Posts Tagged ‘housing’

“Let’s Get Started”: Catholic Charities and Archdiocese Stand Ready to Work With Mayor on Affordable Housing

Monday, May 5th, 2014

photoHis Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan applaud Mayor de Blasio’s just-announced $41 billion, five-borough, 10-year affordable housing plan to serve more than a half- million New Yorkers.

Called the most expansive and ambitious affordable housing agenda of its kind in the nation’s history, this plan to build or preserve 200,000 affordable apartments across all five boroughs was laid out today, May 5, 2014, by Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference at College Ave. in the Bronx. Mayor de Blasio pledged that the housing plan would reach New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes at the bottom of the economic ladder all the way to those in the middle class facing ever-rising rents in their neighborhoods.

“New York City’s current crisis of housing affordability threatens the basic human right to decent housing,” Cardinal Dolan said when he announced his support of the new housing plan.

“Since the 1960s, the Catholic Church in all boroughs of New York City, through parishes, religious communities, community-based organizations and Catholic Charities, has been at the heart of the development and preservation of affordable housing.

“I applaud the Mayor’s far-reaching 10-year plan to build and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units throughout our city, and the Church in all boroughs of New York City looks forward to continuing to work with NYC and Mayor de Blasio to help achieve this important affordable housing goal.”

The Catholic commitment to affordable housing in New York City is illustrated by over 50 years of experience constructing, preserving and rehabilitating housing for the poor, the low income working families, seniors and persons with special needs.

Through the dedicated long-term commitment of parishes, clergy, religious communities, Catholic Charities and affiliated community based organizations more than 6,000 units of affordable housing for financially strapped families, elderly persons and formerly homeless individuals have been developed in every borough of New York City.

To emphasize this support, Msgr. Sullivan spoke in person at the mayor’s press conference today.

“Housing is a basic human right,” Msgr. Sullivan said. “The dignity of the human person – made in the image of God – is threatened when an individual or family does not have adequate housing.”

Msgr. Sullivan provided examples of the Church’s past, present and future commitment to affordable housing. They include Highbridge where for the past three decades Msgr. Sakano and Jorge Battista have rebuilt a neighborhood with almost 2000 units of housing. They include over 4000 units of affordable housing for seniors, families, the formerly homeless and persons with AIDS/HIV built under the leadership of Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens including Bishop DiMarzio, Robert Siebel and John Tynan. And they include 3000 units of housing built and preserved by religious communities such as the Ursalines and Dominicans and the Sisters of Charity, Church-related community organizations and leadership of Msgr. Jenik, particularly in West Farms and Bedford Park.

“Less than a mile to the east on the Franklin Avenue Hill there is property that has been St. Augustine parish’s sacred worship space spanning three centuries,” Msgr. Sullivan added. “That worship community, though still vibrant, has become smaller and now worships in a neighboring parish church.

“That Church building was razed to prepare the site for affordable housing. It stands ready to be part of this initiative. This site will remain a sacred space because on it individuals and families will have a decent place to live, fulfill their potential and raise their families. Here human dignity will be honored and this space held sacred (by creating affordable housing for non-Catholics and Catholics alike.)

“Mr. Mayor, thank you for this initiative. Let’s get started.”

A Call to Do Better as a City

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Left to Right: Central Park South Skyline and The Auburn Family Residence Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES – THE OPINION PAGES | LETTER

MARCH 3, 2014

To the Editor:

Re “A Packed Forum for a Rising Concern: New Skyscrapers Near Central Park” (news article, Feb. 21) and “400 Children to Be Removed from 2 Shelters” (front page, Feb. 21):

In the eclectic way I look at the morning news, I read these two articles back to back. Two numbers caught my attention: From the first article, apartments selling for as much as $95 million; and from the second article, the cost of two homeless shelter upgrades, $13 million.

Something is seriously wrong with this picture. We cannot refrain from demanding that we do better as a city, as a country and as a world. I am not looking to assign blame, but the end result is just plain wrong. I am more interested in identifying those who are willing to be responsible to help right the situation.

