Archive for June, 2013

Tired of Red Tape?

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Faced with an eviction notice, the declining health of an aging parent, recovery from a flood, or other tough problems?  It’s easy to become frustrated and overwhelmed trying to navigate the very systems that are supposed to help.

Catholic Charities provides compassionate, coordinated help from high-quality, knowledgeable professionals.

Catholic Charities’ assistance can take many forms:

  •  a recent immigrant can be provided with legal services in order to obtain work authorization
  • an unemployed new mother can be enrolled in resume writing and interview skills workshops
  • a father seeking to reunite with his children in foster care can take parenting skills classes

And that’s just for starters.

We assist individuals and families deal with multiple, overlapping problems and negotiate bureaucratic red tape. Sometimes, this can mean the difference between getting the help needed and simply giving up.

To find a Catholic Charities agency that offers coordinating services click here.

If you need help in finding the services you need please call the Catholic Charities Help line at: 888-744-7900.

Hungry and Need Help?

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Did you know that thanks to Catholic Charities and our affiliated agencies, in any given year:

6.6 M nutritious meals are served in parish and community food programs

6,981  Families are prevented from becoming homeless

1,487  Individuals are housed in temporary and transitional apartments

9,051  Individuals are provided with emergency overnight shelter

6,109  Families are living in affordable housing

For more information about a particular program and/or service, click below:

Emergency Meals  • Temporary and Transitional Residences  • Eviction Prevention  • Permanent Affordable Housing  • Emergency Shelters

If you need help in finding the services you need please call the Catholic Charities Help line at: 888-744-7900.

Catholic Charities works in partnership with others in feeding the hungry. Here are helpful resources:

  • NYC 24 Hour Hunger Hotline: 1-(866)-NYC-FOOD (1-866-692-3663)
  • Food Bank for New York City: www.foodbanknyc.org. See “Agency Network” and “Agency Directory.”
  • New York City Coalition Against Hunger: www.nyccah.org. See “Hungermaps.”

Get the Latest on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Seeking more information on Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

Catholic Charities is here to help.

Call Catholic Charities at  the New York State New Americans Hotline: 1-800-566-7636.

NY Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan & Catholic Univ. Professor Maryann Cusimano Love Take On Issues of Poverty, Privacy and the Digital Age.

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Two brave women — Margaret Sullivan, who works as Public Editor from inside The New York Times and Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love, who, as Catholic University Associate professor of International Relations takes on  issues like morality, technology and NSA surveillance — confront head on these dicey topics and more with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on this week’s JustLove radio show.

Their skill at combining clear thinking with straight talk puts listeners in the sometimes uncomfortable position of thinking twice about topics that, until now, they may have avoided thinking about at all.

“We tend to think of the poor as something over there in a silo,” says Ms. Sullivan, a Jesuit-educated graduate of Georgetown University.  “But it’s really not a discreet population that we can draw a discreet circle around and say ‘you are the other.’  The other is us.”

The issue of poverty, the public and how to accurately present news challenges media outlets as they draw on rapidly evolving online opportunities.

And it challenges the government as laws that protect our privacy struggle to keep up with the digital age.

This struggle sparked particular outrage when the public recently found out about the NSA’s electronic surveillance program that has peaked into millions of U.S. citizens’ phone and internet accounts as part of its war on terror.

“What’s lost in this debate is that the government is asking private industry for this information,” Dr. Cusimano Love says.  “People may not understand that this information is already being gathered by the private sector.  The main question is whether the government should peek at it.”

Listen as they take on these topics on JustLove  on SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio.   JustLove airs weekly on Saturday at 10am EST on The Catholic Channel 129.

Tell us what you think.

Click on the title of this story and leave a reply.

