Posts Tagged ‘low-income’

Immigrant Public Defender System Pays for Itself

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Celine and Refugee Family 002“Every year, tens of thousands of people appear in immigration court to fight deportation orders without a lawyer to assist them,” writes Reporter Kirk Semple in a recent article published in The New York Times. “Many are poor and adrift, unable to speak English or understand the laws determining their fate.”

Yet according to a study just released by the New York Bar Association that Mr. Semple describes, a system that provided legal counsel for every poor immigrant facing deportation would pay for itself through decreased government expenditures and other savings.

“It makes the argument for the first time that appointed counsel is cost-effective, as well as being fair and just,” said Mark Noferi, a fellow at the Center for Migration Studies, who advised National Economic Research Associates (NERA) on the report.

Catholic Charities knows firsthand the value of providing free or affordable legal counsel. For over thirty years, Catholic Charities has stood with New York’s immigrants—low-income and indigent, non-Catholics and Catholics alike—who face deportation in the courts, in local detention facilities, and, most recently, in custodial shelters for unaccompanied children where we serve almost 2,000 children each year.

We understand that deportation can be a far worse punishment than most criminal penalties, one that might mean the loss of family, home and security. Every week, in shelter facilities for unaccompanied youth across the New York area, our team of lawyers and paralegals encounter many of the thousands of children in the United States who have fled alone, from abuse and violence in their homelands and who seek the comfort of a parent or loved one here.

Every month at our offices downtown, we meet and defend newcomers and long-time residents against unjust deportation proceedings. Some had all their money taken by unscrupulous or unlawful practitioners.  Some have been tangled for years in a legal system that is among the most complex and under-resourced in the nation. Some are profoundly disoriented from just arriving to the United States after fleeing persecution or violence. Almost all are exhausted and without hope.

The legal consultation, representation, and assistance Catholic Charities provides  each day is what immigrants need to rebuild their lives. It is what creates hope and a just and compassionate society.

Services are provided in English, Spanish, French, Romanian, Polish, Albanian, Japanese, and Arabic.

All matters are treated professionally and confidentially.

If you have a question about an immigration matter, please call us at the New Americans Hotline at 800-566-7636.

For help finding other services, please call our Catholic Charities Help line at 888-744-7900.

Read the full cost-analysis study.

Read the full story in The New York Times.

 

Hunger Shame

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

“While we’re a thriving metropolis that is proud of its rich culinary depth, New York has too many residents who are unable to even eat,” writes New York Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, in this editorial posted yesterday in the New York Daily News.

“More than a third of New Yorkers struggle to afford food. That means children are hungry at school, parents working multiple jobs cannot provide for their loved ones, and families must sometimes choose between putting food on the table and paying bills.

That should not be our New York. But since the Great Recession in 2008, food insecurity has been a growing reality. ..

A major tool in the fight against hunger is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. More than 1.8 million New Yorkers receive food stamps, contributing $3.5 billion to the city’s economy. But there are hundreds of thousands of others who are eligible for this aid but don’t receive it. Providing more language translation, removing application barriers and coordinating outreach are measures we will focus on.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that every $1 in food stamps generates $1.79 in local economic activity. Not only are families suffering needlessly without access to these benefits, but low-income communities lose out on more than $1 billion each year in economic stimulus…

Reversing the tide against hunger will take a coordinated effort from lawmakers, community groups and everyday New Yorkers. Together, we can create an environment that reminds everyone why we are the greatest city on the planet: We look out for one another.”

Lilliam Barrios-Paoli

At Catholic Charities, “looking out for one another” is what we are all about.  For more than 100 years we have been fighting hunger and helping solve the problems of New Yorkers in need, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.  We help with emergency food programs throughout the City; including St. Jerome’s in the Bronx where Msgr. Sullivan pitched in to serve the hungry yesterday.

Recently, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan and fellow Catholic Charities representatives met with Deputy Mayor Barrios-Paoli.  We are working collaboratively with organizations across the City to intensively promote Food Stamp enrollment.  And we are assigning case management staff to enroll qualified New Yorkers receiving food at our pantries into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps.)

Are you, your children or your family hungry?  Call us at 888-744-7900

Or call the NYC 24- Hour Hunger Hotline at 1-866-NYC-FOOD (1-866-692-3663)

Help us fight hunger.

Read Deputy Mayor Barrios-Paoli’s full Op Ed in the New York Daily News.

Teens Trade in Washington Heights for Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Trading in their Washington Heights neighborhood for a tour of Washington, D.C., more than three dozen low-income teens checked out monuments and colleges in our nation’s capital during their recent winter break, thanks to Catholic Charities Community Services-Alianza Division.

