Archive for the ‘Feeding the Hungry and Sheltering the Homeless’ Category

Funding Government Programs Could Reduce Poverty by 70%!

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Three of New York City’s largest religious organizations say local poverty could be reduced by nearly 70% by adding billions of dollars in funding to several government programs, reports a just-released article in the Wall Street Journal.

The study, released today by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies and the UJA-Federation of New York, reports this Wall Street Journal excerpt:

…found that targeted spending on government programs like transitional jobs, tax credits for seniors and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, known as SNAP, could lower the rate of poverty in the city by 44% to 69%.

Roughly 20% of New York City residents live below the poverty level, according to data from 2009 to 2013 released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The study, conducted by the Urban Institute, found that a $6.4 billion to $9 billion investment in seven government programs— transitional jobs, minimum wage, earnings supplements, tax credits for seniors and those with disabilities, SNAP benefits, child care subsidies and housing vouchers—would have a dramatic effect on poverty across the five boroughs. The study was based on 2012 data.

“This is about the basics of human dignity,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. “They have a right to adequate housing. They have a right to decent meals.”

Officials with the religious groups said they had reached out to both Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to discuss the report’s findings.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

Also, find out more in Crains New York.

Cardinal Egan

Friday, March 6th, 2015

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Today we say adieux to Cardinal Egan.   While we will miss him greatly, we wish him well in his new heavenly home.

Much has already been said and much more will be written on the occasion of his death yesterday at age 82.  Let me share a few items from the perspective of Catholic Charities that may not have been captured elsewhere.

My words are understandably biased.  Cardinal Egan appointed me as Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York shortly after the tragedy of 9/11.  I was privileged to work together with him.   Here are some of the reasons I think he deserves  appreciation for the time he served as Archbishop of New York

He visited our Catholic Charities agencies and programs, meeting regularly and consistently with the people we help and those doing the helping.  Because he was warm and caring with them, all left feeling uplifted and supported, both with the difficult lives they lived and the difficult work they did.   Thank you, Cardinal Egan.

He built the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities,  a dedicated and generous group of New York leaders who undergird  and oversee the support we provide New Yorkers in need.  To attract these talented individuals he passed on his role as Chair of the Board to John Phelan, the former chair of the New York Stock Exchange.

In multiple ways Cardinal Egan encouraged generous philanthropic support for Catholic Charities.  One of his key initiatives involved his own Cardinal’s Committee of the Laity that he intentionally renamed the Cardinal’s Committee for Charity.  He directed the focus of this group of New York business and civic leaders to provide Catholic Charities with financial resources and counsel to amplify the services we provide and the number of people we serve.

To support partnership between the government and the charitable work of the Church he interfaced with officials in a quiet sophisticated way apart from the limelight.  When issues arose that could have damaged this partnership his efforts were effective in preventing actions that could have hurt poor and vulnerable New Yorkers of all religions.

It is also worth noting on this 50th anniversary of the equal rights march from Selma to Montgomery Cardinal Egan’s  presence during the tumultuous sixties in sharing our Church’s vision for the common good.   He was a regular participant with clergy in Chicago, one of  America’s major urban centers, as they worked to overcome racial and social injustice.

In short, Cardinal Egan effectively supported, blessed and encouraged growth of the fair and charitable work of the Church. During his tenure, the 90 affiliated agencies of the Catholic Charities federation grew from providing $500 million to $750 million of services, support that provides help and creates hope for all New Yorkers in need.

And so, again, adieux, fair well, and thank you.  Cardinal Egan, please keep in mind in heaven the needs of those of us still here below – especially, those for whom Catholic Charities provides help and creates hope.

- Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

Catholic Charities Lobbies Albany in the Front Rooms, Face to Face

Friday, February 13th, 2015

albanyselfiesBy Alice Kenny

Battling nearly a foot of snow, Catholic Charities New York representatives organized a show of force in Albany on February 9 – 10 to persuade state leaders to expand Governor Cuomo’s proposed plan to combat poverty.

They joined local Catholic Charities affiliated agencies along with the New York State Council of Catholic Charities Directors that represent all eight dioceses across the state.

The troops maximized their strength on these two frigid days by meeting with every human services chair person in both houses of the legislature and with representatives from the governor’s office.

Their goal, to battle back inequality, was overwhelming.  But their plan to fund it was simple.

New York State received more than $5 billion in recent settlements with banks accused of misconduct.  Surely, they reasoned, a significant percentage of this windfall should be earmarked for the one out of five impoverished families in New York State.