We don’t and we won’t live in a perfect world, but we have to do better. As a first step, let’s just reverse the numbers: Cap the apartment at $13 million, and provide $95 million for shelter upgrades. At least then we’d be moving in the right direction.

 

Msgr. KEVIN SULLIVAN
Executive Director, Catholic Charities
Archdiocese of New York

 

Hunger Clock Countdown Projected on Saint John the Divine

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Photo: Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Catholic Charities joined The New York City Coalition Against Hunger and fellow anti-hunger advocates across the nation in projecting a “Hunger Clock” yesterday across the side of Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. The clock, along with similar clocks nationwide, began a countdown to automatic cuts scheduled to start on November 1st to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps.)

Calling to restore funds and stop attempts to pass additional cuts, hunger advocates joined with religious leaders and elected officials to project “Hunger Clocks” that will tick down to the November 1st benefit reduction date. Advocates are also bracing for a significant additional disruption of hunger funding due to the federal government shut down.

Nearly two million New York City residents – 48 million people nationwide – who currently receive SNAP (food stamp) benefits face significant reductions in their food allotments on November 1st, when the federal “hunger clock” kicks in. The $39 billion in SNAP cuts now being debated by Congress would be in addition to the November 1st reduction. The majority of SNAP recipients are working parents, children, seniors and people with disabilities. In addition, the average length of time someone receives SNAP is currently less than one year.

The clock is ticking. 29 days now remain until all SNAP recipients see a reduction in benefits.

“There are basic human rights that all people are entitled to, the right to work, housing and adequate food,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan. “Government has a role, as do we, in safeguarding these rights. Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) would have devastating effects on our families and individuals already struggling to make ends meet.”

You Come Into This World with Nothing and You Leave with Nothing

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Wincing as he walks, Donald Marcus, 70, surveys what is left of the eight bungalows he once rented out in Midland Beach, Staten Island, that provided affordable housing for friends and strangers.

“People live paycheck to paycheck,” he says, explaining why he rented out the one-bedroom homes just blocks from the beach for as little as $400 per month.

“I believe you come in this world with nothing and you leave with nothing.”

This is proving true for him.  Three of his bungalows destroyed by Superstorm Sandy have already been demolished by the city, including one where his tenant Jack Paterno, 65, drowned in the storm.

Two more, including the one he rented out to an elderly woman who shared her home with her mentally challenged brother so he would not have to live in an institution,  have been gutted right down to the salt-water soaked beams.

The final three he uses to demonstrate degrees of rebirth thanks to donations of time, materials and services he received by networking with everyone he meets, from the man he met that morning in line at McDonalds to the Catholic Charities Disaster Case Manager, MaryEllen Ferrer, who coordinates disaster recovery services for him.

Still, Mr. Marcus recognizes that his days of providing housing to the down and out are gone forever.  His former printing business up the street on Midland Ave that for 38 years printed everything from Pops Baseball cards to politicians’ bulletins and CYO flyers washed away in the storm as well.

“Not one dry sheet of paper was left,” he says.

Seventy years old, with no flood insurance and ineligible for FEMA loans to restore the bungalos because FEMA helps with primary residences, Mr. Marcus asks rhetorically “what am I going to do?  Start over?”

Catholic Charities cannot replace his former life, his Disaster Case Manager Valeriya Osipova says.  But it can help him get back on his feet, she adds.

As a disaster case manager, Ms. Osipova serves as advocate and expediter for Mr. Marcus and others whose lives have been upended by Sandy.  She created an individualized disaster recovery plan to advocate for access to needed services, coordinate benefits, and make referrals that range from obtaining sheetrock for Mr. Marcus’ houses to linking him to connecting him to volunteers to help repair his home.

Grateful for the assistance, Mr. Marcus tries to remain upbeat.  After all, Superstorm Sandy left his own home on Augusta Avenue in Staten Island undamaged, he said.  And his wife of 45 years who fell, broke her femur bone and was put on life support two months after the storm, is now recovering at home.

Yet the reality, he says, cannot be escaped.