 

First-Hand Stories of Tragedy and Survival; JustLove Celebrates World Refugee Day

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

A Nigerian man had his finger tips sawed off.  A Muslim child was threatened with death by her Serbian playmates.  They are two of the thousands of refugees helped by Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services whose stories Mark Von Sternberg, Senior Attorney of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Department, shared with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on the recent JustLove radio program in celebration of today, World Refugee Day.

Millions of families have lost their homes to violence and war.  Some, such as the Nigerian man for whom Mr. Von Sternberg successfully gained asylum, lost body parts.  Others lost husbands, wives and children.

Tune in to our recent show on JustLove on The Catholic Channel 129, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio to learn more.

World Refugee Day is a time when the United Nations, Catholic Charities and other civic and religious groups honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

The Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program is dedicated to serving survivors of violence and persecution who have fled their home countries to seek a new life in the United States. Catholic Charities Community Services assists family members and sponsors in making applications for refugees who are outside the United States, and for asylees with recently obtained status.

Multilingual, multicultural staff assist in the processing of refugee applications with overseas posts and make pre-arrival arrangements to assure that the refugee will be cared for upon arrival to the United States. After arrival, the office provides direct services, material assistance, job search assistance, job training and placement, ESL classes, school enrollment and other social services.

Do you need help?

Catholic Charities operates the New York State New Americans Hotline , a statewide information and referral hotline that gives general information and referrals to appropriate service agencies in response to immigration and citizenship-related questions. Hotline operators speak English, Spanish, French, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Polish, Arabic, Turkish, Albanian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi. New Americans Hotline provides an expanded menu of language options, previously not available, via a language service line, as well.

Call the New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (Toll-free in NYS)

 

Struggling with Disability, Abandonment and Adoption, Young Adult Finds Success

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Otis Hampton who lives at Create, a shelter affiliated with Catholic Charities for homeless young men, along with a group of fellow young people with big hearts, big challenges and big dreams had an afternoon to remember.

As CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported, they got a real taste of Hollywood in Chelsea at the School of Visual Arts, complete with a red carpet before their movies were screened.

All the participants struggle with disability, abandonment and adoption. Otis, for example, was born with cerebral palsy that makes it difficult for him to walk.  His sister, who had a tracheotomy and was separated from him by adoption, also participated in the project.

They are channeling their challenges by creating mini movies about their lives.   Otis appeared in his sister’s movie and starred in his own movie as well.  The movies and the celebration were the result of a partnership between two groups: New Alternatives for Children and the Make a Film Foundation.

Growing up, Mr. Hampton was often teased by classmates and was stigmatized both for his disability and for the time he spent in the foster care.  He was adopted at age 8, but his adoptive father died after a stroke two years later. His profile was published last year as a New York Times Neediest Case.

Otis’ life at Create freed him from worries about living on the street.  While there, he has worked towards a college degree, is mastering the steps he needs to live independently and following his passion in film making.

Read his profile in The New York Times.

Watch him on CBS 2 News.

Run in the World’s Biggest Marathon for the World’s Greatest Cause

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Join Team Catholic Charities for the ING New York City Marathon.

Race numbers are striking:

  • 26.2-mile course winding through all five boroughs in the Greatest City in the World
  • 100,000-plus race applicants
  • 37,000 racing participants
  • 2,000,000 spectators

The need you will be running for is striking as well:

  • 40,000 New York school children have no place to call home
  • 365,000 people look for work in New York City every day but cannot find it
  • One in four families live in poverty
  • 1,400,000 New Yorkers – that’s one out of every six of our neighbors – rely daily on emergency food
  • Tens of thousands of people left  homeless after Hurricane Sandy lost their furniture, clothing and all that they owned.
  • Thousands still struggle to recover

Team Catholic Charities runners train for top physical condition to cross the finish line AND  cut back on our neighbors’ growing need.

Catholic Charities, partnering with  New York Road Runners, is an official Charity partner in this year’s ING New York City Marathon.  Our ten-person team plans to raise $30,000 to directly benefit our St. Nicholas Project.

