Archive for the ‘What We Do at Catholic Charities’ Category

Blind Woman Breaks Barriers

Friday, April 17th, 2015
compass

L-R Leon Stallone (Compass USA), Anthony Severo and Alexandria Daly

A former secretary who lost most of her vision, Alexandria Daly has been breaking barriers for much of her adult life.

Now, thanks to teamwork kicked off by our Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind office on the 6th floor of our main office building at 1011 1st Ave. and the cafeteria on the 9th floor, Ms. Daly is living – and working – her dream.

She landed a job as deli cook for the exclusive Dalton private prep school in NYC.

This is a huge achievement, particularly because it employs the visually impaired in the  sharp-knived, hot-stoved food service industry.  Employers often worry that people with visual challenges will injure themselves.  But the injury rate for people with visual impairments has been shown to be no greater than that of the general population.  They have to be more careful by necessity.

The NY State Commission for the Blind and the Metropolitan Placement Consortium acknowledged this  achievement at their annual Breaking Barriers Awards Luncheon held at Baruch College on March 27, 2015.  The event honored Compass USA, the parent company of our 9th cafeteria, along with Catholic Charities for their successful partnership helping Ms. Daly achieve her dream.

Their success story kicks off with Anthony Severo, an employment specialist for Catholic Guild for the Blind.  When he learned from Ms. Daly, a recent graduate of the Culinary Technical Institute, about her goal of moving from secretarial work to food service. He rode the elevator up to meet with Thomas Knipe, chef manager in the building’s cafeteria.  Although Mr. Knipe had no open positions, he spoke with Ms. Daly for more than an hour.

He was so impressed that he shared with her and Mr. Severo job openings at Compass USA.

Not one to wait, Mr. Severo immediately sent Ms. Daly’s resume to the three positions that interested her most.  They received responses the same day.  Ms. Daly’s top choice, agreed to interview her the next day.

“Needless to say, Alexandria aced the interview,” Mr. Severo said.

The rest is culinary history. Ms. Daly successfully passed her 90-day trial period.  She now has union benefits.  And she is saving money to one day open her own restaurant.

 

Sen. Schumer Announces $2.1 Million More for Hurricane Sandy Victims Served by Catholic Charities

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Huge news for the 3,000 families still recovering from Hurricane Sandy’s devastation!

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer just announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved $2.1 million in funding for Catholic Charities, the organization operating the New York State Disaster Case Management Program for Superstorm Sandy victims.

“I am happy to announce that New York State’s Disaster Case Management Program contract will continue, uninterrupted,” said Senator Schumer.  “With roughly 3,000 open cases still unfinished, Sandy victims desperately needed this extension to keep the focus on rebuilding their lives and their properties.

“Without some help and expert advice from great organizations like Catholic Charities, it’s very difficult for homeowners to juggle the competing interests pulling on them. This money will allow this process to continue and we will keep fighting for additional funds.”

Click here for details.

Were you hurt by Hurricane Sandy, have an open case and still need help?

Call our Sandy Referral Line:  855-258-0483

Help is here:  Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Largest Free Legal Screening Event on Deferred Action Just Held in NYC

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

CRAIG WARGA/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

By Alice Kenny

More than 600 people, mostly immigrants desperate for honest information on immigration reform, packed Temple Emanu-El on East 65th Street City for free legal screenings on Sunday, April 12, 2015.  Catholic Charities joined fellow not-for-profit immigration service providers and New York City in organizing and staffing this event with over 300 volunteers–including experienced immigration attorneys, administrative staff, interpreters, and law students–to deliver quality advice about immigration options.

The event was held to combat scammers and cheaters including “notarios” (immigration service providers) that have flooded the immigrant community with false promises of help with President Obama’s Executive Action program. But the President’s program is still on hold as opponents duke it out in the courts.

Sunday’s event, considered the first large-scale information/assistance event of its kind in New York City, is our way of fighting back.

“The range of cases was as broad as it was challenging,” says Mario Russell, director of Catholic Charities Immigrant and Refugee Services, “but we seemed to meet so expertly all the questions and needs presented.”

Attendees received clear information in their native tongues about the status of executive action.  They also received individual screenings to learn if they may qualify for various types of immigration relief.  Screenings focused on President Obama’s proposed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).  DACA focuses on those who entered the U.S. before age 16.  DAPA focuses on persons without documentation who were here on Jan. 1, 2010 and had a U.S. citizen or permanent resident child born on or before Nov. 20, 2014.

Missed this big event and still need help?

We’re holding free immigration legal screenings across the New York archdiocese.

