Archive for the ‘Strengthening Families and Resolving Crises’ Category

Breaking News! Community Policing & Catholic Charities

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 1.35.32 PMThe NYPD announced details last week of its new neighborhood policing strategy, reports ABC News 7.

Hundreds more beat cops are working in neighborhoods where violence continues to dominate.

Eddie Silverio, director of Catholic Charities Community Services Alianza Youth Services, joined Mayor Bill DeBlasio and others to speak about their joint work in Washington Heights.

“We continue to improve communication between youth and the police department,” Mr. Silverio says.

These 1,300 new officers aren’t just extra bodies, they’re the start of a new proactive approach to policing that involves you as a team player!

The pilot program rolled out in the 34th Precinct a little over a month ago and already crime statistics are going down. It’s a trend local  leaders hope will now continue city wide.

It’s a bold new strategic plan local leaders believe will give a much needed edge to the NYPD in the ongoing fight against crime.

1,300 additional officers are not only targeting problem areas but building real relationships with everyday people to forge a united front.

In Washington Heights where the new plan has already been executed, officers at a community meeting Thursday night encouraged neighbors to get more involved.

“We are now doing a bottom up approach where an officer knows the community, the community knows the officer, we stop the problem many cases before it even happens,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Called “One City Safe and Fair Everywhere” Mayor De Blasio along with Commissioner Bratton laid out the details of the new policing framework, which also entails additional training so officers can better engage and activate the communities they serve.

Watch the live event on ABC News 7.

Mad Men or Junior Board? You Decide

Friday, June 26th, 2015

JuniorBoard-MobileHeaderBy Alice Kenny

Decked out as our Mad Men favorites – Don Draper, Peggy Olsen, Roger Sterling – nearly 150 Catholic Charities Junior Board members and their friends celebrated the board’s Mad Men-themed gala earlier this month.

The event, in typical Mad Men style, of course included drinks, dancing, card games and mingling.  More important, these budding young members of the Catholic Charities family raised nearly $30,000  to benefit Catholic Charities St. Nicholas Project.  This year-round project provides warm clothes and necessities for thousands of New Yorkers.

“There are so many people in need,” says Grace Nordloh, a co-chair of the Junior Board Gala, “and they rely on our generosity to help them endure the winter season.”

The Mad Men series may have ended but Catholic Charities continues.

Will Don return to NYC and reunite with his children?  Who knows.

But we do know you’re very welcome to have fun with our Junior Board.

Click here to learn more.

Check out these photos on Facebook. 

Rent Laws Expired But You Still Have Rights

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Tenants are fuming; others are frightened, as the fate of rent regulations remain in limbo. Days after the rent law expired, Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders remain in a standoff on how much landlords can charge for rent-regulated apartments in New York City and its suburbs.

Don’t worry. You still have rights.

According to the NYC Dept. of Housing:

If you are one of the more than two million New Yorkers who lives in rent-regulated housing, here’s what you need to know:

  • Your lease is still in effect and remains in effect through the term of the lease.
  • There are still laws on the books protecting you from harassment, and the City is enforcing those laws.
  • We have put together an emergency hotline: Call 311 if you have any concerns or questions about your apartment.
  • If your landlord is harassing you, withholding services, or trying to exploit any lapse in the rent regulation laws to get you to leave your apartment, you should call 311 immediately.

Catholic Charities supports a vast network of shelters, temporary, transitional housing and permanent affordable housing to help families and individuals.

Learn more.

 

Tips and Tricks for Running the NYC Marathon

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

2015-01-14 21 24 26-3Our 12 Team Catholic Charities runners are gearing up for the big day, the TCS New York City Marathon scheduled for November 1, 2015.

They’ll be  racing through all five boroughs.  They’ll be running more than 26 miles. And they’ll be surrounded by tens of thousands of fellow runners in what is called the largest marathon in the world.

How do they do it?

During the next five months we’ll share with you their tips and training advice.  And we’ll also  share why they’re running for Team Catholic Charities.

Today, as our inaugural TCS NYC Marathon 2015 blog post, let’s here from Katrina Maniego.

 

Why I’m Running the NYC Marathon with Team Catholic Charities

By Katrina Maniego

I have already run two to three half marathons but never a full marathon. I am excited to run my first marathon, take it as a challenge and am following a training plan I purchased online to prepare.

I live in NYC but travel for work to Denver, Co, which makes my training interesting. I am in NYC during the weekends and it is where I generally do my long runs. During the week, I am in Denver.

I like the change of environment because it adds a bit of color to my training.

NYC is noisier and more populated. Here I run along the East River, so I run alongside tall buildings and the view of water. I get motivation from all the interesting New Yorkers I see during my run. Also, there is a constant flow of New Yorkers running. I can run any time of the day or night, any kind of weather and there will be someone running with me.

In Denver, the altitude is higher but the air crisper. The mountains are around you and there are a lot of trees. I run a path alongside a creek. It is quite beautiful. If I wanted to run the path from start to end it spans about 12 miles. It’s taking me a bit more effort to do my interval running because of the altitude.  But the group I joined to train with is pacing me to some extent and I am making new friends.

The proceeds of this fundraising is particularly targeted to Catholic Charities St. Nicolas Project. I’ve participated in the St. Nicholas shopping spree (using donations to purchase holiday necessities for persons in need .

I think we always should be thinking of ways to help other people and make them happy.  But this is especially true during Christmas when we are constantly reminded of the blessings we have and the sacrifice Christ has made for us.  We should be more inclined to offer help and support.

Click here to support Katrina’s TCS NYC Marathon campaign. 

