Posts Tagged ‘New York Times Neediest Cases’

After Sleeping with Her Baby on the Subway, Homeless Woman & Child Rebuild Their Lives

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.37.33 PM‘Amina Gilmore spent one of her first nights of homelessness on the No. 1 train, guarding her 1-year-old son as he slept,’ writes John Otis in this New York Times Neediest Cases story published on Sunday. ‘The next day she went to class. Even as her life shifted and balances wavered in a few short years, Ms. Gilmore kept her eyes fixed on her goal…’

Unsure of where to turn, Ms. Gilmore (a college student thrown out of her mother’s home) spent the night riding the No. 1 train to the end of the line and back.

‘I was sleeping with one eye open,’ she said…

The next morning, they made their way to a storage center, where they changed clothes in the locker unit she rents. She dropped him off at day care and went to class. There, she broke down and cried. Her professor took her to a social worker at Monroe College who helped her find a hotel that night and then a spot at the Elinor Martin Residence for Mother & Child in New Rochelle, an affiliate of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York.

Read the full New York Times story here.


Torture Survivor Rebuilds Life

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Angel Franco/The New York Times Angele Nogue and her son Brandon, 9.

A once-successful business person who ran a multi-million dollar interior design firm in Cameroon, Angele Nogue was stripped of nearly all she possessed.  She lost it all, she said, in retaliation for caring for orphans and organizing marches that protested their increasing numbers caused by the country’s chaotic dictatorial policies.

Today an asylee and participant in NYU/Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture program, Ms. Nogue lost the business she built.  She lost her home and homeland.  Worst of all, she lost friends murdered by the government.

When Ms. Nogue tries to describe those who, unlike her, were unable to escape, survivor’s guilt leaves her sobbing.

Catholic Charities Refugee Social Services Program is helping Ms. Nogue rebuild her life.  It provides her with counseling, social service support and job-readiness and placement services.  Catholic Charities also provided her with metro cards to attend job interviews.  And it provides her family with coats, clothes and essential housewares through its St. Nicholas program and food through its pantries and holiday programs.

She and her children currently live in a shelter.  Her Catholic Charities case manager is helping the family find permanent housing and will provide further support when they move into their new home.

Now feeling stronger, Ms. Nogue has begun studying to become a registered nurse at Hostos Community College.

Read Ms. Nogue’s profile in The New York Times.

A Place in the Inn

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Abandoned by her drug-addicted mother and alcoholic father, Haley Carter, 18, was thrown out by her foster mother when the teen learned she was pregnant.

Fortunately, Catholic Charities affiliate Elinor Martin Residence provided the pregnant mother “a place in the inn,” a safe home to live in and one day begin to raise her own child.

That child, little McKenzie Jackson, was born just in time for Christmas.

Read Haley Carter’s story here.

Surviving Hiroshima and Hurricane Sandy, Survivor Struggles to Recover.

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

by Alice Kenny

Leaning on his black cane, Fujimoto Takashi, 64, struggles to pronounce words that convey the terror he felt the afternoon his basement apartment in Midland Beach, Staten Island, morphed into a whirlpool of chairs, refrigerator, motion and mementos.

Born in Hiroshima four years after the atom bomb was dropped there, Mr. Takashi already knew devastation first hand. He grew up believing, he said, that if he could make his way to the United States he would find a safe place where he could realize his dream of working as a photographer and thrive.

For a long time, his plan seemed to work. But then Hurricane Sandy struck and stole nearly all he had.

Electrocuted when the storm flooded his basement apartment, Mr. Taskashi lost his health and home.

Read his story in Sunday’s New York Times.

Also learn how Catholic Charities’ Disaster Case Management team is helping him rebuild his life.

Sight Lost, Sight Restored

Monday, November 18th, 2013

By Alice Kenny
All of us, not just the unlucky or disadvantaged, rely on the fragile human apparatus of sight for survival. Any change, great or small, can reconfigure a life.

Jasmine Carrero, along with sons Timothy, 11, and Travis, 9, have Stickler syndrome, a genetic abnormality that is stealing their sight.  They are awaiting tests to find out whether baby sister Lillian, now 5 months, must cope with this syndrome as well.

