Archive for the ‘Strengthening Families and Resolving Crises’ Category

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.

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.

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What Is Hope?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
“There’s always hope that there is something better in life.”

Every year we share what hope means to us during the Easter season.

This year we want to know what hope means to you.

Many New Yorkers we met already helped us take on the challenge.

You can, too.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing stories of hope on Facebook.

We’d love to know what you think it means. Send us your photos on Facebook or Twitter by mentioning Catholic Charities NY or using hashtag #WhatIsHope.

You can also email us at CatholicCharitiesMedia@archny.org

Women Bought and Sold

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

El diario

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 the grotesque reality of human trafficking.

By C. Mario Russell

March is filled with days that should be considered so much more than Hallmark holidays.  It has been designated as Women’s History Month; March 8th celebrated International Women’s Day and March 25th is marked as an International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery. These are important dates designed to recognize the woman for her profound place in the human community and to remember in solidarity the deep wounds she bears at the hands of that community.

Yet these wounds continue, particularly in the world of immigration.

For example, we soon will come upon another important marker: the one-year-anniversary of the mass abduction of 276 schoolgirls by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria when, according to Human Rights Watch, children were taken into captivity and sold into marriage, forced to convert from their religion, and made to endure physical and psychological abuse, forced labor, and rape.

Unfortunately, there are other examples as well that are far too close to home. Evelyn, 21, a top ranked student in her native country, was lured from Cameroon into the U.S. by a rich Maryland couple who promised her a bright future and a top-rate education. Instead, she was given no education and forced into servitude for the wealthy couple. And just this January 2015, Cristina Andres pleaded guilty to two counts of commercial sex trafficking. She was prosecuted for recruiting two girls, ages 13 and 17 at the time, with promises of a job in a Nashville restaurant. Instead, she used physical force and threats against the victims and their families to keep the girls in brothels in Memphis and Nashville.

The market for buying and selling of humans is sophisticated and robust, and only occasionally do publicized scenes like these force us to enter into its grotesque and brutal reality.

(more…)

Cardinal Egan

Friday, March 6th, 2015

remembering-cardinalegan

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

Harlem Girl Says She Doesn’t Like Police

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

FullSizeRenderBy Alice Kenny

The words of a four-year-old Harlem girl, “I don’t like the police,” sparked a gathering of over 100 children and 40 police officers at Catholic Charities Joseph P. Kennedy Center on February 21.

The little girl, spooked by what she heard about police shootings of unarmed black men, made her comment to Jackie Rowe, founder of Harlem Mother SAVE, an organization founded by mothers who lost their sons to gun violence.

“Jackie realized at that point how our babies are affected by what they see and hear from the news, adults and teens,” says Deacon Rodney Beckford who runs center that held the event.  “Indeed, there is the effect police officers have on the community as they carry out their duty while babies watch.”

So Ms. Rowe and community affairs police officers decided to host a small event with a few children to dispel the notion that police are bad.

Instead, the event, held on a stormy winter day, was packed with Harlem children, police chiefs, captains, sergeants and patrolmen.  For four hours mounted police took selfies with children, jumped double dutch, flopped in a two-story bounce ride brought in by the police and painted faces with a clown.

New York City’s highest ranked uniform officer, NYPD Department Chief James O’Neill, fielded questions from children ages 3 – 15 as fellow police gave out NYPD basketballs and ate pizza with the children.

“To bring families and communities together is what Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Center exists to do in the Harlem community,” says Deacon Beckford.  “That’s what we at Catholic Charities are called to do day in and day out.”

Catholic Charities Faces Off Against Judicial Order Live On ABC7

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

CMarioRussellTiempoBy Alice Kenny

Join Mario Russell from Catholic Charities and Senator Adriano Espaillat on ABC7 as they take on the controversial judicial order that just blocked immigration reform.

“I think (the judge) is hiding the ball,” Mr. Russell, Catholic Charities Director of Immigration and Refugee Services tells ABC7 host Joe Torres on the Sunday talk show. “The President isn’t doing anything new that hasn’t been done before.  Deferred action is given all the time.  Employment is just a side benefit.”

So what should the 338,000 potentially eligible people in New York do in the mean time?

“This is a momentary block… that the courts will work out over time,” Mr. Russell says.

“What’s key and this is what we do at Catholic Charities is we work to keep people informed. We give presentations.  We go to community meetings. We’ve met with over a thousand people…sending the same messages-

“Don’t be afraid.  Stay informed.  Continue working on developing the evidence of your case, whether its evidence of residency, of your identity, anything else.”

Watch and learn as Mr. Russell and Senator Espaillat take this controversy head on.