Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category

“We Don’t Give Up”

Friday, January 30th, 2015
(L-R) Jeanne Marshal, Evelyn Wilburn, and Valeriya Osipova

(L-R) Jeanne Marshal, Evelyn Wilburn, and Valeriya Osipova

By Alice Kenny

New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS), the not-for-profit operator of the Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable that provides private disaster-support funding source of last resort, named Catholic Charities NY its Partner of the Year.  It also honored three of our Staten Island disaster case managers, Jeanne Marshal, Evelyn Wilburn and Valeriya Osipova, for their extraordinary work helping Hurricane Sandy survivors recover.

“We don’t give up,” says Catholic Charities Staten Island Disaster Case Management  Program Manager Amy Silverman, explaining how Catholic Charities earned the awards.

Catholic Charities disaster case managers worked first with federal, state and local government as well as private funding sources to help Hurricane Sandy survivors.  But nearly all of these resources, from FEMA to the Red Cross to insurance carriers, have now completed their work.  The Unmet Needs Roundtables, operated throughout the city by NYDIS, responds to the significant need that remains.

Nursing Home Aid Cherri Puma, for example, needed to quickly restore her Hurricane Sandy destroyed Staten Island home to could care for her wheelchair-bound nonverbal daughter. So she took out loans and put bills on credit to cover the more than $100,000 reconstruction cost.  Catholic Charities Disaster Case Manager Jeanne Marshall worked with traditional funding sources to recoup the costs.  When they fell short, she presented Ms. Puma’s case to NYDIS, ultimately scoring the remaining $22,000 Ms. Puma needed to pay her home reconstruction debt and obtain needed furniture and appliances.

“Jeanne will go to bat for her clients and won’t let up until the work is done,” Ms. Silverman says.

She shares this tenacity with fellow “Tenacity Award” honoree Valeriya Osipova.

“Valeriya will fight for her clients until they get what they need,” Ms. Silverman says.

They also share it with Evelyn Wilburn, who was awarded “Top DCM Unmet Needs Roundtable Presenter” for getting NYDIS awards for 20 of her clients. “Evelyn is organized and methodical, going through each case point by point so she is able to present cases regularly, and get them funded.”

In fact, all 91 cases with unmet Sandy recovery needs that were presented by Catholic Charities disaster case managers received awards from NYDIS and dozens more are pending.

“They win by being methodical, tenacious, knowing their cases inside out and getting their clients the help they deserve,” Ms. Silverman says.

By bestowing this award on Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York, NYDIS was also acknowledging the work of Catholic Charities in directing the New York State Disaster Case Management Program.  This program provides disaster case managers to families in 13 New York State counties who were impacted by Superstorm Sandy.  With 200 case managers in 17 agencies, this program plays an essential partnership role with private funders such as the Unmet Need Roundtables in New York City, Long Island, and the upstate counties.  According to Helene Lauffer, Catholic Charities’ director of the New York State Disaster Case Management Program, “private funders rely upon disaster case managers to prepare, vet, and present cases for consideration at the unmet needs roundtables.  Through this process, and the partnership with NYDIS, disaster case managers have been able to secure funds to bring hundreds, if not thousands of clients back to stability and self-sufficiency.” 

Check out this slideshow shot live at the awards ceremony.

Blizzards & Hunger

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

This week’s storm couldn’t have come at a worse time.

While much of the snow missed us, severe storms make it even harder for New York families and children who are struggling to afford food.

Will you help us make sure our neighbors don’t go hungry?

Since our Feeding Our Neighbors campaign began, we’ve collected 250,000 meals for New Yorkers in need. To hit our goal of collecting over 1 million meals by February 1st, we need your help.

Donate today so none of our neighbors go hungry.

Warmly,

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

Safety Tips for Today’s Blizzard

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

As Winter Storm Juno cripples commerce and paralyzes traffic, Catholic Charities urges you to:

  • Stay home
  • Stay in
  • Stay safe
  • And watch out for your neighbors

Catholic Charities echoes the warnings of NY State Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio who declared a state of emergency throughout the New York Archdiocese including New York City, Rockland, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester counties.

They closed commuter rail lines and forbid driving on roads.

Meanwhile, outreach workers are fanning out to bring into shelter anyone exposed to the storm.

  • Help by calling 311 if you spot someone in need
  • Call 911 if you are in immediate danger
  • Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors
  • Help those who need special assistance, including seniors and persons with disabilities

Click for the latest on subways, trains, buses, roads and rail lines.

Click for severe weather updates.

Blizzard May Trap Elderly

Monday, January 26th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

CAUTION:  Snow’s already falling sideways before Winter Storm Juno — scheduled to slam New York City by 1 pm and predicted the worst blizzard in the city’s history — has even started:

Catholic Charities is here to help.

Are you a homebound senior trapped inside by mountains of snow?

Catholic Charities, partnering again with the NYC Snow Removal Initiative, can pair you with volunteers to clear your driveway.

Important Precautions:

  • Commuter Heads up:  Metro North and the Long island Rail Road might shut down before Monday’s evening rush, Governor Cuomo warned in a recent statement.
  • Highways could close
  • Check out NYC Hazards: Winter Weather web pages for tips and information about how to prepare.
  • Get updates from the NYC Severe Weather website.
  • Get emergency alerts by signing up for Notify NYC.

