Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York’

Catholic Charities Joins Forces with Fellow Faith Leaders to Fight Poverty

Friday, May 16th, 2014
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Joshua Scott – FPWA Images

“For the first time, three religious charity umbrella groups in New York are joining forces to study government policies and programs designed to help people living in poverty in the hopes of finding better solutions to the problem and helping really change lives,” reports Theresa Agovino in Crain’s New York yesterday May 15, 2014.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and the UJA Federation of New York have worked on jointly providing services over the years, but their latest endeavor is taking a new turn. Two months ago, the trio tapped the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based social and economic and policy research group, to review various government poverty programs, with an emphasis on city programs, to learn more about what is effective. They paid $125,000 for the study and hope to have results in two months. The executive said that it was still too soon to say how they would use the results of the study because they aren’t sure what it will uncover.

Together the groups have a network of more than 400 nonprofits that offer a wide range of services including providing food, housing and job training to a total of nearly six million people. Many of those nonprofits receive city funding and work with government agencies on various programs.

‘We may have different theologies, but we each share the tradition of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and housing the homeless,’ said John Ruskay, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the UJA.

Despite all of the good works these groups and others provide, poverty in the city remains stubbornly high. The poverty rate in New York City was essentially unchanged at 21% from 2010 to 2012, but that’s up from 19% in 2008, according to the New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity, which works to fight poverty.

‘We want to see how we can change the outcomes,’ said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities. ‘Maybe certain programs need to be scaled up or offered together. How can we do better?’

Jennifer Jones Austin, chief executive officer and executive director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, said she heard about a similar study being conducted in Wisconsin and thought it would be a good idea to create one for the city to help inform public policy. She opted to reach out to her counterparts to amplify her voice.

‘We are all distinguished and respected in our own rights,’ said Ms. Jones Austin, who served as co-chair of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s transition team along with Carl Weisbrod. ‘I believe that with the three of us people will be really listening at city hall.’

It is unacceptable in our wealthy city and nation that one out of five New Yorkers now lives below the poverty line, scrambling to feed and house their hungry children.

“Poverty and its effects afflicts too many of our neighbors in New York,” Msgr. Sullivan said as he discussed this interfaith initiative.

“I look forward to reporting back to you on the Urban Institute’s findings. This study will hopefully serve to enhance our work and our impact on those most in need.”

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Read the full story here in Crain’s New York.

As Sandy Recovery Stalls, Wall Street Journal Interviews Msgr. Sullivan for Solutions

Monday, April 21st, 2014

By Alice Kenny

_DSC1063In the Wall Street Journal’s recent series uncovering shortcomings in New York City’s Sandy recovery programs, Reporter Michael Howard Saul turned to Msgr. Kevin Sullivan for insight. Frustrated Hurricane Sandy storm victims and elected officials, Mr. Saul reports, say City Hall has been heavy on promises and short on results.

“Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, which is helping storm victims, said homeowners’ recovery efforts ‘have been made even more challenging by layers of red tape brought on by the multiple layers of government agencies involved in the process.’”

To counter this morass, Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Wall Street Journal that his recently appointed administration has been working “day and night to hack through the red tape.”

Meanwhile, Catholic Charities continues to help Sandy victims recover.  From the time Hurricane Sandy pounded New York, Catholic Charities has been providing disaster relief to those who need it. From disaster response professionals visiting parishes to deliver information and resources, to volunteers collecting and distributing food and supplies, to neighbors checking in on neighbors, the entire Catholic Charities community has responded to meet the human needs of the victims, providing help and creating hope for rebuilding lives.

The New York State Disaster Case Management Program run by Catholic Charities has provided information, referral and disaster case management to nearly 22,000 households.

“Families and homeowners who are rebuilding from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy are still facing a complex and long-term recovery,” Msgr. Sullivan said.  “Our long-term case management for these families is critical to navigating some of the unintended consequences that arise such as potentially higher tax bills on their property that they did not anticipate.”

Are you struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy?

Junior Board Makes NYC Pilgrimage

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Join our Junior Board this Saturday, April 5th, for our Fifth Annual Pilgrimage of New York.

Now, during the Lenten season, this year’s pilgrimage starts with an opening prayer at The Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.

Who are we? 

The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York Junior Board introduces young professionals to the varied programs and works of Catholic Charities through volunteer opportunities, social gatherings, faith-based events, and philanthropic support.

We cultivate the next generation of leaders committed to Catholic Charities and serving those in need in our community.

Why join?

Becoming a Junior Board member is a fun, participatory, and unique way to celebrate your faith and give back to your community.

Sign up for our Saturday pilgrimage.

Learn more about our Junior Board.

Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center Opens Its Doors

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center (ADCC) officially opened its doors to the community yesterday with an open house featuring performances by children from its classical and folkloric music programs, and from its partner organizations in theater and film. The Center has been operating since this past  September under the direction of Program Manager Altagracia Diloné Levat.

In addition to visual, performing, and literary arts programming, ADDC seeks to build and strengthen community
through the arts by providing capacity building support to small arts nonprofits and actively reaching out to foundation
and other private funders to bring desperately needed funding to the Heights. Housed in the beautiful Alianza Dominicana Triangle Building, ADDC will become a home for local artists committed to enriching the lives of the residents of Northern Manhattan through the arts.

In 2012, the Board of Trustees of Alianza Dominicana reached out to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York for assistance. The Alianza Board wanted to ensure that there was continuity of services and that the programming stayed in the Washington Heights community and not be lost due to the financial difficulties the organization was facing. Through negotiations with the City of New York and other funders, Catholic Charities Community Services (CCCS) was assigned several contracts that maintained youth and cultural programs in the community for over 1100 youth in the Washington Heights and South Bronx communities.

