and solve community problems, for example:
• Catholic Community Services in Southeastern Arizona developed and operates public transportation services in rural Cochise County to ease transportation problems for low-income Arizonans, providing greater access to health care and social services as well as educational and job opportunities. • The Family Strengthening Program of Catholic Charities in Green Bay, WI, employs a comprehensive service plan to help families become and stay self-sufficient. Depending on the needs of the family, these services can include counseling, case management, emergency assistance, financial literacy and debt management, asset building, language instruction, job development, personal development, and other services. • Catholic Charities in Fort Worth, TX, developed two social enterprises to help refugees and immigrants support their families: WORN, which employs refugee women in knitting high quality scarves for sale online and in local boutiques; and the Translation and Interpretation Network, which employs trained and certified bilingual immigrants and refugees in providing language services to health providers, teachers, consultants, and others in their interactions with people who do not speak English.
Catholic Charities in Herkimer County, NY, offers a program to stabilize runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth up to the age of 21, providing a 24hour crisis hotline, emergency housing, crisis and on-going counseling for youth and families, independent living skills education, academic tutoring, and advocacy.
Health-related Services In 2010, Catholic Charities agencies provided a number of health-related services, such as:
• Health clinics and dental clinics • Prescription drug assistance programs • Home health services and parish nursing • Skilled nursing and intermediate care facilities • Hospice care • HIV/AIDS services • Community health outreach
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Housing Related Services
• Provided housing services such as building material banks, case management, energy conservation, home mortgage assistance, home repair, housing counseling, housing search and information, and rental assistance.
Supervised Living 9% Permanent Housing 12%
Transitional Housing 6%
Housing Services 48% Temporary Shelter 25%
In 2010, Catholic Charities agencies and affiliates provided housing-related services to 559,232 clients through temporary shelter, permanent housing, supervised living services, transitional services, and other housing services. Catholic Charities:
• Operated 214 emergency shelters with 9,817 beds, serving adults, families, and special groups such women and children affected by domestic violence. • Provided supervised living services, such as foster care, group home care, and residential care services for 51,426 children, adolescents, adults, seniors, and people with developmental disabilities. • Operated 412 transitional housing programs for families, adults, seniors, veterans, battered women, pregnant women and teens, exoffenders, runaway youth, young adults transitioning out of foster care, trafficking victims, and other special populations. • Managed 29,010 permanent housing units for low-income families, persons with physical challenges, seniors, and other populations.
Catholic Charities CYO in San Francisco manages Leland House, a comprehensive medical residence for low-income homeless San Francisco residents who have disabling HIV/AIDS—most of whom struggle with major psychiatric disorders and substance use challenges.
Catholic Charities in Louisville, KY, develops and manages affordable housing for low-income seniors.
| CHARITIES USA
Other Basic Needs
Agencies provided other basic needs assistance, apart from food, shelter, or housing, to 1,942,119 clients in 2010 by providing clothing, utilities assistance, financial assistance (other than rent or mortgage), and buying prescription drugs.
Programs for Special Populations
Many Catholic Charities agencies operate programs for special populations, including undocumented people, people suffering with grief/loss, prisoners/ex-offenders, victims of crime, people with disabilities, women who have had abortions, juvenile offenders, migrant workers, veterans, fathers, trafficking victims, families of prisoners, military families, and former gang members. n
Other Basic Needs 35%
Prescriptions 3% Emergency Financial Aid 12% Utilities 14%
Catholic Charities USA and member agencies work together to meet the needs of people recovering from disasters. CCUSA coordinates the Catholic Church’s response to disasters, distributes donated funds to local agencies, and provides manpower and technical assistance to local agencies, which provide direct relief and recovery services. In 2010, 78 Catholic Charities agencies provided disaster relief services to 93,436 clients through:
• Financial assistance • Crisis counseling/mental health • Case management • Information and referral • Resource distribution
Catholic Charities Housing Services of the Diocese of Yakima, WA, provides services to farmworkers and their families, beginning with affordable housing and then a number of family strengthening services that help them achieve economic self-sufficiency, such as English language and civics instruction, financial literacy and homebuyer education, health education, and referrals for counseling, medical care, and other services. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Superior provides a wide array of services for people with mental and physical disabilities, including education in life skills, vocations, and employment; housing, including group homes and independent living facilities; and independent living assistance.
These agencies provided disaster relief services for natural disasters, including floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards, as well as several man-made disasters, including the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
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The Communal Practice of Charity that Keeps the Church Faithful
By Msgr. Kevin Sullivan
ew argue against charity. Along with motherhood and apple pie, charity receives almost universal approbation from both secularists and religionists. In such diverse places as St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (love is the greatest) and the U.S. tax code (the deductibility of charitable contributions), charity emerges in a privileged placed. Among Catholics, national polls consistently rank concern for the poor as among their highest priorities. One fairly recent poll that asked Catholics what was most important to their faith produced a noteworthy result. Concern for the poor was in a virtual tie with belief in the resurrection of Jesus as the top priority for the faith of American Catholics. I suspect this may be why the Catholic Church’s organized work of helping people in the United States has consistently been called Catholic Charities. From the perspective of the Catholic Church, the staying power of the title Catholic Charities is a good thing, but it does come with a challenge: that we communicate charity in its fullest Christian sense, rooted in the biblical understanding of love. Understood in its full sense, charity is an essential part of the identity of the Christian and must be practiced both by individual Christians and collectively by the community of the church. In other words, without charity the Christian and the church are in danger of being marginalized and the church’s sacraments and teaching compromised. In the same way, Catholic Charities is compromised without the sacraments and teachings of the church. Making this case has become much easier by the compelling argument of Pope Benedict XVI in the first encyclical of his papacy, Deus Caritas Est. Building upon this foundation, I would like to make the further case that Catholic Charities is the fulfillment of the church’s responsibility to practice collective charity in faithfulness to the Gospel. Were there not Catholic Charities, then the Catholic Church would be required to create Catholic Charities in order to be authentic to its identity as the Church of Jesus Christ. The work of charity is intrinsic to the mission of the church. Even as acute challenges arise to both financial and human resources, the work of charity is part of every Christian vocation and has as legitimate a call on the church’s human and financial resources as the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the sacraments.
Charity is an essential part of the identity of the Christian and must be practiced both by individual Christians and collectively by the community of the church.
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The work of charity is part of every Christian vocation and has as legitimate a call on the church’s human and financial resources as the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the sacraments.
Charity—Essential for the Individual Christian and the Church Community
The gospel message of Jesus affirms the practice of charity as essential for the individual Christian disciple and for the community of disciples, the church. Four key passages from the New Testament undeniably place charity at the center of the gospel message of Jesus—the letter of James, the first letter of John, the parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke’s Gospel, and the Last Judgment scene from Matthew’s Gospel. The first two chapters of the letter of James most directly draw the connection between religion, care, faith, and love: Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27) What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17) The first letter of John poignantly draws the connection between the sacrificial love of God for us and the disciples’ requirement to practice love: The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. (I John 3:16-18) The parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke’s Gospel extends the mandate to love one’s neighbor beyond well-established and accepted human boundaries and
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divisions. The parable is Jesus’ response to a follow-up question from a legal scholar attempting to justify himself. Jesus affirms the scholar’s articulation of the dual command to love God totally and love neighbor as oneself as the way to eternal life. The legal scholar then wants to know, “Who is my neighbor?” and receives the answer of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (excerpted from Luke 10:27-37) The ominous Last Judgment scene from Matthew’s Gospel makes patently clear that how one treats those in need is tantamount to how one treats God. After separating the “sheep,” the righteous, on his right hand from the “goats,” the unrighteous, on his left hand, Jesus says to those on his right: Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me….Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (excerpted from Matthew 25:31-46)
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The Church cannot neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the Sacraments and the Word.
