Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

March Is Social Work Month

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

March is Social Work Month, a time to recognize and honor social workers who provide help, create hope and help rebuild lives.

At Catholic Charities we are fortunate to have great social workers, case managers and other leaders dedicated to solving the problems of New Yorker’s in need.

On what we are calling “Social Work Wednesday” we invite you to meet this week another of our case workers, learn about what she does and see why she finds her career rewarding.

Nancy Cabrera – MSW

Q: How long have you worked in the field of social work?

A: I’ve worked in this field for 20 years.

Q: What does “social work” mean to you?

A: Social Work means to me to advocate, empower, empathize and fight indifferences.

Q: What do you like most about your career?

A: What I like most about my career is the satisfaction of making a difference in people’s life.

 

March Is Social Work Month

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

March is Social Work Month, a time to recognize and honor those social workers who help make a difference in people’s lives.

At Catholic Charities we are fortunate to have many compassionate employees, including social workers  and case managers dedicated to providing hope to New Yorkers in need.

On what we are calling “Social Work Wednesday” we invite you to meet some of our case workers, learn about what they do and see why they find their careers rewarding.

 

Milagros Nolasco – Senior Case Manager

Q: How long have you worked in the field of social work?

A: I’ve been working in this field for about 10 years.  

Q: What does “social work” mean to you?

A: I could define social work in so many ways. Yet, most significant is being empathetic towards others’ needs. It’s providing services to the less fortunate and by this I’m not only referring to the poverty level but also to those other needs that remain such as the social environment, empowering individuals to reach out or connect with needed services, helping our client’s become aware of their situations and how to deal with them. Overall, social work involves having the empathy & devotion to assist individuals in need and more so helping stop the injustice which many times takes place within this society. 

Q: What do you like most about your career?

A: What I like most about my career is being able to assist individuals in accomplishing their goals or in many cases just being able to plant that seed of hope or expectation in an individual that’s not feeling too good.   

 

 

One-Legged Dad & Deaf Son Refuse to Let Disabilities Define Them

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Jose Arias did not curse fate when, at age 7, a car side swiped the car where he sat on a road in his native Dominican Republic and tore off his entire right leg. And he did not curse fate when his four-year-old son was diagnosed as deaf.

Instead he took any job he could get from cleaning cars to painting houses in Puerto Rico.  He and his son received legal U.S. permanent residence there nearly 20 years ago.

He also did all he could to help his son work hard as he did to overcome his own disability.  During school semesters, he sent the younger Jose to a school for the deaf in their native Dominican Republic because the school offered him a scholarship and a superior education than similar schools in Puerto Rico.  And during holidays and the summer months, he reinforced with his son the value of working hard to move beyond their life of poverty.

But when the U.S immigration authorities incorrectly took away young Jose’s green card in July 2011, Mr. Arias and his son did not accept this as fate.  Instead, for more than two years they fought back, hobbling from street to street and office to office speaking in Spanish, broken English and sign language to reverse this erroneous immigration decision.

Finally, thanks to free legal support supplied by Catholic Charities, an immigration judge completely reversed the flawed 2011 decision on October 24, 2013.  Now that Jose del Carmen is acknowledged once again as a lawful permanent U.S. resident he plans to complete studies to become a computer technician and land a job that will enable him to support his father as well.

Read their story in The New York Times.

Growing Up Among Addicts & Gangs,Teen Finds Help

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

The journey from home to school is an effortless walk for Xavier Cruz, 14, who just strolls around the corner and down the block. But considering where he is going, he may as well be traveling to another world.

Since the sixth grade, Xavier has attended St. Ignatius School, an educational oasis in Hunts Point, a Bronx neighborhood known for rampant crime and grinding poverty.

Now, thanks to the school’s and Catholic Charities’ intervention, Xavier sidesteps the gangs that surround him. Instead he prepares for high school, then college and finally, he says, a career in computer technology to help him pull his family from these streets.

Read Xavier’s profile in today’s New York Times.

 

 

 

 

 

Series of College Tours Inspires Students to Achieve

Monday, August 19th, 2013

By Ben Ros

“I found a college that I will be comfortable attending. The visit to Ithaca College makesme want to continue working harder, and focus on taking more challenging courses in my school. I will definitely start taking my priorities more seriously.”

—Yeury Amarante, HS for Media & Communications

July 22, promptly at 6 a.m., students from HS for Media & Communications and Innovation Diploma Plus (IDP) High School gathered at George Washington High School and departed for a two day tour of Skidmore College, Syracuse University, Ithaca College, and SUNY Cortland. Catholic Charities Alianza Division initially contacted parents about the upstate tour, stressing the importance of higher education as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty.

Alianza is a division of Catholic Charities that provides comprehensive community support through a number of programs spanning from domestic violence assistance to immigrant advocacy — and at a time when the New York Times reports that elite colleges are lagging in their efforts to recruit students from financially challenged backgrounds, Alianza is rising to the challenge.