Single Father Embraces His Role with Pride

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Aphotolong with all the demands and unpredictability of single fatherhood comes something else: all of the credit. And Romaine Sweat, 37, could not be prouder to take it.

“The great part about it, they are going to school and getting 100s,” he said of his oldest children. “I don’t have to say, ‘Me and Mom did it.’ It’s me.”

Catholic Charities Community Services Dutchess County steered this single dad to parenting classes, food pantries and provided him with financial help.   Astor Services for Children and Families, another Catholic Charities affiliate, provided counseling and early intervention programs for his two daughters who have learning disabilities.

Read their New York Times Neediest Case here.

Pope Francis May Visit NYC Soup Kitchens

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Breaking news.  Pope Francis, during his trip to New York City confirmed this week and scheduled for September 2015, may spend time in soup kitchens, food pantries and centers that help immigrants.

The notoriously unpretentious pope, appointed in 2013, has quickly risen as a crusader for the world’s poor and disadvantaged, reports Metro New York

“When a pope comes to visit in New York, there’s excitement. But with Pope Francis, it will be excitement on steroids,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities. “I think this pope has created such excitement because of what he’s done to enable the world to understand the basic goodness of the message of Jesus … the world is taken by his ability to communicate this.” 

Sullivan said soup kitchens, as well as centers that help immigrants and refugees acclimate to life in New York would be the best place for the pope to visit to “get a good understanding of some of the hurting.”  

“Some of the most vulnerable people do have to go to food pantries for a basic nutritious meal, and it’s one of the better places to see how the church is reaching out to the poorest,” Sullivan said. 

Read Metro New York’s full interview with Msgr. Sullivan to learn more about Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to NYC.

It’s Freezing Out and Children Are Hungry

Friday, January 16th, 2015

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Help us feed them and our fellow  New Yorkers

Hunger is up and our food pantries and soup kitchens are hard-pressed to meet the growing need. Cardinal Dolan kicked off an interfaith drive to replenish them last Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

We’re falling short and need to provide an additional 500,000 meals this winter. Give today to help feed one our of five children in New York who don’t have enough to eat.

Each dollar you contribute provides 4 meals to our neighbors in need. Help us reach our goal of raising 200,000 meals this week!

 

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Disabled Son & Abused Mom on Path to Self Sufficiency

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

 

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Wheelchair bound from the severe brittle bone disease he was born with, Edwin Zabala, 10, shares a single room with his mother and younger brother in a shelter for domestic violence survivors.  Edwin is about three feet tall with a round head nearly the size of his torso; his arms and legs are bent inward from frequent breakage.

His younger brother, Jorge, 6, acts as his protector during the rare times, other than school, that their mother feels it is safe to walk with them on the streets outside their shelter.  It is not that she is an overly-cautious mother.  It is that she knows, after witnessing Edwin’s bones crack again and again when they experience the slightest pressure, after seeing criminals hanging out on the tough streets outside and after enduring 11 years of abuse from their father, that the world outside their room for them is a dangerous place.

Thankfully, Dominican Sisters Family Health Services, a Catholic Charities affiliate, has made it safer.

Read their New York Times Neediest Case now.

 

Questions About President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

NEWAMERICANSHOTLINE-6By Alice Kenny

There are so many questions about President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration!

Who does it cover?
When does it start?
Where can you get advice?
How do you avoid hucksters defrauding those seeking help?

Check out our answers here in:
• English and Spanish
• Chinese

More questions or looking for a referral to a non-profit agency for free or low-cost advice on your immigration case?

Call our Catholic Charities operated New York State New Americans Hotline at 1 (800) 566-7636.

Food Banks Receive Huge Boost

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Food banks in New York City received a huge boost in donations Sunday, January 11, 2014 to help hungry families across the five boroughs, reports CBS News.

As TV 10/55’s Ilana Gold reported in this news summary, more than 5,000 pounds of donated food sitting in boxes and bags outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral will go to three major interfaith organizations in the city.

 The organizations will then deliver the donations to dozens of food pantries, soup kitchens and meal programs across the city.

 “Is there anything better than feeding our neighbor?” Cardinal Dolan said.

 Dolan showed his support by lending a helping hand.

“This is not only a nice idea, this is a sacred responsibility,” he said.

Sunday’s effort kicked off a campaign in New York City called Feeding Our Neighbors, which will run through Feb. 1st.

The goal of the campaign is to gather enough food to feed 1 million people across New York City.

But the work of these charities won’t stop here. Leaders are pushing for more donations year-round.

“When you’re talking about 300,000 kids alone that are hungry in the greater New York area every day, we need more,” Dolan said.

Watch TV 1055’s video of the event.

For more event coverage, Check out MYFOXNY below:

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York joined Catholic Charities, UJA-Federation of New York, and the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies to unload food donated by Goya Foods onto Catholic Charities’ Mobile Food Pantry for delivery to food pantries, soup kitchens, and meal programs that serve New Yorkers in need, reports MYFOXNY.

Feeding Our Neighbors: An Interfaith Response began in 2012 and is a joint effort to raise food and funds to replenish food pantries and soup kitchens that feed hungry neighbors.

This year’s effort has been significantly enhanced by the generous donation of 300,000 pounds of food by Goya Foods and by the participation of 26 ShopRite stores in the Hudson Valley region.

Together, Catholic Charities, UJA-Federation, and the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies maximized their impact to realize a goal of collecting and distributing 1 million meals to feed the hungry across New York.