These four New Testament passages leave little doubt that love and service are expected of the disciple who wishes to remain faithful to Jesus. Some 2000 years later, the first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, presents a compelling and straightforward case for both individual and collective charity as central to the life of the Christian disciple and also the community of disciples, the church. Three excerpts from the second part of this encyclical on the biblical mandate of love capture the essence of the encyclical’s teaching on the role of charity in the church: The Church cannot neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the Sacraments and the Word. Love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind, is as essential to her as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel. Love of neighbor, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful, but it is also a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community at every level: from the local community to the particular Church and to the Church universal in its entirety. As a community, the Church must practice love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community. Deus Caritas Est is perhaps the clearest affirmation in the entire modern corpus of Catholic social teaching, from Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum in 1891 to John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus in 1991, of the essential place that the social ministry of charity plays in the church. Benedict makes two fundamental points with far-reaching ramifications: (1) charity and service are as essential to the church as the Mass and the Bible and (2) charity and service are obligations both of individuals and the community of the church.
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Let me draw out the second point, the obligation of communal charity, with a comparison to private prayer and the Eucharist that will indicate how strong this teaching is. Today, a number of people, including Catholics, say, “Why do I need to go to church when I can pray on my own?” They maintain that the private practice of one’s religion, particularly when it comes to prayer, is sufficient. However, such an approach has no significant support in orthodox church teaching and practice. The Eucharist, our communal act of worship, not private devotion, is at the center of the church’s life. The church has made participation in the weekly Sunday Eucharist the norm for Catholics and has enshrined this in church law. The communal celebration of the Eucharist is at the center of the religious life of practicing Catholics. Pope Benedict teaches that the same is true of the individual and communal practice of charity. Individual virtue and individual acts of charity are not sufficient. The church as a whole, and at all levels, must exercise communal acts of charity. To remain orthodox, Catholicism needs, as a community of faith, to engage in organized acts of charity. This is precisely what Catholic Charities does. Catholic Charities fulfills the church’s obligation to communally exercise the service of charity as an ecclesial community. In reflecting on the centrality of charity in the ministry of Jesus in the Gospels, the church developed charity as one of the three theological virtues, along with faith and hope. The virtue of charity draws directly from the Scriptures, where it is defined as “the virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes virtue as such: A virtue is traditionally described as a habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but also to give the best of himself or herself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.
Pope Benedict teaches that... individual virtue and individual acts of charity are not sufficient. The church as a whole, and at all levels, must exercise communal acts of charity.
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Catholic Charities exists as an institution to ensure that the church as a community practices the love mandated by the gospel.
The development of virtue—the habit of doing good— is a safeguard for us as individuals to ensure that we do the right thing even when we may not be all that enthusiastic about doing so. Many decisions and actions flow from predispositions to act in certain ways, and the virtue of charity predisposes us in diverse circumstances “to love God above all and our neighbors as ourselves.” By analogy, I suggest that institutions and organizations play a very similar role in the life of the community of faith as virtues do in the life of individuals. Institutions and organizations facilitate the doing of good by the community. Catholic Charities exists as an institution to ensure that the church as a community practices the love mandated by the gospel, so clearly articulated by Benedict XVI in Deus Caritas Est. Its existence safeguards the church from turning in on itself, especially in those moments when it is tempted toward narcissism and other threats. The presence of virtue in a person does not guarantee that in every situation the right decision will be made and the correct action done; however, it is a powerful help in that direction. So too, the existence of a good institution does not guarantee correct action, however, it is a powerful help. When the community of the church is mandated by our belief to engage in some particular communal activity, the establishment of good institutions and organizations fosters the faithful in the carrying out of that mandate. To fulfill its obligation to engage in the service of charity at every ecclesial level, the church needs institutions to safeguard the fulfillment of this mandate. Catholic Charities is the ecclesial institution that protects this component of the church’s mission. If there were no Catholic Charities, the church would have to establish such an institution in order to remain faithful and orthodox. n
This article is excerpted from “Catholic Charities: Safeguarding and Advancing the Church’s Presence in the World,” by Msgr. Kevin Sullivan; Catholic Charities USA: 100 Years at the Intersection of Charity and Justice (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2010). Printed with permission of Liturgical Press.
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First Five Years
Rev. Larry Snyder President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA
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The Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America
With 46.2 million Americans living in poverty, several million more than when we started the Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America five years ago, some may wonder if our goal to cut poverty in America in half by 2020 remains relevant. I assure you that this goal, which was adopted by our membership, not only remains our guiding principle, but also retains the power to inspire us all in our everyday work to help the poor and vulnerable in our midst. We’ve accomplished much over the last five years. From publishing poverty issue briefs, to testifying on Capitol Hill, to convening regional summits across the country, to developing legislation, to welcoming new coalitions and partners to the table, our advocacy efforts have borne much fruit—and there is much yet to come. Our signature legislation, the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act, which contains policy ideas straight from the field, will continue to be a key component of our campaign going forward. With so many challenges for people living in or on the brink of poverty, our call for holistic and transformative reform in the poverty service delivery system is a much-needed voice in this critical time in our nation’s history.
A Brief History of the Campaign
2006—Poverty in America: A Threat to the Common Good At our 2006 Annual Gathering in Minneapolis, we released a policy paper that drew attention to the often ignored problem of domestic poverty. Calling poverty in America a “moral and social crisis,” Poverty in America: A Threat to the Common Good demonstrated the absolute necessity of action on the part of American citizens. The message of the policy paper was whole-heartedly adopted by the membership, and the specific proposals it advanced were used as the foundation for a broader, national campaign. 2007—Launching the Campaign In a standing-room-only briefing on Capitol Hill, Father Larry Snyder announced our Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America. We set the ambitious but achievable goal of reducing poverty in America by 50 percent by the year 2020 and called on Congress, our membership, and people and organizations around the country to learn about poverty and improve public policies that affect the poor. We identified five key areas in which we would measure progress in poverty reduction efforts: health care, hunger, housing, family economic security, and workforce training and education. 2008—Responding to Unprecedented Challenges The devastating financial problems of 2008 exacerbated poverty for those who were already poor and put millions more Americans into dire financial circumstances. Undeterred, we pushed the campaign forward and confronted head on another harsh reality of poverty in America: racial inequality. We released a new policy paper, Poverty and Racism: Overlapping Threats to the Common Good, to draw attention to the relationship between racism and poverty and to the disproportionate rate of poverty among minorities. Later in 2008, in the wake of a nation-wide foreclosure crisis, we published The Home Is the Foundation to address the less visible, but no less serious, housing crisis that was threatening the financial, physical, and emotional security of low and middle income households.