Students from IDP and HS for Media & Communications have been to Alianza-coordinated college fairs and career days before as part of the program’s larger mission to encourage youth to finish school and think about their future. Seeing the actual campuses, however, they were able to picture themselves going to college in a way that fairs and brochures simply can’t emulate.

“Attending this trip gave me the opportunity to meet new people and to look beyond my expectations. I did not think that college was for me, but now I know that I have the potential to enroll in college and major in my area of interest, which is music.”

— Steven Arias, Innovation Diploma HS.

For more information on the good work that Alianza does visit their website alianzaonline.org.

Celebrating the Americans With Disabilities Act

Monday, July 29th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities celebrates the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act signed into law 23 years ago last week. It protects millions of persons with physical and emotional challenges across the United States. It prohibits discrimination and helps to enforce fair laws for the disabled across America.

The senior adjusting to recent blindness, the developmentally disabled child, and the emotionally challenged adult need the intensive care and support provided by Catholic Charities to live with dignity and in safety. Through a network of specialized services, Catholic Charities cares compassionately for the most vulnerable New Yorkers – non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

Click on an individual service to learn more:

Supportive Housing for the Mentally IllResidences for Special Needs • Early Intervention and Special EducationCaregiver Respite Adaptive Services for Deaf and Blind

According to the 2010 Census Data, 56.7 million people in the United States live with a disability, including half of all individuals over 65. Of those under the age of 65, only 1 in 3 are employed. And 23% of those with a disability live in poverty. By comparison, the poverty rate for those without a disability is 15%.

>> See Video
>> More Information

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.

Pope Francis: A Home Run for Catholic Charities.

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Presidência da Republica/Roberto Stuckert Filho

By Alice Kenny

On the eve of Pope Francis’ inauguration, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan went live in a special radio broadcast of JustLove taking in listener calls from across the nation as he reflected on what the election of Pope Francis means for Catholics around the world.

“The election of Pope Francis has focused on the vitality of the Church when we focus on the basics of our faith.” Msgr. Sullivan said. “There is no better time than Holy Week when we celebrate the center of the Catholic faith: death and resurrection of Jesus. We begin these holy days with the example of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. ”

From New York to Alabama and spots in between, callers, young and old, phoned to register their excitement about Pope Francis and, in particular, his emphasis on serving those in need.

“I’m thrilled that Pope Francis is focused on service to the poor and to outreach to all people,” said Steve, a caller from New Jersey.

Catholic Charities Director of Peace and Justice Tom Dobbins, who co-hosted the show, agreed.

“When he came out saying he wants us to be a church of the poor for the poor,” Tom said, “wow – as someone who works for Catholic Charities – that was a home run.”

Listen to their conversation on JustLove  on The Catholic Channel 129, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio.

Interfaith Hunger Summit Calls New Yorkers to Action to Fight Hunger

Friday, December 28th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

In New York City, one in five adults and one in four children don’t get enough food. On December 20th, the New York City Interfaith Hunger Summit brought together faith leaders, congregants and concerned New Yorkers from a diverse cross-section to discuss ways to take action to lessen hunger and poverty in our community.

Regardless of a person’s religion, our faith and beliefs call us to serve the poor and help our neighbors. The Interfaith Hunger Summit was organized to promote concrete solutions and develop a “call to action” which asked “elected officials to create jobs and reduce poverty, strengthen the social safety net, and make healthier food more available and affordable in low-income neighborhoods.”

Along with other faith leaders, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities New York, spoke at the summit. He discussed the importance of enabling people to have the food they need in their own homes, as well as the necessity and lasting effects of children under the age of three getting sufficient food.

While the summit was a start, Monsignor Sullivan noted that the conversation needs to expand to the rest of the community to promote meaningful action, and that food, not hunger, should become part of the debate.

To contribute to the Archdiocesan-wide campaign to replenish food pantries, donate to or volunteer for Feeding Our Neighbors and help ensure no hungry neighbor gets turned away.

Rockland County Community Garden Provides Healthy Food for the Hungry

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

View more photos of the Blessing of the Soil and the Youth Art Show on Facebook. http://on.fb.me/Kuaosj

There is something special growing in Rockland County. Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland (CCSR) is making it possible for the local community to take advantage of fresh, healthy produce grown on-site at the agency’s community garden, named the “Garden of Love.”

For the third year in a row, the growing season was kicked off with hunger awareness art exhibition and a “Blessing of the Soil” ceremony. The ceremony celebrated CCSR’s successful efforts to raise community awareness of hunger and the need to build an integrated, sustainable, and cost-effective response.

Monsignor J. Weber, vicar of Rockland County, was joined by Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities, and Michael Kohut, mayor of Haverstraw. Head chefs from local restaurants, including Guarino’s, Ditto, Union Restaurant, La Hacienda de Manuel, Antoine’s, McGuire’s, and others presented cooking demonstrations focusing on healthy eating and the use of vegetables as ingredients and main courses.

The Youth Hunger Awareness Artwork Project displayed artwork by Rockland County youth focused on the theme of hunger. The public got the chance to learn about the preparation of vegetarian cuisine, meet the young artists and their instructors and learn about the growing problem of hunger in America.