For Immediate Release

Contact: Patricia Cole 571-527-3244 Catholic Charities USA and the University of Notre Dame Announce Alliance to Reduce Poverty in America

Through innovative new partnership, the social services network and academic institution will change the way poverty is addressed in this country

Alexandria, Virginia -- Driven by a shared moral purpose and a common belief that helping those in need is a core element of the Catholic faith, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) and the University of Notre Dame announced the formation of an Alliance today which will take a multi-faceted approach to reducing poverty in this country. “I’m so proud of Notre Dame’s partnership with Catholic Charities USA,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame. “By bringing together one of our nation’s preeminent social service networks with a great Catholic university, we are able to live out our mission of putting learning in service to justice by addressing the root causes of poverty in our country.” The Alliance will strive to reduce poverty in America through rigorous academic research and evaluation of anti-poverty programs, a focus on methods to increase entrepreneurship in implementation of poverty relief services and efforts to unite skilled individuals from the academic and service provider universe to ensure enhanced quality of service delivery. In addition, the Alliance will seek to inform, through advocacy and educational outreach, the development of policies that will change the way poverty issues are addressed in the United States. The Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), the first ever domestic poverty lab in the United States, is among four core features of the Alliance. Leveraging the experience of academic experts with a national network of social services providers, LEO will offer researchers and practitioners an opportunity to come together, research and implement scalable best practices across the Catholic Charities network and the social service sector at large. “We have a moral commitment to not only serve the poor, but to determine the most effective and efficient models for doing so,” said Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA. “Through programs like LEO, the Alliance will provide guidance to not only social service providers across the country regarding best practices for poverty relief programs, but will allow us to educate our nation’s policymakers on outcomes of the research enabling them to, in time, alter the way we address poverty as a nation.” The Alliance’s four core focus areas include: 1) Academic: Generating solutions through research by LEO; 2) Business: Applying the problem-solving acumen of the University’s Mendoza College of Business to the social service field; 3) Church in Action: Utilizing the University’s Career Center, Alumni Associatio n, and Center for Social Concerns to connect its vast network of talent and experience to CCUSA’s local agencies across the country ; and 4) Policy Development and Advocacy: Leading initiatives that will inform the development of poverty-reduction solutions and policies through advocacy and educational outreach. Through a deepened relationship, CCUSA and Notre Dame seek to further each other’s missions to advance Catholic values of solidarity and social justice by enhancing both institutional and individual engagement in such work.
About Catholic Charities USA Catholic Charities USA is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA’s members pr ovide help and create hope for more than 10 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from health care and job training to food and housing. To learn more, visit About the University of Notre Dame The University of Notre Dame is a Catholic academic community of higher learning, animated from its origins by the Congregation of Holy Cross. The University is dedicated to the pursuit and sharing of truth for its own sake. As a Catholic university, one of its distinctive goals is to provide a forum where, through free inquiry and open discussion, the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions, and every other area of human scholarship and creativity. To learn more, visit ###

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