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2009—A Time to Think and Act Anew CCUSA responded to the still deteriorating economic situation by traveling to regions across the country in search of innovative solutions to poverty. Through ten regional summits, we gathered ideas from local agencies and gave service providers, government leaders, and consumers an opportunity to share ideas. These summits highlighted successful programs and built consensus for a transformative approach to poverty reduction and prevention. Rev. Larry Snyder’s book, Think and Act Anew, chronicled what we learned at the summits and called on governments, businesses, and individuals to create new and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty. Further, to engage those most impacted by government policies in developing solutions to poverty, CCUSA organized the Consumer Advisory Council, made up of former and current Catholic Charities consumers. 2010—Celebrating 100 Years and Looking Forward Inspired by the examples and lessons learned from those on the front lines of service, we took an unprecedented step in the history of our organization and developed the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act (NOCRA). This bill seeks to address some of the most intractable issues associated with poverty by creating a national competition in which ten communities will be given the flexibility to implement new and innovative approaches to poverty reduction and to develop holistic social service programs that are specific to their local needs. This legislation was the culmination of our year-long centennial celebration, where we committed to transformative ideas and policy to prevent and alleviate poverty. 2011—Committed to Transformative Change After our centennial, we brought a renewed sense of dedication and commitment to our advocacy efforts. The network’s diocesan directors brought Catholic Charities’ message of transformative reform in poverty services to Capitol Hill, lending their voices to the discussion on poverty in America. CCUSA remained committed to raising awareness of the ideas contained in NOCRA, while refining its message by better incorporating feedback from the field. In June, case managers from more than a dozen agencies met to discuss the concepts and application of the legislation with the CCUSA advocacy team. Their input was incorporated into the bill, which was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate in September 2011. NOCRA aims to provide policy solutions that are holistic, systems-changing, market-based, and results-oriented. The legislation remains a key element of our ongoing campaign, and CCUSA has begun building a coalition in support of the principles in the bill.
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Five Goals for Advancing the Campaign
The first five years of the campaign have taught us that achieving our goals in the face of dire challenges will require new ideas and innovative strategies. Since the launch of the campaign in 2007, poverty in America has increased. With 46.2 million Americans now living in poverty, the call to action has never been so pressing. These statistics paint a bleak picture and illustrate the importance of decisive and meaningful action. Accordingly, we have laid out a bold plan to advance the Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America, pursuing the following five goals:
• Reintroduce federal legislation that incorporates our policy objectives. Because every bill must be re-introduced each time a new Congress comes to Washington, we took advantage of re-introduction to make some minor, yet strategic, changes to the bill. While very similar in scope and intention to the 2010 legislation, the current language is sensitive to the current political and fiscal climate in our nation. Through this legislation, we continue to stress the importance of comprehensive reform that allows for holistic treatment of individuals, flexible management options for local authorities, and innovative financing mechanisms. NOCRA was re-introduced in the Senate in September 2011, and we hope to see the bill re-introduced in the House of Representatives in 2012. • Bring our policy ideas to the fore in the national policy arena. As the nation enters the 2012 election cycle, we will work to raise poverty as a national issue that must be addressed by candidates for elected office. We will also put concrete solutions on the table and challenge the nation’s current and prospective policymakers to directly address the issue of poverty in America. • Form a strong coalition of national partner organizations. Building strong partnerships with organizations that share the mission of our campaign and support the policy ideas in our legislation will enhance the impact and extend the reach of our message. • Increase our nationwide advocacy presence. We are working to establish a national network of issue-area experts drawn directly from the Catholic Charities net-
work. These experts will be called upon to advocate for recommendations by authoring op-ed pieces, writing letters to elected officials, leading local discussions on programs, and testifying before Congressional committees. Further, the CCUSA advocacy team will provide enhanced support for agencies by creating opportunities for agencies to interact with legislators, increasing communication between the advocacy team and diocesan directors, building our grassroots network, and producing data-driven materials for agency advocacy efforts. • Launch local demonstrations of key policy ideas. We will initiate programs that demonstrate how our policy ideas can improve service delivery. We encourage agencies to pursue waivers that will allow them to break down traditional silos of service provision and explore innovative ideas like private-public partnerships or the Individual Opportunity Plan model for case management. Pilot programs will be monitored closely both qualitatively and quantitatively, and their outcomes will lend real-world results to strengthen our advocacy efforts. It is no longer enough to preserve the safety net programs that have been unchanged since their introduction four decades ago. It is time for innovation, a bold plan of action that will shine a light to those in darkness and offer hope to those who have none in these turbulent times. Driven by our mission, inspired by our members, and committed to improving the lives of the millions in poverty, we remain committed to our campaign and our unchanging goal of reducing poverty in America by 50 percent by 2020. n
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Supercharging the Next Generation of Supporters
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Thinks Creatively to Engage Young People in Its Mission
very Catholic Charities agency faces the challenge of engaging its community in its mission, but it’s especially difficult to do that when not enough people know their local agency, what it does, and who it serves. It’s been said before that Catholic Charities agencies are the best kept secret around, but when it comes to involving people in our mission, that’s not really a good thing.
Playing off of the agency’s name, the theme, “I’m for b+q,” communicates that the agency is working in the community for the people there.
When the Board of Trustees and administration of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens identified community awareness as a key area to be strengthened to ensure the economic and social viability of the agency, the agency’s development team, headed by Brian Gavin, got creative about boosting their profile in the community. They wanted people, especially younger people, to see CCBQ as an asset in their community, to care about its mission, and to get behind it.
“This helps local residents connect with us,” said Gavin. “Most of them feel a deep connection and loyalty to their own neighborhood and borough.” The campaign, launched in 2011, also utilizes the slogan: “Supercharge the charity in you,” once again drawing from the agency’s name (“Charities”) and encouraging community residents to get involved, either through donations or volunteer activities. Campaign materials, which have been distributed throughout the community in a variety of ways—print, media, and electronic—encourage people to learn more about the agency at www.bplusq.org, a web landing page set up not only to direct site visitors to more information about the
Connecting with the Community
To make their case to the community, the agency created an awareness campaign centered around the theme, “I’m for Brooklyn and Queens. I’m for B plus Q.” Playing off of the agency’s name, the theme communicates that the agency is working in the community for the people there. In the ads created for the campaign, the theme is coupled with examples of CCBQ’s work in the community.
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Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens wants especially to “supercharge” a new generation of supporters, not just for the purposes of bringing in donations, but for developing partnerships, building resources, and cultivating leadership.
agency but to measure the effectiveness of the campaign. Gavin and his team have been excited to see the number of hits to the site—and donations to the agency— increase over time. The campaign is working!
Networking with a New Generation
With the campaign, CCBQ wants especially to “supercharge” a new generation of supporters, not just for the purposes for bringing in donations, but of developing partnerships, building resources, and cultivating leadership. Understanding the importance of networking for working professionals, CCBQ piloted two kinds of networking events to introduce more people to its mission. In 2011, the agency hosted the inaugural NYC Catholic Alumni Networking Reception at the New York Athletic Club, which brought together alumni of Catholic colleges and universities who live or work in the New York metropolitan area. Getting the word out was fairly easy. CCBQ simply asked 25 alumni associations to email its electronic invitation to their alumni in the area—more than 125,000 alums all together. CCBQ’s goal for this professional and social networking cocktail reception was to cultivate support for CCBQ by building on a common Catholic identity and purpose. Throughout the evening, a looping slide show about CCBQ’s programs and services played in the background and various campaign print materials were available for perusal. Near the end of the two-hour event, Robert Seibel, executive director of CCBQ, took a few minutes, no more than five, to share why he has worked at CCBQ for so many years, what CCBQ’s mission has in common with attendees, and how people can join in the work of CCBQ.
CCBQ’s Professional Networking Event in October 2011. Below: Donors and attendees at the event, including CCUSA’s Maria Gonzalez (second from left), and CCBQ’s Jason Soto (center right) and Brian Gavin (far right).