Meanwhile, Cynthia Gibbs-Pratt, 47, who works as a food stamp eligibility specialist, had 20/20 vision for most of her life.  Suddenly progressive macular degeneration began robbing her of her sight.  Her husband left her.  Now alone, she fears using a cane because it would announce to those roaming the dangerous streets where she lives that she is defenseless.

Fortunately, Catholic Charities came to their aid.

Read their profiles published on Sunday in The New York Times.:

A Dead Father’s Presence, A Daughter’s Challenge

Friday, November 15th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

Julie Vann, 17, whose parents fled the brutal assault of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, dreamed of one day going to college and building a better life for her family.  But when her father who had found work in the U.S. as a maintenance worker, died last year from skin cancer, the challenge of overcoming her family’s tragic history grew tougher.

Her mother, who speaks little English and can no longer work as a manicurist due to carpal tunnel syndrome, weeps every day as she shares her dinner with a photo of her dad.  The family’s sole income is now just $1100 in Social Security survivor benefits for Julie and her younger sister.

Yet Julie remains determined to not only graduate from high school this year but to go to college to become an engineer.
Fortunately, Catholic Charities and its Transitio

n to Adulthood Program stepped it. Catholic Charities helped her prepare for her SAT exams, took her on trips to visit colleges, helped her complete her college applications and provided her, thanks to funds from the New York Times Neediest Cases program, with the money she needed to purchase her cap and gown, graduation tickets, senior award dinner and yearbook. Most important, it provided her with the counseling and support she needed to fulfill her dream.

 Read her story in today’s New York Times.



Despite Hard Times, Veteran Still Lives Independently

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Nearly seven decades later, Charles Daubek Jr., 94, still remembers the “wonderful feeling” of first seeing the house – their first – that his parents saved, scrimped and borrowed to buy while he served as a private first class during World War II.

An only child and never married, Mr. Daubek has lived in that home in Hastings on Hudson since returning from the war in 1946.  The fraying roof and rusting mailbox tell one story:  at his age, he has neither the money nor the physical stamina to make repairs.  But within the walls live a lifetime of memories – his memories – of special times with friends and with his parents, all of whom were buried years ago.

“It’s a terrible thing when you got to skimp and you don’t know if you can make it or not,” he said.

Read his profile in The New York Times.  Learn about critical support he receives from Catholic Charities and its affiliate, Dominican Sisters Family Health Service, to help him to continue living independently.

Pressing on for the Children

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

By Alice  Kenny

For more than a decade, Marjorie Suarez worked as a sergeant at New York University Department of Public Safety.  She supervised a staff of 80 officers and earned enough to provide a comfortable life for herself and her young son, Eugene.

But a freak accident that began with a fall and sprained ankle morphed into a chronic condition, complex regional pain syndrome, CRPS, left her wheelchair bound, unemployed and in constant pain.

The New York Times profiled her and the help she received during last year’s Neediest Cases campaign.  This year, it caught back up with her in this online video along with two other women helped by the campaign.

“This entire situation made me humble and opened my heart,” Ms. Suarez said.  “I see now that even a small gesture like saying “good morning” to someone – “how are you doing; how can I help you” — can change a day and turn a life around.”

Mother & Severely Disabled Son Saved from Eviction

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Wilmarie Dominguez’ son, Nicholas, 12, was born with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and hypertonia. He cannot speak, see or stand.

Yet, Ms. Dominguez says, “he has given me a lot of strength.”

But this strength was not enough to combat her landlord’s threats to evict them. She sought help from Catholic Charities.

Thanks to Catholic Charities’ successful intervention, she can continue caring for Nicholas in their home, pureeing his food so that he can swallow it, changing his diapers and pushing him in his wheelchair to his myriad of medical appointments.

In her world, “there’s no me,” she says. “There’s just him.”

Read their story published in The New York Times.

Bad Neighborhood, Good Children & a Mom Who Keeps Them Safe

Friday, January 4th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Gunfire and police sirens punctuate the soundtrack of the streets outside Yoshita Childress’s home, an apartment that offers frequent views of middle-of-the-night brawls and arrests.

To keep her children, Syrene, 15, and Syrus, 14, safe, Ms. Childress insists that they stay busy with after-school activities, or remain largely confined to the apartment.

Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers, an affiliate of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York, provides them with safe outlets while opening up to them a world of opportunities.

Read their story published in The New York Times.