Archive for the ‘Agencies’ Category

Catholic Charities Takes Charge When the Melting Pot Boils Over

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Victor Cueva, 25, an Immigrant Justice Corps fellow. He is eager to give new immigrants in the Hudson Valley the help his family did not receive when it arrived there from Peru. Credit Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

By Liz Robbins

The New York Times

(Excerpt below)

New York City’s melting pot has been boiling over in the larger metropolitan area…

The city is where most of the funding for legal assistance has been concentrated before this year…But only a smaller amount of state and private funding for services and lawyers has gone to nonprofit organizations outside the city.

“The lower Hudson Valley, like Long Island, is critical to New York life, and there’s this swath of human beings who support those structures, and yet there is really nothing to support them,” said Mario Russell, the director of immigrant and refugee services for Catholic Charities Community Services.

The organization, under the auspices of the New York Archdiocese, oversees part of New York City, and Westchester, Orange, Rockland, Putnam, Sullivan, Ulster and Dutchess Counties. For decades, those counties have had only paralegals processing requests, such as green card applications, deferred action for childhood arrivals and adjudication of unaccompanied minors’ deportation claims…

Victor Cueva, a 25-year-old Justice Corps fellow and soon-to-be graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, is eager to give new immigrants in the Hudson Valley the help his family did not receive when it arrived there…

He and another Justice Corps fellow, John Travis, will work in Catholic Charities’ Poughkeepsie and Newburgh offices part of the week, and the other days in Manhattan at 26 Federal Plaza, New York’s immigration court, serving clients from the lower Hudson Valley region.

Read the full story in The New York Times.

Cardinal Dolan Hosts All-Star Event

Friday, May 15th, 2015

cardinaldolanccagenciesTimothy Cardinal Dolan hosted an all-star evening on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at Fordham University at Lincoln Center. The event pulled together more than 300 representatives from the Catholic Charities Federation of 90 independent human services agencies.

“We have some of New York’s most generous and caring people here,” said Telemundo TV’s Nathalia Ortiz who served as the night’s Mistress of Ceremony.

The evening highlighted the Catholic roots and joint mission of agencies spread from Staten Island, throughout the Bronx to the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. Together they provide more than $725 million in services and touch the lives of about 350,000 people each year.

But the event was more than a Catholic celebration of services. Jennifer Jones Austin, executive director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), served as keynote speaker. The evening included Trustee, Faithful Servant, Meritorious Service and Volunteer awards for nearly 50 people throughout the New York archdiocese. And it focused on how these individuals and agencies multiply the services they provide by working together as a federation.

 

The Best Way to Improve Your Child’s Mental Health

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

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By Alice Kenny

Stand up against stigma today, May 7, 2015,  National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

There are few things sadder than a child struggling with mental health. Yet far too many face this struggle.

Did you know that:

  • One in five children has a seriously debilitating mental disorder? (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Please remember that if you or someone you know is fighting mental disorders, you are not alone.  It is nothing to be ashamed of  and we are here to help.

Our Catholic Charities affiliate, Astor Services for Children and Families, is renowned for the mental health services it provides.  In fact, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray met with Astor staff on April 29th to discuss the value of its services and the experiences of her daughter who suffered from depression.

Check out Astor’s website and Facebook page for suggestions on how to improve your mental health.

If you have any questions or need immediate information, contact Astor by e-mail or by calling (845) 871-1117.

Join us as we proclaim that there is no health without mental health.

Three Surprise Lessons Learned

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015
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Fordham University Social Work Graduate Student, Elsie Hernandez

Join us below as Fordham University Social Work Graduate Student Elsie Hernandez reflects on lessons learned during the 8-month internship she is completing with Catholic Charities Community Services.

By Elsie Hernandez

I have my colleagues, supervisors, and our clients to thank for their role in my education—I have learned the most by working with them. If I could summarize a year’s worth of learning in three lessons it would be this:

1. Never be afraid of asking questions. Asking the right question can open up a world of possibilities.

For example, a client whose work hours had recently decreased and was on a limited income had her electricity cut off. She did not understand why Con Edison required full payment of $2900 to reconnect services. I watched as a Catholic Charities case manager contacted Con Edison to request a breakdown of the client’s bill. At that point the Con Edison representative noticed that $2400 was added to the account in one day from back charges that had never been included in her account in the last 6 years. Understanding that this was an unrealistic payment for the client to make, the representative asked her supervisor to make an exception. The client was provided a payment plan with a low deposit and services were reconnected the next day.