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People are amazed when they learn about all the good work CCBQ does. I hear people say, “I had no idea Catholic Charities did that,” or “More people need to know about this,” or “How can I get involved?” — Brian Gavin
“We know the average person gives to three causes, first, their congregation, second, their alma mater, and third, a cause that speaks to the individual,” said Seibel. “CCBQ is here this evening to speak to that third cause. Join us in the work we do.” About 75 people attended the first networking reception, and the numbers have moved upwards since then. In March, CCBQ held its third alumni reception. It was “sold out” at 350 attendees. “This event has been very successful in getting our message out to a successful, savvy, educated group of people who can be strong supporters” said Gavin. “They enjoy the event because we don’t hit them over the head with all the things we do. We’re upbeat and positive and share a few basic stats on what we do. They think it’s pretty cool.” To reach out to younger working professionals, CCBQ also launched quarterly professional networking events for 18to 45-year-olds. These events, promoted solely through social media, are held at local “hot spots.” In ways similar to the alumni reception, these events introduce younger professionals to the mission of CCBQ. Here, CCBQ also brings in direct service staff—social workers, case managers, care providers—to talk with attendees and share more about their work.
The number of people attending the quarterly events has increased from 80 people to over 300. “The number grows each time,” said Gavin. “We’re now able to begin the next phase, which is getting people to join our Junior Board and developing partnerships with them and the corporations they work for.”
Not a Secret Anymore
The networking events have turned out to be great for raising awareness. “People are amazed when they learn about all the good work CCBQ does,” said Gavin. “I hear people say, ‘I had no idea Catholic Charities did that,” or “More people need to know about this,” or “How can I get involved?’” That greater awareness is paying off with the community and with young people—and not just in donations. CCBQ has organized a service day for volunteers from the alumni group. They’ll be building a tranquility garden at one of CCBQ’s senior centers. And recently, people from the younger group organized an office fundraiser to benefit CCBQ. Gavin is pretty passionate about “supercharging” a new generation of supporters. “It’s what we need to be doing. They will sustain our future.” n
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Supercharging the Charity in Your Community
Through Catholic Charities USA’s Development and Communications Section, you can connect with your development and communication colleagues in the Catholic Charities network and gain access to some of the best ideas our network has to offer about development, marketing, communications, and branding. Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens’ award-winning campaign materials—public service announcements, fundraising videos, banners, and print materials—are available through the Dev/Comm Section, and CCUSA can help you explore how you might customize them for your community. n
30 second “Human Touch PSA/Human Touch Template Ads
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Helping Women Escape “the Life” of Prostitution In Phoenix
By Laura Toussaint-Newkirk
he woman approached the van with hesitation, but eagerly accepted the zipped bag containing a snack, toiletries, and some information about the DIGNITY program. Tina, a survivor and a DIGNITY staff member, asked the woman how she was doing. Did she need help? The woman looked around nervously, and quickly replied, “No thank you,” as she turned and hastily made her way down the street.
This encounter is representative of more than 1,000 that take place each year as part of the DIGNITY prostitution recovery program operated by Catholic Charities Community Services in Phoenix. DIGNITY, an acronym for Developing Individual Growth and New Independence Through Yourself, is the brainchild of founder Kathleen Mitchell. “There tends to be little sympathy for these women because people assume that women choose to be prostituted. The truth is that most were in their young teens when they started and are so controlled by those who sell them that they cannot imagine that there is a way out,” explained Mitchell.
Mitchell became involved in prostitution when she met a man she believed was wonderful. She believed him when he told her that she did not deserve to be abused by her then husband. But soon after this “fairy tale” relationship began, it turned dark. The man she loved turned her to prostitution, and she lived in that sinister world for 21 years, silently screaming for help that did not come until she was arrested by Phoenix Police and sentenced to six months in Durango Jail. There, Mitchell saw how many other women were trapped in the cycle of abuse and manipulation. She wanted to make a difference, and in 1989, started a group at Durango to help women escape what they call “the life.” Her program was different from other programs, which only addressed a few of the challenges facing those trapped in the life, mainly addiction. As someone who fully understood the level of manipulation, control, and dependency these women suffered, she wanted to build their self-esteem and confidence in themselves and to help them leave the life for good. “Pimps are master manipulators. They know how to target and ‘groom’ certain girls—those from broken homes—abusive homes—who are vulner-
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“I remember that first day I walked through the door. I felt such peace. For the first time in years, I felt I had a home.” – Jeanne, a DIGNITY graduate
able and desperate for love and affection,” explained Mitchell. “By the time the girls realize what’s happening, it’s often too late. Sometimes, they do not see how they were manipulated at all and honestly think that they chose or deserve what is happening to them.” In 1992, Mitchell partnered with Catholic Charities Community Services to provide outreach and life skills classes to women outside the jail setting. But Mitchell and then director, Maureen Webster, soon realized that these women needed a safe, nurturing place to go once they left jail—a place where they could work on themselves. In 1996, DIGNITY’s residential program opened. At DIGNITY House, women have a safe place to live and heal. They must commit to work hard on themselves for a full year, but receive emotional support, life skills training, access to healthcare, education, counseling, drug and alcohol recovery, employment assistance, and comprehensive case management.
The program is a success too. Ninety-four percent of the women who complete the year-long residential program leave the life for good. In 1997, Catholic Charities DIGNITY partnered with the city of Phoenix to offer a diversion program. Those arrested for prostitution are offered the opportunity to avoid jail if they complete a structured program, including an intense 36-hour, week-long program of education, self-exploration, and esteem and skill building. Eighty-nine percent of those who complete the program do not re-offend. DIGNITY Diversion also offers an intense 8-hour jail alternative program for those who solicit. It gives them a greater understanding that prostitution is not a victimless crime and that when they buy sex, they continue the victimization and abuse of those who are prostituted. Together, the DIGNITY Diversion programs save the city of Phoenix nearly $700,000 in jail costs each year.
The Theatre Experience
“I remember that first day I walked through the door. I felt such peace. For the first time in years, I felt I had a home,” said Jeanne, a DIGNITY graduate who learned about the program while she was in jail. “[DIGNITY] was exactly what I needed—my life had been so chaotic that I needed the structure, to be walked through the steps, so I could be a success.” In 2007, the DIGNITY program received the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation from the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University in California.
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Their stories. Their words.
tive experience that provides a better understanding of the life of women and estic sex trafficking. Survivors share their stories through imagery, poetry,
A Survivor’s Story
Jeanne’s descent into the life was so gradual that, like most prostituted women, she did not recognize it until it was too late. After a very painful divorce, she met a man who was so kind and loving that she describes that first year with him as “heaven on earth.” The second year, however, she described as “pure hell.” “We had been together for a year before it came up. At first it was, ‘We just need a little money. Won’t you do this thing for me?’” Jeanne recalled. “But then the beatings began and he told me, ‘Don’t come home until you make me some money.’” Drugs helped her cope with her situation, but took a toll on her health. After 14 years of living on the street, Jeanne was arrested the second-to-last time in February of 2005. During her 90 days in jail, she went to “ho class” and was amazed by the women from DIGNITY.
Jeanne’s second-to-last arrest photo in February 2005. See Jeanne today on the facing page.
Unfortunately, with nowhere to go, once she was released from jail, she returned to the only thing she knew. But the seed had been planted. Jeanne was arrested again in June of that same year. She was so strung out that it took several weeks for her to recover her senses. When she did, her first thought was of “that program with the purple folders and the women who had been such bright, shiny lights of hope” for her. Jeanne came to DIGNITY House and committed to working on herself for a full year. She has been out of the life for six and half years. She works for an agency that helps the homeless, doing outreach and assisting others on the same streets where she herself had lived just a few years ago. She petitioned and was approved to have all of her felonies dismissed and was able to reinstate her respiratory therapy license. Jeanne has reunited with her daughter and is continuing her education. She often returns to DIGNITY to share her story—to give hope to the other women because she was once where they are now.
“It took me a long time to realize I am not what I did,” recalled Jeanne. “What contributes to my success is the unshakeable foundation I received from the women of DIGNITY who loved me until I could love myself.”
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The Theatre Experience
Their stories. Their words.