Catholic Charities’ St. Nicholas Project provides:

  • job training and computer literacy classes to help New Yorkers find work
  • food pantries to make sure hungry New Yorkers have food
  • school supplies so children in need can keep up with their classmates
  • essential items including towels, sheets, blankets, coats, hats, gloves, scarves and pajamas so that New Yorkers stay warm all year.

Find out more

Join Team Catholic Charities

  

Catholic Charities on the Move

Monday, June 17th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Several key departments are moving this summer out of the Catholic Center at 1011 First Avenue and into local neighborhoods.

The changes are part of Catholic Charities’ focus to provide localized, streamlined support for persons in need.

Eviction Prevention and Emergency Food Services, for example, moved to the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Center at 34 W. 134 St. in Harlem.

This move adds to specialized services Catholic Charities already offers in local neighborhoods stretching from Staten Island to the Catskill Mountains and throughout the Archdiocese of New York.

Stay tuned for information and updates.

Looking for help?

Catholic Charities provides a wide range of specialized assistance.

  • Call Catholic Charities Help Line — 888-744-7900 — to find services and support at a location near you.
  • Click here for an A-Z Agency Directory
  • E-mail us through our contact form

Summer Means Hunger for New York Children When Schools’ Free Lunch Programs Close

Friday, June 14th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Hunger hurts.  During the summer months hunger hits low-income children particularly hard.

In response, this has been proclaimed National Summer Food Service Program Week, a time to draw attention to concerns that low-income school children may go hungry as their school lunch programs close for summer break.

Throughout New York children’s stomachs are rumbling.  The economic downturn and slow recovery have taken a particularly harsh toll on them, with more than one in four children under age 18 living in poverty without enough to eat, according to an analysis by the Center for Economic Opportunity.  Meanwhile, with cuts in government spending, supplies at food pantries and soup kitchens are running out.

“When school is out during the summer months, many families struggle to feed their children even one nutritious meal a day,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  “Government cannot address this challenge alone.”

New York City will serve free breakfast and lunch at hundreds of public schools, parks, pools, and other sites from June 27 through August 30, 2013.  Click here for more information. However, the program, is available on weekdays only.

In every season and every day throughout the year, Catholic Charities meets the needs of the poor and vulnerable throughout the Archdiocese of New York.

Help us feed a hungry child today.

Donate now.

Hungry for Immigration Reform? Join Our fast.

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan said the opening prayer yesterday at the United Community Center of Westchester in New Rochelle at a rolling fast held by day laborers, members of the immigrant community, and organizations within the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

The fast kicked off in California and just reached New York.

Participants’ communal hunger spotlights the immigration debate. Members of Catholic Charities’ Obreros Unidos in Yonkers — along with United Community Center of Westchester in New Rochelle and the Don Bosco Center in Port Chester  — are taking their turn in a week-long fast from June 10 through June 14.  They are publicly sharing their stories about the toll deportations take on their own lives.  And they are chanting “Not One More” to demand that the President suspend the deportations as Congress seeks immigration reform.

Through Obreros Unidos, Catholic Charities educates day laborers in the Yonkers area on employment rights and responsibilities to prevent exploitation and abuse. Catholic Charities also assists in the collection of unpaid wages, helps workers get access to healthcare services, provides emergency food, and offers English language and computer skills instruction.

“I am fasting on behalf of the 300 day laborers of Obreros Unidos de Yonkers and their families, many of whom have personal experiences of family separation because of deportation” said Janet Hernandez, one of the fasters and an organizer with Catholic Charities for Obreros Unidos de Yonkers.

Join us by saying “Not one more” to deportation.

Looking for more information about Obreros Unidos de Yonkers?

  •  Call (914) 375-6729/48 or visit the office at St. Peter’s Church basement, 91 Ludlow Street, Yonkers, NY  10705
  •   Call the Catholic Charities Help Line — (888) 744-7900 — to find services you need.