2. Trust in your client’s resiliency.

We cannot solve every problem. Clients have surprised me with the enormous amount of strength and resourcefulness that they possess. They have expressed hope, faith and optimism in the face of adversity. A college student asked for assistance with paying for the class she needed to graduate. Together we brainstormed for resources she could activate.  This empowered her to creatively come up with solutions to solve her own problem. She will be graduating this May.

3. You never know which of your actions will have the most meaning to your clients.

A client was seeking assistance with paying her utility arrears. I was able to refer the client to the Human Resources Administration (HRA) for help.  Catholic Charities was also able to provide her with emergency food and a winter coat. I thought I did not do enough to help her but the client was moved to tears.

Bombarded by Tragedies?

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Photograph by Chris Ramirez PhotographerBy Alice Kenny

When one tragedy hits, other tragedies too often follow.  We lose a job and then have a tough time paying rent.  We need help with immigration but can’t explain ourselves clearly in English.  Our home floods and we lose our furniture and clothes as well.

Making things worse is the hard time we have when we try to navigate the systems that are supposed to assist us.

Catholic Charities is here help.  Our knowledgeable professionals can help you deal with overlapping problems and cut through bureaucratic red tape.

This can make the difference between getting the help you need and simply giving up.

Click here to find a Catholic Charities agency to coordinate the services you need.

Contact us through the Catholic Charities Help Line: 888-744-7900.

Teens Team Up to Feed the Hungry

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Teens teamed with Catholic Charities and a local club in Dutchess County to shore up food pantries that serve the hungry, reports Hudson Valley TV Network News Anchor Donna Reyer.

“After the holidays  pantries get depleted so in the spring when there aren’t as many food drives that’s when we kick in here,” says Les McCarthy, a member of the Notre Dame Club of the Mid-Hudson Valley that helped coordinate the drive.

For two weeks children and teens from eleven local elementary and high schools collected food, dropping it off for distribution at Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County.  And last Saturday, March 28, 2015, they marked the campaign’s conclusion with a big celebration at St. Mary’s Church in Poughkeepsie.  Former running back with the NFL Randy Kinder – also a former Notre Dame football player – attended the celebration held right after a Lenten mass.

Children who participated said they learned a lot from the experience.

“One box a day or one can a day,” says Anna Darling,  an eighth grader from St. Martin de Porres High,  “can really change someone’s life.”

Watch this on HVNN Network News.

NYC Gas Explosion: Catholic Charities Mobilizes Help

Monday, March 30th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities mobilized to provide crucial help for victims of last week’s gas explosion that leveled three buildings, immediately injuring nearly two dozen people and killing two more.

Staff from Catholic Charities Community Services along with staff from our affiliate, Nazareth Housing, teamed with fellow members of the “LES Ready” group to marshal help for those suffering from this March 26, 2015 disaster.

The blast and ensuing blaze leveled 121 Second Avenue and two neighboring buildings, officials said. Along with the demolished apartment buildings, occupants of four other structures nearby are now reported to be under vacate orders.

LES Ready, also known as the Lower Eastside Long Term Recovery Group, initially formed to help residents of the Lower East Side of Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy pounded their neighborhood and destroyed their homes.  After last Thursday’s gas explosion, this coalition of community groups helped those hurt immediately after the disaster.  They will continue to provide help and services for the long haul as needs emerge.

View eye-witness photos and learn more.

Free Immigration Conference — Run By New York Experts

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Don’t get lost in litigation over President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration reform.

Sign up now for a free conference run by immigration experts.

Learn about the President’s proposed action that:

  •  Provides for unauthorized parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (DAPA)
  •  Expands  the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program
  •  Includes other important initiatives

Take part in key-note presentations led by:

  • Faith leaders
  • Federal, state, and local officials, legal service agencies
  • Community-based agencies
  • National immigrant rights groups.

Participate in discussions that:

  • Examine federal, New York State and New York City policy, outreach, and Executive Action initiatives.
  • Explore legal services mobilization efforts by public and private entities and other collaborative programs in New York City, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley, focused on outreach, public education on benefit eligibility and the risk of fraud, and provision of legal screening, representation and advocacy.
  • Address the role of non-legal, community-based institutions, particularly Catholic parishes, in ensuring the program’s success.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Catholic Migration Services of the Diocese of Brooklyn, and the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) will host this all-day event.

When:  March 25. 2014

Where:  The Sheen Center (in lower Manhattan).

Learn more.

Click to register now.

 Or email your name, title, organization and email address to cms@cmsny.org.