Gold Medalist Chris Mullin Credits CYO for Kicking Off His Career

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

150604-0881By Alice Kenny

Chris Mullin, one of the greatest NBA players of all time, received the John V. Mara Sportsman of the Year Award on June 4th at the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Club of Champions Tribute. A two-time gold medalist, Mr. Mullin ranks seventh all-time on the USA Basketball scoring list.

He kicked off this long list of achievements, he said during his acceptance speech, by playing CYO basketball at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Brooklyn.

Honorary Co-Chairs Cardinal Dolan and John K. Mara, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Football Giants, presented the award at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in
Manhattan.

Duke Castiglione, sports anchor for FOX 5 New York, served as Master of Ceremonies. Raymond Quartararo, Managing Director of Global Real Estate, JP Morgan Chase & Co., was the Gold Medal Award Honoree.  And Jeanne Mullgrav, Executive Vice President, Capalino+Company, received the Terence Cardinal Cooke Humanitarian Award.

The John V. Mara award is given to an individual who has exhibited exceptional sportsmanship throughout his or her career.

This sportsmanship, Mr. Mullin said, is thanks to his experience playing Catholic Charities CYO, an experience that instilled core values that influenced his life.

Learn more about this All-Star event. 

Check out these photos on Facebook. 

New Video Highlights Impact of Our Work and Personal Story of One Family

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Before cancer struck, Yarsely, 27, and her husband, Jean Carlos, 28, each held jobs to support themselves and their two little girls.

“We wanted to grow old together, a 50-year-anniversary couple,” Yaresely says in this just-released video. “But life gave us something else.”

When Jean Carlos was diagnosed with leukemia, Yaresely realized she had to become the sole breadwinner — with better skills to land a better job. So she turned to Catholic Charities affiliate Grace Institute for its award winning, free job training.

She graduated last October, the same day Jean Carlos slipped into his final coma.

Three Ways to End Hunger Now

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

St. Cecilia’s parishioner, Guadalupe Merino, writes a letter to Congress as daughter, Joyce Merino, naps in her arms.

About a hundred people from nonprofit organizations and churches in New York put pen to paper last month and wrote letters to their member of Congress, urging them to reauthorize the child nutrition bill, writes Margaret Tran, a regional organizer at Bread for the World.

Catholic Charities and Bread for the World organized an Offering of Letters at St. Peter’s Church and New York Catholic Youth Day, both in Yonkers, and at St. Cecilia’s Church in East Harlem. Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland County in Haverstraw plans to host one in the future.

It is vital that Congress hears from their constituents, especially since over 16 million children in the U.S. don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.

This fall, the legislation that funds child nutrition programs will expire. The bill funds five major programs: National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the WIC Program. These programs serve roughly 40 million adults and children nationwide.

1. New York high school students were busy during New York Catholic Youth Day. They were simultaneously involved in a Feeding Our Neighbors food drive (cosponsored by Catholic Charities) and an Offering of Letters. The students and their youth group leaders donated hundreds of pounds of food to local pantries and wrote letters to members of Congress, urging them to support the child nutrition programs.

Youth groups were eager to write letters since they personally know students who struggle with hunger and depend on school meals every day as their only source of nutrition…

2. The senior leaders of the various ministry groups at  St. Cecilia’s also participated in an Offering of Letters… Flor Abad, case manager for Catholic Charities Community Services at St. Cecilia’s, said he was pleased that all the leaders were enthusiastic about advocacy since so many in the community are struggling.

“At St. Cecilia’s food pantry, I see families in need. I hear people who have 5, 6, 7 children in the house and don’t have food,” Abad said.

3. Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland County(CCCSR) will host a future Offering of Letters that will engage youth from county parishes to write letters to Congress. The goal will be ambitious – 1,000 letters ahead of CCCSR’s annual September hunger awareness action event.

“Policies and community efforts to increase access and provide education and resources is needed. Our goal is to build a greater sense of community awareness and build an advocacy group to end hunger,” said Martha Robles, executive director of CCCSR.

Read the full Bread for the World blog post.

Find Out the Best Way to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Today a mother ignores her own hunger to feed her child.  She waits on line for donated clothes and alters them so her child can shine.  She foregoes sleep to work a second job that barely pays the bills.

These are just some of the sacrifices mothers make for their children. All over New York, mothers are working tirelessly so that their children can have opportunities they themselves may have only dreamt of.With Mother’s Day drawing near, we invite you to honor a wonderful woman — your own mother — by supporting mothers and children in need.

Their future and the future of their children can be brighter thanks to your support.

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.

Hundreds Rally for Cost-of-living Adjustments

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Photo Credit: Human Services Council

“Hundreds of representatives of the human services sector convened on the steps of City Hall on Monday, April 27, 2015, to call for cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) in their city contracts,” reports New York Nonprofit Daily. Representatives from Catholic Charities stood among them.

The City relies on nonprofit human services providers to deliver billions of dollars in essential services to communities across the City. Despite a recovering economy and a skyrocketing cost of living, however, these nonprofit organizations have not received a City COLA since 2008.

The Human Services Council of New York (HSC) organized this rally to draw attention to the needs of the sector and the communities that it serves. HSC supports Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to fighting inequality, and wage increases for our sector will advance this cause.

The human services sector plays an important part in improving community health and safety, combating poverty, and fostering equity.

Nonprofit organizations provide job training and placement, early childhood education and after-school enrichment, violence intervention, legal assistance, homeless shelters, community health services, assistance to immigrants, senior services, and much more.

These services empower struggling New Yorkers to overcome a vast array of challenges impeding their ability to succeed. In addition to improving the lives of the disadvantaged, this industry is a major economic engine. In New York City alone, nonprofit organizations deliver nearly $5.5 billion in human services each year through City-funded contracts. The vast majority of human services workers are women and people of color.

 

Read more in New York Nonprofit Daily.