DIGNITY Immersion is an interactive experience that provides a better understanding of the life of women and children who are victims of domestic sex trafficking. Survivors share their stories through imagery, poetry, monologues, and letters
No one under 12 permitted. Ages 12-17 must be accompanied by guardian or youth group leader .
This event is FREE, but RESERVATIONS are required! Call 602.258.2785 to reserve your seat by Thurs., Feb. 23.
Friday, Feb. 24 – 7 p.m. & Saturday, Feb. 25 – 2 p.m.
Brophy College Preparatory – Black Box Theater
4701 North Central Avenue, Phoenix 85012
In 2009, DIGNITY focused on creating awareness about the plight of prostituted individuals and created DIGNITY Immersion, a truly interactive experience. Participants explore how victims are lured or abducted into prostitution and experience the control, manipulation, and degradation of “the life.” At the beginning of the evening, participants receive a card with a woman’s story. At the end of the event, they discover whether their woman recovered or was lost to the life. DIGNITY Immersion was immediately recognized for its innovative and thought-provoking approach. It won the 2010 Cherish the Children Award from the Greater Phoenix Child Abuse Prevention Council. “[Immersion] is innovative and challenging—not because child prostitution is a new concept in child abuse, but because the average citizen does not know the frightening details of the average age of 13 or the enslavement to a pimp,” said Margaret L. Daggett, M. Ed., 2010 Cherish the Children Award Chairperson. This February, Immersion took another innovative turn, with survivors sharing their stories through poetry, performance, dance, and imagery. “When people share their own stories, the message is so much more effective,” said Alanna Reichert, program director for DIGNITY’s residential program and DIGNITY Immersion. Each of the ten vignettes shared something unique. A performance of “The Pimp’s Poem,” written by Kathleen Mitchell, showed the progression of a pimp’s manipulative language from the opening line, “You have beautiful eyes,” to the ending line, “Now that you are beaten and used, I can dispose of you and no one will care.” One survivor’s poem described how her identity was stolen when her father began to sexually abuse and prostitute her as a young girl and how she found herself again through DIGNITY. Another young woman shared
DIGNITY graduate Jeanne Allen, with fellow survivor and DIGNITY staff member Tina Smithee, and DIGNITY program director Alanna Reichert.
how she found faith in God and the strength to leave the life. The immersion ended with a “Prayer for the Prostituted,” read by a survivor in a large circle of survivors holding hands. “It was a visceral experience,” observed one attendee. “I couldn’t help but feel sick inside at how devastating this life is to these women’s bodies and spirits. And it was both eye opening and heartbreaking to see so many stand in the circle of survivors, but I also saw profound strength and hope in them, and that’s because of DIGNITY.” n Laura Toussaint-Newkirk is marketing and communications manager for Catholic Charities Community Services in Phoenix.
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Disaster Survivors Express Thanks for Catholic Charities Response Efforts
Nearly one year ago, a series of severe storms swept through much of the United States, causing widespread damage from Missouri to Massachusetts. CCUSA and member agencies quickly mobilized to aid disaster survivors. With the help of many generous donors, CCUSA distributed 27 Emergency Disaster Grants of $10,000 each to agencies in impacted areas, giving them much needed resources to assist people in need. And for two areas particularly hard hit—Central Alabama and Joplin, MO—CCUSA and other agencies deployed disaster response staff to assist the impacted agencies. Today, long-term recovery continues in many areas. CCUSA recently provided ten Long-Term Recovery Grants to agencies in Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Massachusetts, Alabama, North Dakota, Georgia, and Indiana. Disaster survivors in these areas couldn’t be more grateful. A few of them share their thanks below. • Ricardo and Marcela, an elderly couple, lost their home when a tornado hit their Tuscaloosa neighborhood. Emotionally drained and already deeply challenged by Ricardo’s heart problems, they sought help at Catholic Social
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“The Archdiocese of Indianapolis is extremely grateful to donors for the funds granted to us from CCUSA that have enabled our local Catholic Charities to respond to many families impacted by the tornadoes and flooding in the Spring of 2011. This funding… has allowed our local Catholic Church to demonstrate in very real and profound ways the compassion of Christ.”
— David Siler, Catholic Charities & Family Ministries, Archdiocese of Indianapolis
Services. “We came to get food because we were hard up and ended up getting more because of their generosity,” said Ricardo. Catholic Social Services took the time to hear their story and assisted them with first month’s rent at their new apartment. “I didn’t know how I was going to pay it but they listened to me and helped me out.” The agency also helped them with food, furniture, and clothes and assistance in sorting out Ricardo’s medical bills. “Knowing that there is an agency like this that takes the time to listen and coach you through some complex obstacles is a life saver for us.” • On May 25, 2011, a tornado hit Van Buren Township in Indianapolis, IN, leaving several homes, properties, and lives forever changed. With the support of Catholic Charities, the community was able to start healing. Rita Barrow, a resident of the township, saw the efforts Catholic Charities made. “They went above and beyond to help [us] after the overwhelming disaster [and used] every resource given to them to help put our township back on its feet.… I feel that with [their] continued help our community will once again be whole. [We] will be forever grateful for every ounce of energy, time and personal attention that Catholic Charities has been able to give our township. Their superb quality of work and personal attention has earned them the “key” to our township, and they will be forever welcome here.” • A tornado barreled through Tuscaloosa, AL, on April 27, 2011, destroying the home of Murilene and her three children and leaving Murilene with an injury that resulted in several surgeries and long hospital stays. Nearly four months later, when she was finally well enough, she went to Catholic Social Services for assistance. “Catholic Social Services provided me with food, housewares, and a deposit for my new rental home,” said
Murilene. “Although I am still battling more surgeries, I am excited to be able to provide my children with a new home, and Catholic Social Services is striving to provide my family with additional furniture when it becomes available. Sometimes we have to hand our burdens over to God. When we do, we have to be patient and wait for our needs to be taken care of.” n
Thank You to Disaster Response Donors
“We pray that God will look closely over Catholic Charities and bless those that give donations to support the organization. We also pray God will continue to guide Catholic Charities according to his plan and help those in need. Thank you!”
— Sister Carol Ann Gray, MHSH, Catholic Social Services of West Alabama
“We have been truly blessed with the grant funds from CCUSA to help out some of the disaster victims in North Dakota. The thank you letters and notes we receive from families are so touching and show the importance of this help and the hope it provides.”
— Larry Bernhardt, Catholic Charities North Dakota
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CCUSA Honors Nancy Wisdo & Fr. John Foley, SJ
In February, President Rev. Larry Snyder along with Senior Vice President of Social Policy & Government Relations Candy Hill presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Nancy Wisdo, the former Associate General Secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for her work promoting human life and common good. During her remarks, Hill said of Wisdo, “It is my distinct honor and privilege to bestow a small token of our deep regard for all she has done to promote human life and the common good.” She added, “We were blessed to have Nancy on our social policy committee at Catholic Charities USA and to work alongside her on issues impacting the poor and marginalized in our society.” Wisdo served the U.S. Bishops’ Conference from 1985 to December 2011, when she retired. For the last five years of her career, she served as Associate General Secretary and has been a consistent voice on behalf of the church in the public square. Also in February, Fr. Snyder presented Cristo Rey Network founder Fr. John Foley, SJ, with a Centennial Medal for his work improving the lives of children in underserved communities through education. Rev. Snyder said, “This medal is a tribute to Fr. John’s commitment and dedication to improving the lives of young people in communities that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance.” He added, “The innovative work that Fr. John does through the Cristo Rey Network is a testament to the importance of helping people not just survive, but to thrive.” The Cristo Rey Network is an organization that provides a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to young people who live in urban communities with limited educational options.