“This is going to happen again,” Mr. Marcus says.  “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow.  But again.”

Hungry and Need Help?

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Did you know that thanks to Catholic Charities and our affiliated agencies, in any given year:

6.6 M nutritious meals are served in parish and community food programs

6,981  Families are prevented from becoming homeless

1,487  Individuals are housed in temporary and transitional apartments

9,051  Individuals are provided with emergency overnight shelter

6,109  Families are living in affordable housing

For more information about a particular program and/or service, click below:

Emergency Meals  • Temporary and Transitional Residences  • Eviction Prevention  • Permanent Affordable Housing  • Emergency Shelters

If you need help in finding the services you need please call the Catholic Charities Help line at: 888-744-7900.

Catholic Charities works in partnership with others in feeding the hungry. Here are helpful resources:

  • NYC 24 Hour Hunger Hotline: 1-(866)-NYC-FOOD (1-866-692-3663)
  • Food Bank for New York City: www.foodbanknyc.org. See “Agency Network” and “Agency Directory.”
  • New York City Coalition Against Hunger: www.nyccah.org. See “Hungermaps.”

Hurt By Hurricane Sandy?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013


Whether you have applied for FEMA or not
— even if you were not eligible or were denied assistance — there may be local

resources available for you.

A trained, compassionate case manager can work one-on-one with you to:

  • Answer your questions about recovery
  • Develop a plan to address your needs
  • Connect you with appropriate community resources
  • Determine what financial assistance may be available to you
  • Advocate on your behalf with service and benefit providers

 

Call Today – Help is Here:
855-258-0483
Monday – Friday: 9am to 5pm

 

Find Local Agencies for Help:

 

AGENCY                                                                                                                PHONE #
Bronx
BronxWorks 718-508-3194
Brooklyn
Arab-American Family Support Center 718-643-8000
Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled 718-998-3000
Brooklyn Community Services 718-310-5620
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens 718-722-6223
Council of Peoples in Organization (COPO) 718-434-3266
Good Shepherd Services 718-522-6910/6911
Greater Chinatown Community Association 212-374-1311
Lutheran Social Services of New York 718-942-4196
Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty 212-453-9539

917-281-6721

Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton- Manhattan Beach 347-689-1880/1817
Manhattan
Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York 855-258-0483
Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY) 212-674-2300
Greater Chinatown Community Association 212-374-1311
Queens
Arab-American Family Support Center 718-643-8000
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens 718-722-6223
Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY) 646-442-4186

212-674-2300

Greater Chinatown Community Association 212-374-1311
Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty 212-453-9539

917-281-6721

SCO Family of Services 516-493-6457/5284
Staten Island
Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York 718-447-6330, ext. 121
El Centro del Inmigrante 718-420-6466
Lutheran Social Services of New York 718-942-4196
JCC of Staten Island 718-475-5213
Long Island
Catholic Charities Diocese of Rockville Centre 631-608-8883/8882
Family Service League 631-369-0104
FEGS Health and Human Services 516-496-7550, press 6
Lutheran Social Services of New York 516-483-3240 ext. 3030
Hudson Valley
Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York 845-344-4868

 

Additional service providers will be included.

The New York State Disaster Case Management Program is operated by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York under the auspices of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Emergency Management and funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Pregnant and Homeless, Teenage Mom Finds Help. Read her story in The New York Times.

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

The New York Times Neediest Cases Campaign kicked off its 101st year of profiling the people Catholic Charities serves.

Lataja James, 18, for example, planned to attend an all-expense-paid volunteer program in Nicaragua the summer before her senior year of high school.  But when she went to her doctor for the required vaccinations, a simple blood test revealed that she was pregnant.

The following day, Lataja’s mother bought her a suitcase.  But it was not for the trip Lataja had planned.

“‘I don’t know where you’re going,’” Lataja recalls her mother saying, “‘but you’re going to get out of my house.’”

Click here to read about the home and help Lataja found at Catholic Charities affiliate Elinor Martin Residence for Mother and Child in New Rochelle, NY and the future she and her baby son, Dillyn, have begun to build.