“Catholic Charities is committed to ensuring that the community continues to receive, without interruption, the youth and cultural programs key to the Washington Heights area. It is important that the funding and programming stay in this community,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. “Catholic Charities supports the decision of the Alianza board and looks forward to a continued collaborative partnership.”

Part of this collaboration included CCCS’ commitment to the development of designated space at the Triangle building into a Cultural Center as had been originally envisioned by Alianza Dominicana. Thanks to the support of Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, CCCS was able to get funding through the City Council to centralize the cultural programs that that had been part of Alianza Dominicana for many years, and to promote collaboration among the many cultural service providers in Washington Heights. This collaboration keeps the dream alive of having a cultural center providing art, music, and theater programming free of charge to the community.

“We are setting out to make 165th Street the cultural gateway to Washington Heights, with the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center playing a major role in the ambitious project,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Our community has so much to offer in the way of music, art, literature, drama and dance, but too few spaces for which to showcase it all. That is why I was pleased to allocate $250,000 so a state of the art facility could house the great groups already doing amazing work in Northern Manhattan. We are keeping Alianza alive through the rich culture that blends so many communities together to make Washington Heights a beacon of the arts in New York City.”

ADCC’s 2013 – 2014 season is a testament to this commitment. For its premier season, the Center has partnered with several well-known cultural organizations in Washington Heights: the Association of Dominican Classical Artists and its Washington Heights Community Conservatory and Camerata Washington Heights, the People’s Theatre Project, KidCinema Fest and Dominican Film Festival, and the Conjunto Folklórico of Catholic Charities Community Services/Alianza Youth Services Division.

“This beautiful space was filled with children learning to make music and joyfully playing theatrical games while learning about healthy habits, all thanks to our partnership with the Washington Heights Community Conservatory and the People’s Theatre Project. These are just two of the many small, arts organizations in Northern Manhattan doing the work with little or no institutional support, said Altagracia Diloné Levat. “It is a great honor to have the opportunity to lead this effort to realize Alianza Dominicana’s vision for a multicultural center– with a focus on Afro-Dominican artistic traditions– in the heart of its Triangle Building. This new beginning would not have been possible without the support of Catholic Charities Community Services and for that, our community is deeply grateful.”

Alianza Cultural Center’s mission is to produce literary, performing, and visual arts programs; to support and strengthen community cultural programs and institutions in Washington Heights and Inwood; and to serve as a home to local artists committed to enriching the lives of Northern Manhattan residents through the arts. Alianza Cultural Center is a multicultural project, celebrating Dominican, Latino, and Latin American cultures, with a special focus on Afro-Dominican artistic traditions in our own programming. The Center’s physical space comprises the beautiful second floor gala/exhibition space, two performing arts studios and a large multipurpose space in the lower level, the lobby exhibition space, and the spectacular rooftop terrace.

Looking to Volunteer? Sandy Survivors Need You

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities is pulling together a team of volunteers this Saturday, January 19, to help with the physical clean up of four Staten Island homes badly destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Tasks include removal of sheet rock & insulation, cleaning behind it and removal of flooring. Transportation will be provided.

Sign up or learn more.

Bike Riding with the Camels. Seriously.

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County, NY joined forces with the Orange County Bicycle Club on Sunday, September 16, for The Ride With the Camels, a 10-to-62-mile ride through forested ridges and rolling farmland that celebrated open space in Orange County, NY.

The event was named after a large pasture that bikers pedaled past that is filled with a herd of grazing camels. They were rescued after movie, advertising, and circus careers by the Sanctuary for Animals, and they live on the farm with hundreds of other rescued animals of different species. The hills, riders say, remind them of the camels’ humps so they saluted them as they rode by.

Proceeds from event celebrated open space in Orange County Proceeds and benefited Catholic Charities of Orange County, NY, the Orange County Land Trust, and the Sanctuary for Animals.

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Avoid Scams; Get Correct Information about Deferred Action

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan joined New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, the Consuls General of seven nations, the President of the New York State Bar Association and others at the Catholic Center, 1011 First Ave., New York City on August 15th to announce initiatives designed to make sure that young people eligible for the New York State Childhood Arrival Deferred Action Program take full advantage without being exploited by scammers.

Certain young people, known as “DREAMers,” who were brought to the United States as children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet specific criteria (see below) can now apply, effective August 15, 2012, for Deferred Action, which is temporary relief from removal (deportation) from the United States or from being placed in removal proceedings and which, if granted, will provide work authorization and the ability to attend college.

Speakers at the event stressed the importance of obtaining correct information about Deferred Action to avoid scams and to understand eligibility for this benefit. New York State reports that it has already received notifications about con artists trying to take advantage of young people, charging money for services that may not be provided, and risking young peoples’ chance to take advantage of this opportunity.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York is ready to help. Individuals seeking more information and seeking service providers as well as schools, churches, and other community-based organizations interested in scheduling presentations about deferred action can call Catholic Charities at the New York State New Americans Hotline, 1-800-566-7636, (formerly known as the New York State Immigration Hotline.)

Interest has been intense. Nearly 500 young immigrants and their representatives phoned this hotline the first day applications were taken. Callers receive help in 17 different languages.

“Basic fairness coupled with sound economics tells us to make good investments in the future workforce of New York,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities new York. “DREAMers want nothing more than to develop their talents in this country and State – the only one they know and call home.”

  • Avoid Scams. Get correct information in 17 languages: Call Catholic Charities at the New York State New Americans Hotline, 1-800-566-7636.
  • Click here to read more information about the hotline.
  • Click here to see if you or someone you know is eligible to apply
  • Link to the New York State Childhood Arrival Deferred Action Program website clearinghouse.
  • Please help us spread the word on Facebook and Twitter, hashtag #NYnewamericans