Posts Tagged ‘CREATE’

Keeping Faith, Even When Home Is an Uncertain Place

Monday, December 9th, 2013

By John Otis

When asked to tell the story of his life and of the circumstances that left him homeless, Eugene Manu, 21, tripped over his words, his testimony stalled by moments of nervousness and trepidation, filled with false starts and constant backpedaling.

It is no wonder his thoughts could not find purchase. Mr. Manu’s meandering speech seems to reflect the fact that he’s never known any sense of stability or permanence. He is a young man who, despite a strong faith in God, and the guidance offered by certain family members, finds himself better acquainted with doubt and feelings of abandonment.

“I have never considered any place home,” he said.

Three months into Mr. Manu’s life, his mother, unmarried and barely scraping by at a minimum wage job, sent him to Ghana to live with his grandmother. He remained there for seven years before coming to the United States to join his mother in New York, where he would end up shuffled between an array of homeless shelters and foster homes, before he was returned to his grandmother’s care in Ghana at age 15.

Last spring, while living at Create, a Harlem shelter affiliated with Catholic Charities, he acquired his G.E.D. and was accepted at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. But at about the same time, he was hospitalized with pneumonia, caused by complications from the hereditary sickle cell anemia he was born with, and nearly died. “I felt like I was drifting away,” he said. “If it wasn’t for God, I would have lost my life.”

Read Mr. Manu’s story in The New York Times. Learn how Catholic Charities is helping him rebuild his life.

Struggling with Disability, Abandonment and Adoption, Young Adult Finds Success

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Otis Hampton who lives at Create, a shelter affiliated with Catholic Charities for homeless young men, along with a group of fellow young people with big hearts, big challenges and big dreams had an afternoon to remember.

As CBS 2′s Cindy Hsu reported, they got a real taste of Hollywood in Chelsea at the School of Visual Arts, complete with a red carpet before their movies were screened.

All the participants struggle with disability, abandonment and adoption. Otis, for example, was born with cerebral palsy that makes it difficult for him to walk.  His sister, who had a tracheotomy and was separated from him by adoption, also participated in the project.

They are channeling their challenges by creating mini movies about their lives.   Otis appeared in his sister’s movie and starred in his own movie as well.  The movies and the celebration were the result of a partnership between two groups: New Alternatives for Children and the Make a Film Foundation.

Growing up, Mr. Hampton was often teased by classmates and was stigmatized both for his disability and for the time he spent in the foster care.  He was adopted at age 8, but his adoptive father died after a stroke two years later. His profile was published last year as a New York Times Neediest Case.

Otis’ life at Create freed him from worries about living on the street.  While there, he has worked towards a college degree, is mastering the steps he needs to live independently and following his passion in film making.

Read his profile in The New York Times.

Watch him on CBS 2 News.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Catholic Charities’ The New York Times Neediest Cases Magazine 2012-2013

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

by Alice Kenny

Profiles of hope. Profiles of courage. Profiles of charity.

For 101 years, the stories of struggle that make up The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund’s annual campaign have inspired readers to help New Yorkers in dire financial need.

Our opportunity at Catholic Charities to partner with The New York Times Foundation provides an occasion to spotlight the strength and dignity of struggling New Yorkers.

It also provides a forum for readers to join us in bringing vital help and hope to those in need.

And it provides an opportunity to underscore our strong partnerships with Catholic Charities affiliated agencies. Seven of these 18 Catholic Charities profiles feature services received at Catholic Charities affiliated agencies. They include Catholic Big Sisters Big Brothers, Covenant House New York, CREATE, Dominican Sisters, Elinor Martin Residence for Mother and Child and Grace Institute.

The 18 individuals and families profiled offer a glimpse of the intense struggles faced by so many New Yorkers. And they demonstrate the support Catholic Charities provides, always with compassion and always with dignity.

Day in and year out, Catholic Charities helps solve the problems of New Yorkers in need – non Catholics and Catholics alike.
We invite you to read their stories.