Catholic Charities requests included:

  • Amplify the Governor’s proposed program to target investments in capital projects to improve the quality, efficiency, accessibility and reach of nonprofits serving New Yorkers
  • Provide adequate funding for vulnerable populations including foster children served by Medicaid Managed Care
  • Increase funding for post adoption services and child welfare agencies
  • Address soaring rates of homelessness and hunger by increasing funds for supportive housing, homeless prevention services, emergency food and outreach programs
  • Raise the minimum wage and expand the Unemployment Strikeforce to help the unemployed find work
  • Push back recent cutbacks in services for the physically and emotionally challenged by providing significant funds for permanent and supported housing
  • Help undocumented immigrants become taxpaying members of society by enabling them to apply for state college tuition and education tax credits; expand the Office of New American Opportunity Centers that provide immigrant services and increase funds to help unaccompanied minor children seeking to reunify with family members.

“Thank you for assisting all of us to give voice to the needs of those who are poor and most vulnerable,” Catholic Charities Diocese of Buffalo Director Sr. Mary McCarrick said to Luz Tavarez-Salazar, Catholic Charities NY’s Director of Government and Community Relations who helped organize the event.  “Now we pray those voices will be heard by our New York State government.”

Check out these event photos on FaceBook.

A Special Thank You from Msgr. Kevin Sullivan

Monday, February 9th, 2015

thankyouI am amazed and humbled by what we can do when we come together to help our neighbors.

Because of you, so far this year’s Feeding Our Neighbors campaign has already collected over 400,000 meals for families in need.

We are making the final tally, including donations from our corporate and inter-faith partners, and our own parishes and schools. In the coming days, we will let you know the total contributions for this year’s campaign and the overall impact your generosity will have on hungry New Yorkers.

With gratitude,

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

P.S. If you’d like to make a contribution you still can.
Donate here.

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

How Do We Hope to Provide One Million Meals?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

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By Alice Kenny

Shop for your family at ShopRite and help feed your hungry neighbors at the same time.

Sounds like an ad, right?  But it’s not.

In New York State, nearly one million children go to bed hungry. And we’re working with you, ShopRite, and other partners to pull together one million meals to feed them.

Catholic Charities and ShopRite are teaming up to help raise money and non-perishable food for area food pantries left with dwindling supplies after the holiday season, the Times-Herald Record reports in a video announcing the campaign’s kickoff.

It’s a time of year when need remains high but giving does not.

So by shopping at any one of 26 area ShopRite stores in the Hudson Valley, you can make cash or food donations to help replenish dwindling supplies.

The collection of food and funds in ShopRite stores will run from Sunday, January 25 through Saturday, February 7.

“This Catholic Charities Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign in partnership with ShopRite,” Msgr. Sullivan says in this new video, “is an effort on our part to make sure fewer children go to bed hungry.”

Watch the Times-Herald Record video.

Join us in Feeding Our Neighbors.

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Unpacking Tons of Food to Feed the Hungry

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

goya fonFox News Latino spotlighted the massive collective effort kicked off yesterday by Catholic Charities staff, volunteers and Goya Foods to feed our hungry neighbors.  Working together, they unloaded a total of 35,000 pounds of food from Goya trucks, heaving it out box by box to pack, restock inventory and prepare bags for distribution to support a vast network of food pantries and emergency food programs throughout the archdiocese.

The colossal event included staff and volunteers simultaneously unloading tons of food at five Catholic Charities sites in Harlem, Washington Heights, the South Bronx, Staten Island and Kingston and a UJA Federation site in Brooklyn.  Thanks to Catholic Charities NY support and Goya donations, food is also being trucked to other areas across the country including Miami, Texas and California to feed unaccompanied minors arriving from Latin America.

“Unfortunately, we have to just look in the media to see that we have tension (around the world),” Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan tells Fox News. “This project is an opportunity to bridge gaps.”

Read the full story in Fox News Latino

Watch this slideshow of the volunteer effort. 

Share your comments here.

Feeding Our Neighbors is an archdiocesan-wide effort to raise food and funds to replenish food pantries and soup kitchens that feed hungry neighbors during the most critical time of year when need is high and giving is low.  Together, Catholic Charities in partnership with Goya aims to maximize impact to realize a goal of collecting 1 million meals to feed the hungry across New York. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Asked “What Are You Doing For Others?”

Monday, January 19th, 2015

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By Alice Kenny

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘what are you doing for others?’”

At Catholic Charities, we have an answer.  Our Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Day of Service pulls together a small army of volunteers and staff to help feed the hungry.  Today we are unloading 30,000 pounds of food donated by Goya to stock food pantries in Harlem, Washington Heights, the South Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Kingston.

With 1 out of 5 New Yorkers now depending on aid for food, our food pantries have never been so strained.  This donation of food by Goya and time by volunteers makes a huge difference helping us feed our hungry neighbors.

“What are you doing for others?” Rev. King asked.

Join us in answering this urgent question.

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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