For more information call Catholic Charities at the free New York State New Americans Hotline at 800- 566-7636.

Read more in the Daily News

Trade a Cup of Coffee for Hope

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Have you thought about how much it costs to help someone?

Did you know 83% of Americans spend more than $5 a day on coffee?

$5 can help a struggling family, a homeless person and a child with special needs.

If each of us gives $5 right now, imagine how many people we can help.

 Donate Now 

 

Don’t Be Scammed

Friday, April 10th, 2015


The premier Spanish-language newspaper “El Diario” turns to Catholic Charities Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services C. Mario Russell for regular updates on immigration reform.

Learn this week in El Diario – and below — about how to avoid immigration scams.

By C. Mario Russell

As we wait to hear what will happen to the Texas court decision that blocks President Obama’s Executive Action program on immigration, scammers and cheaters have already begun moving in. In early March, the Queens District Attorney arrested a travel agent for stealing thousands of dollars from an undocumented immigrant. The travel agent stole the victim’s cash with false promises of getting him immigration status.

Immigration fraud comes in many forms.  Sometimes it is in the form of a notario or an “immigration service provider” who makes false promises of help to get a work permit or a green card.  Other times it comes in the form of an attorney who promises to do work for you and never does it, or someone who claims to be an attorney but who is not.  Going to the wrong person for help can put your immigration case at risk and filing the wrong application can make it more difficult for you to obtain relief later on.

So if you are unsure about your immigration case or you want help getting connected to the right assistance, here are some things you can do:

  1. Get a free screening from a trustworthy immigration attorney. 
    On Sunday, April 12, New York City legal services agencies and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will hold a free Immigration Legal Screening event where an experienced immigration attorney can advise you about your immigration options.  Call Catholic Charities for an appointment: (212) 419-3700 Mon-Fri 9am-8pm.

  2. Don’t believe any offer to apply for Executive Action programs.
    These programs are not available yet. But if you think you might be eligible, you can start preparing your documents now.  A presentation on how to prepare your documents—including a free booklet guide—will be offered at the April 12 screening event. Remember, only lawyers and certain licensed representatives can give advice and assistance on immigration matters.
  3. Call the New Americans Hotline for free confidential help.
    If you’ve been scammed before or need more information about immigration issues or to get a referral for assistance from a local community-based organization, call the free New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.

Read the full post in El Diario.

 

Mario Russell is Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services at Catholic Charities, 80 Maiden Lane NYC and teaches immigration law at St. John’s University School of Law.

Catholic Charities Fights for Fair Pay

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Over 100 Advocate and Community Groups including Hazel Dukes of NAACP, Beth Finkel of AARP and Kevin Sullivan of Catholic Charities join “Fight for Fair Pay” Campaign, reports WENY News.

They joined 85 business and 86 faith-based leaders across New York to support for the Governor’s Fight for Fair Pay campaign that would raise minimum wage to $10.50 statewide and $11.50 in New York City.

An increase in the minimum would lift more than 100,000 New Yorkers out of poverty.

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York told WENY News that “Catholic Charities sees firsthand, every day the needs of working men and women who are struggling to provide for their families… Too many are working more than one minimum-wage job.

“Raising the minimum wage affords working families a better opportunity to pay the rent, put a decent meal on the table and meet other basic needs.

“As a recent study commissioned by the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, UJA-Federation, and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York demonstrates, raising the minimum wage would have a significant impact on reducing poverty in New York.

“Decent work with decent wages is critical for all New Yorkers to live their lives in dignity.”

Check out the full story on WENY News.

Cardinal Dolan Feeds Hungry; Washes Their Feet

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) —

Cardinal Timothy Dolan celebrated Holy Thursday with Catholic Charities staff, volunteers and those we serve at the Washington Heights Ecumenical Food Pantry.

As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported, Cardinal Dolan helped distribute food to at least 200 people and humbly washed the feet of some of those gathered at the pre-Easter ritual.

The Cardinal spoke about the significance and the message of Holy Thursday.

“It’s got a great meaning because he gives us that good example of love and humble service,” Dolan said.

Watch this on CBS News.

 Check out our Facebook album

CYO Season Wrap Up

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

cyohoops
Cardinal Timothy Dolan traded jokes with parents and cheered with fans during the final wrap up of the CYO basketball season held Saturday, March 28, at Dominican College bleachers in Rockland County.

The archdiocesan-wide playoffs drew crowds hailing from Staten Island to Ulster County and top-playing teams from third through eighth grades.

Check out this photo album of the event.