“Keep the Dream Alive” Mass and Awards Commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr.
n January 16, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington honored Martin Luther King, Jr. by presenting awards to contemporary heroes working to keep his dream alive. Hundreds of people attended the third annual “Keep the Dream Alive” Mass & Awards ceremony, which took place at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Washington, DC. Rev. Larry Snyder, president of CCUSA said, “I can think of no better way to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy than by honoring individuals who keep his dream alive through their advocacy and service to the poor.”
CCUSA presented “Keep the Dream Alive” awards to USDA Under-Secretary Kevin Concannon, former Washington, DC, Mayor Anthony Williams, and former CCUSA Board Chair Janet Valente Pape for their advocacy and poverty reduction work. The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington’s “Faith Does Justice” Award was presented to local television anchor Andrea Roane. “While Dr. King’s inspiring life, built on the strength of his convictions and his sense of justice, made a tremendous difference to our nation, we know there is still much work to do,” said Msgr. John Enzler, president and CEO of
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Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. “However, as we remember Dr. King, there’s no better moment to look around and celebrate those among us who are carrying on his work in so many different ways today.” Following the event, more than 50 individuals volunteered with women who reside at the Harriet Tubman Women’s Emergency Shelter in southeast Washington, DC. Volunteers worked one-on-one with women on an art project designed to allow clients to express their dreams and what Dr. King means to them.
The 44 agencies that participated in this survey serve approximately 3.5 million clients, according to CCUSA’s 2010 Annual Survey. Of these agencies, 43 percent offer tax preparation assistance, but less than 1 percent of their total clients take advantage of these services. In addition, while more than 55 percent of agencies responded as offering financial literacy support, less than 1 percent of their total clients took advantage of these services. “These findings underscore the need for a holistic approach to providing programs and services to those in need,” said Rev. Larry Snyder, president and CEO of CCUSA. “Recognizing the individualized nature of poverty, we must break down the silos that lead to segmented service delivery by enabling a single point of access to services. We must create a system that ensures focused, yet comprehensive, support at the earliest and most cost-effective moments of need.” Additional key findings include: • The majority of agencies reported an increase in requests for help from the following populations: working poor (85%), families
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(81%), children (68%), and seniors (61%). • All (100%) of respondents reported maintaining a waiting list or turning individuals away for services this quarter. • The greatest areas of unmet need continue to be in emergency financial assistance and utilities assistance, where 64 percent and 52 percent of agencies report wait listing or turning away clients, respectively. • Even the most basic needs are going unmet in some communities. Three agencies reported turning away at least 1,750 individuals that came to them seeking food. The online survey was distributed to CCUSA membership during January 2012 to measure programs and services provided between October 1 and December 31, 2011. Responses were received from 44 Catholic Charities agencies in 29 different states who served approximately 3,542,750 clients in 2010. n
4th Quarter Snapshot Survey Highlights How Tax Preparation Assistance Benefits Americans
Catholic Charities USA recently released the findings of its 2011 4th Quarter Snapshot Survey, which found that local Catholic Charities agencies save Americans in need an estimated $7.4 million per year by providing free tax preparation assistance. However, a lack of knowledge of financial asset development services such as financial literacy classes and tax preparation assistance continues to be a barrier in communities throughout the country.
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Albany Receives Grant Increase from National Grid Foundation for Emergency Utility Assistance
When Denise Peterson of Albany learned that expected full-time hours from her part-time job would not be forthcoming, she quickly fell behind in her bill paying. If it wasn’t for Catholic Charities Emergency Energy Assistance Fund (EEAF), she might have lost her utility service. This example illustrates why Catholic Charities in Albany is so grateful to the National Grid Foundation for coming through with another increase in its fourth annual grant in support of these efforts. The $60,000 grant was presented in Albany to Catholic Charities CEO Vincent W. Colonno, who said, “Through our partnership with the National Grid Foundation, Catholic Charities will be able to increase its response to the emergency energy assistance needs of individuals and families who struggle during this heating season. In presenting the check, Bob Keller, president of National Grid Foundation, said, “In the face of drastic cuts in government funding, our support of Catholic Charities has never been more critical and our partnership never more meaningful.”
Buffalo Promise Neighborhood Project Awarded Funding
he Buffalo Promise Neighborhood Project received word in December 2011 that it was one of five in the country to be awarded a grant of $6 million to begin implementing the new program in the Bailey-Kensington neighborhood that aims to address significant challenges faced by students and families in high-poverty communities. As a service provider for the program, Catholic Charities in Buffalo will assist children and families in the three targeted schools, Bennett High School, Highgate Heights Elementary School, and Westminster Community Charter School.
The federal funds were the first Promise Neighborhood grants awarded by the Department of Education and they represent a five-year grant. M&T Bank and the John R. Oishei Foundation were instrumental in helping to fund the planning stage, and M&T Bank has committed to match one year of the federal grant at $1.5 million and raise another $9 million in private funds. The programs will “put school improvement at the center of local efforts to revitalize underserved neighborhoods,” according to the Department of Education press release. In addition, the program will provide resources to plan and implement a continuum of services from early learning to college and career. Plans include a range of services from improving a neighborhood’s health, safety, and stability to expanding access to learning technology and Internet connectivity, and boosting family engagement in student learning.
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Catholic Charities of East Tennessee Adds New Housing Programs
Catholic Charities of East Tennessee (CCETN) recently brought four group homes for adults with chronic mental illness under its umbrella of housing services. Tightening budgets had forced two separate, major health care systems to divest themselves of these programs, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommended to each that they approach CCETN, based on the agency’s mission and standards of excellence in administering HUDfunded programs. Serving both urban and rural areas, the new programs provide permanent supportive housing, with a goal of allowing residents to be as independent as possible. CCETN now directs operations for the four homes and provides all non-medical case management services.
drew attention to the community need for affordable winter clothing and the Thrift Store’s mission to support this need. Gently-used winter clothing donation items were collected at the door (in lieu of admission) to replenish the store’s supply. (Sales revenue from the Thrift Store directly supports CCM’s social services programming statewide.) More than 150 people attended the event, and over 450 items were received—more than double the goal! In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., all attendees were encouraged to reflect on their own “styles of service” and “dreams for the community” in the evening’s interactive activities. The results will be displayed at the Thrift Store and may inspire future service projects in Greater Portland. Catholic Charities Maine and its Thrift Store hope to make this an annual event.
McMurphy’s Grill in downtown St. Louis—the first-anywhere full service restaurant for training people struggling with homelessness and/ or mental illness. The purpose of the project was to enable 30 to 40 trainees each year to develop good work habits, learn the food business, and go on to successful careers in the restaurant industry. The staff at McMurphy’s serves thousands annually, showing that given the chance, those who have had setbacks will work hard to improve themselves and their position in life. The restaurant’s patrons, in addition to getting a good meal with good service, can see firsthand what’s being done in at least one place in one city to counteract the problems caused by unemployment and lack of job skills. In the past three years, McMurphy’s has graduated 208 trainees. Of those, almost 80 percent moved on to employment within the community.