The tour, funded through a grant from the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation and collaboration with the High School for Media & Communications and Catholic Charities Community Services-Alianza Division, offered the students a glimpse of a future outside their neighborhood, a reason to study, and a step-by-step outline of how to apply for and get accepted by top-tier universities.

The visit included stops at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington and Lincoln memorials, a tour of Georgetown, George Washington and Howard universities and photos and selfies in front of the White House.

The trip was one of – and many say the most fun – of numerous offerings  Catholic Charities Alianza Division offers young people in the Washington Heights school community.

All the offerings share the same goal:  to inspire students to dream big and give them the resources to make it happen.

Cabin Fever?

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

You gotta be kidding.  Twenty major snow storms since December.  Twice as much snow – 60 inches! – as the year before.  And temperatures dipping yet again into the single digits.

Getting cabin fever?

You betcha.

Well, here at Catholic Charities we have the cure.

With dozens of volunteer opportunities to choose from, we’re certain to have the perfect outlet for you.

So don’t let the weather keep you stuck inside.

How about:

Career Day Presenter

Share your expertise with teens at our annual Career Day on March 13.  Examples of past professional presenters include fire fighters, doctors, accountants, entrepreneurs, college representatives, professors, police officers, dancers, chefs and many more.

Community Outreach Liaison

This volunteer opportunity gets you out big time.  It involves distributing fliers, posters and other outreach material to let folks who live in Bronx Community District 2 — including Parkchester, Longwood, Soundview, Hunts Point, etc.–  know about homeless services available.

Rotating Intake Pantry Manager

You’ll provide support at our food pantries in Washington Heights, the Upper East Side and East Harlem

Corporate Engagement Workshop Presenters

Is your company, team, office or women’s network interested in giving back? Serve as a model/mentor and help us find meaningful jobs for low-income, unemployed women.

Opportunities span from writing resumes to teaching women what it means to “lean in.”

Virtual Database Assistant

Not quite ready to venture out?  Our virtual data base assistants type and compile mailing lists for our new Washington Heights Community Center.

And that’s just for starters.

Click here to find the volunteer opportunity that inspires you.

Summer Means Hunger for New York Children When Schools’ Free Lunch Programs Close

Friday, June 14th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Hunger hurts.  During the summer months hunger hits low-income children particularly hard.

In response, this has been proclaimed National Summer Food Service Program Week, a time to draw attention to concerns that low-income school children may go hungry as their school lunch programs close for summer break.

Throughout New York children’s stomachs are rumbling.  The economic downturn and slow recovery have taken a particularly harsh toll on them, with more than one in four children under age 18 living in poverty without enough to eat, according to an analysis by the Center for Economic Opportunity.  Meanwhile, with cuts in government spending, supplies at food pantries and soup kitchens are running out.

“When school is out during the summer months, many families struggle to feed their children even one nutritious meal a day,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  “Government cannot address this challenge alone.”

New York City will serve free breakfast and lunch at hundreds of public schools, parks, pools, and other sites from June 27 through August 30, 2013.  Click here for more information. However, the program, is available on weekdays only.

In every season and every day throughout the year, Catholic Charities meets the needs of the poor and vulnerable throughout the Archdiocese of New York.

Help us feed a hungry child today.

Donate now.

Partnering to Serve Our City’s Immigrant Communities and Looking for Funding?

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Are you a faith or neighborhood-based immigrant and non-immigrant group collaborating on projects to sustain healthy communities through high-impact service projects AND looking for funding support?

If you are, you may be eligible for up to a $3,000 UnityNYC grant.

  • UnityNYC Grant Awards will tap into New York City’s diverse neighborhood groups to proactively address critical needs and promote opportunities that directly contribute to the public good.
  • Applications are being accepted from resident-led volunteer groups in all five boroughs.
  • Groups will be selected based on their demonstrated ability to unite residents from diverse backgrounds, mobilize at least 20 volunteers, and execute a well-planned project.
  • Preference will be given to groups operating in low-income, underserved communities.

Partner with one or many groups, come up with an idea, and apply.

But you need to move fast.  The application deadline is January 31st, 2013.

To access the application, check out the Citizens Committee for NYC’s website: www.citizensnyc.org/programs/grants/unitygrants.html.

Thank you for your partnership and ongoing commitment to our city’s immigrant communities.

In unity, we will continue to make NYC the greatest city in the world!

Contact ccvolunteer@archny.org for more information.