Catholic Charities Maine “Walks in the Light” with MLK Day Event
Community service is always in fashion, and this was especially clear on the runway at “Walking in the Light: A Charity Fashion Show & MLK Day of Service Event.” This collaborative community project was hosted by Catholic Charities Maine (CCM) on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 16, 2012. The evening of style, service, and education featured 36 diverse community members modeling fabulous thrift store outfits from the CCM Portland Thrift Store. The event
St. Patrick Center’s McMurphy’s Grill Wins National Award
McMurphy’s Grill, a program of St. Patrick Center in St. Louis, was recently honored with the prestigious Restaurant Neighbor Award for 2011. For the past 20 years, the National Restaurant Association has recognized a handful of restaurants with this award, created by American Express and given to those establishments that go above and beyond on behalf of the cities and communities they serve. In 1990, St. Patrick Center, an agency of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, expanded its employment program when it opened
Cardinal Dolan Kicks Off First Archdiocese-Wide Food Campaign
Cardinal Timothy Dolan kicked off the first New York Archdiocesewide campaign to combat hunger— Feeding Our Neighbors—on Sunday, January 22, at a Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. After the Mass, Dolan put his food donation in a Feeding Our Neighbors box just outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral and blessed the Rusty Staub Mobile Food Pantry waiting curbside on Fifth Avenue to receive donations from generous New Yorkers. Joining the cardinal was Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive
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director of Catholic Charities, Msgr. Robert Ritchie, rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and former major league baseball star, Rusty Staub. The campaign ran for one week, until January 29. Cardinal Dolan spoke previously about the growing ranks of hungry New Yorkers and issued a call to action: “Americans are hungry—our emergency food programs do not have enough food to meet this need…I am proposing a specific initiative for our Catholic community that I hope might inspire others to do likewise—I am calling on every Catholic institution in the Archdiocese of New York—our schools, parishes, charitable institutions, and other organizations—to join the Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign…to increase the supply of food available to feed hungry New Yorkers.”
assistance to feed their families, keep utilities running, pay rent, and meet other needs; St. Benedict’s Early Education Center, which provides child care; and Shalom House, Wyandotte County’s only homeless men’s shelter, where 150 men were sheltered and received 160,000 meals provided by dedicated volunteers last year.
Running in Chicago to Keep Up with Increasing Demand
Raddi, director of donor relations. “We enjoyed engaging our board members and supporters in a new and exciting way throughout the recruitment and training process. Having a different type of fundraiser interested people who want to help others while challenging themselves. Completing a marathon is amazing by itself, but each of our runners took it a huge step further by raising an average of $1,200. The exposure our agency received as a participant was also a plus. It was impressive to see our Team Catholic Charities jerseys on race day among the more than 35,000 runners and 1.7 million spectators along the course,” Raddi added.
Fund Established to Support CCI’s Services in Southeastern Idaho
In response to increasing requests for help due to the economy, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago continued its creative fundraising efforts by forming its first team to run the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. After training through the spring and summer and bonding over social gatherings, more than 60 members of Team Catholic Charities ran on Sunday, October 9. Through the marathon, Catholic Charities netted over $71,000 for its Neighbors in Need fund that supports basic needs like food and shelter. “Being a charity partner in the worldclass Bank of America Chicago Marathon was such an incredible experience for the runners, sponsors, volunteers, and staff,” said Christina Bishop Michael P. Driscoll recently announced that a significant, multiyear gift was made to Catholic Charities of Idaho (CCI) to establish the Angela Magnani-Wood CCI Memorial Fund to help support CCI’s work in Southeastern Idaho. “The fund will honor Angela MagnaniWood, who passed away far too young last November. The memorial is designated in recognition of Angela’s giving heart and will continue her spirit of helping others as she did during her life.” Angela MagnaniWood died at the age of 33 after a courageous battle with carcinoid syndrome. Her father, Seeley Magnani was a founding and long-standing member of Catholic Charities of Idaho’s Board of Directors.
Northeast Kansas Hosts 38th Annual Snow Ball to Support Neighbors in Need
The Northeast Kansas community’s generosity shined at the 38th Annual Snow Ball, as patrons and guests came together to raise more than $1.6 million for Catholic Charities Foundation of Northeast Kansas on January 14. Proceeds from the black tie gala will help provide the most basic needs such as food and utilities to children and families in the community. Programs to receive support from Snow Ball include: the Emergency Assistance and Housing Program, through which 43,380 individuals last year benefitted from
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The fund will receive annual gifts of $150,000 over the next 20 years, representing a total of $3 million between 2011 and 2031, and will provide the seed money to establish services in Southeastern Idaho. The source of the multi-year gift is to remain strictly anonymous. “We know there has been great interest in CCI expanding our services in Southeastern Idaho, and we are thrilled and honored to have members of the community demonstrate their belief in and support for CCI’s efforts to provide help, create hope, and promote justice,” said Landis Rossi, CCI’s executive director.
Atlanta Archdiocese while raising much needed funds and awareness for Catholic Charities Atlanta to support the outreach programs and services that help people in need, of all or no faiths.” The program included education about different paths of servant leadership in the workplace through a series of presentations, a panel discussion, and an interactive session on Catholic Community Awareness. Upon graduation, class members will be matched for a nine month mentorship with some of the most influential and impressive Catholic leaders in the Atlanta business community.
The emotional highlight of the night was the live Skype connection where Jamie Danielik, who is serving our country on active duty in Afghanistan, was connected with his wife Susan Danielik, both of whom are parishioners of Memphis’s Church of the Holy Spirit. John Angotti serenaded the two of them with a song he wrote for all service men and women who could not be home this year, “Silent Night for the Troops.” This song was interspersed with the traditional hymn, “Silent Night,” and the entire audience joined in song. According to Mike Allen, president of Catholic Charities of West Tennessee, “The financial results are important, but it will be the intangible rewards— the spirit of the evening—that is the true measure of success.”
Catholic Charities Atlanta Launches First Leadership Class
Catholic Charities Atlanta (CCA) recently launched its inaugural Leadership Class. The mission of the class is to inspire and empower Catholic men and women who seek to become servant leaders in the business community through professional development, education, service, and active mentoring. Members of the class were nominated for their accomplishments as leaders in the workplace, in their parishes, and in the community. Cindy Nofi, senior vice president for Wells Fargo Private Bank and co-chair of the Leadership Class Steering Committee, stated, “The Catholic Charities Leadership Class Program strives to assist class members to become better servant leaders, increase their awareness of the many Catholic programs available in the
Catholic Charities in Memphis Benefits from Christmas Music Celebration
Catholic Charities of Columbia and Greene Counties Receives Promise Neighborhoods Planning Grant
The Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood (GHPN), under the leadership of Catholic Charities of Columbia and Greene Counties of the Diocese of Albany, was recently announced as a 2011 Promise Neighborhood Grantee. Promise Neighborhood is a federal funding stream through the U.S. Department of Education that aims at significantly improving the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in the country’s most distressed communities. GHPN was among 233 communitybased organizations that applied for this highly competitive planning/
The Cannon Center in downtown Memphis shook with joy on the evening of December 18, 2011, as almost 1,500 patrons joined together to share a night of Christmas music, praise, and prayer with John Angotti and Friends as well as local musicians, Catholic high school choirs, a 100-member diocesanwide choir. Proceeds from this third annual concert benefited the homeless services programs of Catholic Charities of West Tennessee.
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implementation grant this year. The planning grant, valued at $413,145, will allow GHPN to more closely assess the needs of children and families in the Hudson City School District and develop plans to implement solutions to meet those needs. Needs assessments and plans of solutions will cover all areas of a young person’s life from birth to their early careers. With GHPN, researchers, in cooperation with community partners and youth, will do extensive data collection to create a sound needs assessment throughout the next several months. Based on this assessment, stakeholders will develop solution strategies for the best possible evidence and best practices.
rector and founding chairman at Saint Patrick Catholic School and serves on many civic and cultural boards, foundations, and institutions.
programs work to meet the needs of older adults and to assist parishes in establishing social ministry programs to address those needs.
Diocese of Allentown Hosts Conference on Spirituality of Aging
“Focus on strength – what we can do instead of what we can’t do,” said keynote speaker, Brother Wayne Fitzpatrick, MM, to an audience of 575 older adults at a spirituality and aging conference sponsored by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown in October 2011. The conference was titled, “A Harvest of Faith – Strength for the Journey,” and was open to people of all faiths. Most Reverend John O. Barres, DD, Bishop of Allentown presided at a Mass of Thanksgiving and reminded the faithful of the words of St. Paul, “If God is for us, who can be against us.” “These are words that give us confidence as we face the challenges of older years,” the bishop shared. This is the fourth diocesan conference sponsored by Catholic Charities. These events are meant to increase older adult’s knowledge of spiritual gerontology. This emerging field combines promising practices and research on the unique needs of older adults. The approach is holistic and considers the needs of body, mind, and spirit. Catholic Charities developed Case Management Services for Older Adults in 2004 and expanded it Parish Outreach Program to include the spiritual needs of older adults. The
Providence Housing Receives $16 Million for Affordable Housing
Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia Gives Out Humanitarian Award
In October 2011, Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia and the Diocese of Richmond honored Charles V. McPhillips, an attorney in Norfolk, Virginia, with the 2011 Bishop’s Humanitarian Award for outstanding service to the community. McPhillips serves as pro bono counsel to Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia and is a strong supporter of Catholic education. He currently is chairman of the McMahon-Parater Foundation and the Investing in Our Children Campaign of the Diocese of Richmond. In past years, he has played a leadership role in The Barry Robinson Center, a behavioral healthcare organization for troubled children and adolescents in Norfolk. He is di-
Providence Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) has been awarded $16 million by several sources for two affordable housing communities in Rochester, NY. Holy Rosary Apartments & Strategic Infill was awarded $12.1 million from New York State Homes & Community Renewal (HCR) Unified Funding 2011 Multi-Family Project Awards. This project will create 25 new single family three- and fourbedroom homes in the northwest quadrant of the city and 35 new one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments in rehabilitated buildings on the Holy Rosary campus. The church will be converted to offices and community space. The church, convent, and rectory will be renovated in accordance with U.S. Department of the Interior standards for historic preservation. Son House Apartments, permanent supportive housing for the homeless, with partner Catholic Family Center, was awarded $1.8 million in Housing
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Trust Fund from HCR and $1.9 from the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). Son House will feature 20 one-bedroom apartments, resident community space, an outdoor courtyard, and office space that Catholic Family Center will use to provide services to the residents and neighboring Francis Center clients. Both developments should be completed by mid-year 2013.
training, substance abuse counseling, interpersonal skills workshops, mental health services, family relationship counseling, parenting skills workshops, and other stabilizing supportive services.
Kansas City-St. Joseph Agency Appoints Foundation Director
Catholic Charities of Kansas CitySt. Joseph has named Janet C. Baker the new executive director of Catholic Charities Foundation. Baker brings an extensive background in strategic planning, marketing, fund development, and executive management for national corporations, academia, and health and human services. She has invested both her career and civic involvement in the empowerment of citizens in the urban core of Kansas City, including health care and education, job preparedness and workforce development, and economic development strategies. Baker enthusiastically anticipates her new leadership role. “Once in a lifetime, if we are really fortunate, we are given an opportunity to make a living doing meaningful, spiritually fulfilling work.”
Catholic Charities CYO Establishes Home for Homeless Mothers
Catholic Charities CYO recently partnered with the Salesforce.com Foundation, Star of the Sea Parish, the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and the entire San Francisco community of homeless family service providers to establish the Star Community Home, an 18-month project providing housing, hope, and opportunity for single mothers with children who are currently homeless. The proposed project will initially house 12 families, mothers with children, for a period of up to 18 months. The goals of the project are to provide a safe place to live for some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable homeless families while stabilizing their living situation, developing a plan to secure family stability, and providing intensive support to facilitate their move to permanent housing. Each woman will work closely with a case manager who will help her develop a housing stabilization plan and access medical care, financial management and job readiness
CCCTX immediately set up disaster response to serve those affected by the Bastrop complex fire and by the various fires in and around the Austin area. Melinda Rodriguez, executive director of CCCTX, said the organization is always prepared to “flip the switch” and respond to disasters. Working with numerous Catholic parishes and in conjunction with St. Vincent de Paul, CCCTX began collecting and distributing medical supplies, food, clothing and other basic supplies. Many area parishes also gave generously, providing shelter and supplies for those in the line of fire; however, the brunt of the demand fell squarely on Ascension Parish in Bastrop. With more than 34,000 acres scorched and at least 1,500 homes burned, the Bastrop area was hit hardest by this disaster. The homes of 97 families from Ascension Parish were destroyed. During the first two weeks of September, 5,000 people were evacuated from their homes for days while firefighters battled the worst wildfire outbreak in Texas history. Father Rafael Padilla-Valdes opened up the Ascension Parish activity center to provide shelter for several dozen evacuees. Parishioners went to work, emptying all the parish education buildings of desks and cabinets and replacing them with beds. The parish also became a distribution center for donated food, water, clothing and other basic necessities. n
CCCTX and Central Texans Generously Support Fire Victims
Responding to raging wildfires throughout Central Texas last year, several Catholic organizations jumped into action, working day and night to help with the recovery. Catholic Charities of Central Texas (CCCTX) and the St. Vincent de Paul Society worked together to organize the massive donations coming in and going out.
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George’s efforts to make a better life for himself, his son, and others prompted his Catholic Charities case worker to nominate George as a “Champion of Change.”
Working to Reduce Poverty in
munication is a barrier for many refugees, especially with individuals who come from less developed countries. Learning information about such basic things as running water, using a stove, and even proper winter clothing wear is difficult. Finding an adequate paying job was another major challenge for the family. To help prepare refugees like Win Ko with successful job placement, Refugee Resettlement at Catholic Charities in Des Moines works with newly arriving refugees on job related needs, including cultural training like timeliness, interview skills, and eventually job placement. With this assistance, Win Ko secured a job, taking an essential step in attaining self-sufficiency. Joy in the simple things and hope for a better future has outweighed all the challenges the Ko’s have faced this past year. What is their biggest hope for the future? “A better life for our children, education, and things like that,” says Cho with a twinkle in her eye. n
A warm coat. Shoes that fit. Such simple things, and yet they can bring such joy.
For Win Ko, that joy was visibly evident as he zipped up the new, fluffy, purple coat for Zine Nar, his two-year-old daughter, on a cold day last March. Ko and his family have been experiencing many simple joys of life in America after living in a refugee camp in Thailand for several years. Zine Nar and her six-year-old sister, So Le, were both born in refugee camps in Thailand. The Ko family, like many from Burma, were forced to leave their homeland and have suffered many hardships. Win Ko, now age 26, left his family in Burma when he was in 9th grade and went to Thailand in search of work to help his family survive. He worked odd jobs and eventually met his wife, Cho Mar, in a refugee camp, and they married. Cho Mar, now 24, left Burma for the refugee camp in Thailand with her parents when she was 8 to escape the economic hardships. There, she went to school and eventually began teaching in the camps to help earn money. The Burmese highly value education, especially the Karen, one of several ethnic groups that make up the Burmese people. While the benefits of leaving the refugee camp in Thailand greatly outweigh the hardships they faced, their new life doesn’t come without its own challenges. Win and Cho Mar both agree that the biggest challenge coming to the United State thus far is the language. They are taking English classes through Catholic Charities, but com-
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PSM Regional Training PSM Regional Training Catholic Charities Adoption Conference O’Grady Institute Klaus Baumann Seminar Leadership Institute New Diocesan Directors Institute International Catholic AIDS Pre-Conference Annual Gathering
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