Posts Tagged ‘supportive housing’

Msgr. Sullivan Supports Mayor de Blasio’s Just-Announced Plan to Fight Homelessness

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

FLOWERS10169Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration detailed plans on May 19, 2014  to expand and create what is described as the largest and most proven homelessness prevention program in the nation.  The plan, announced by Commissioner Gilbert Taylor at the budget hearing before the New York City Council, focuses on reducing homelessness, transitioning homeless families from shelter into permanent housing, and improving shelter conditions.

Catholic Charities, long a leader in preventing homelessness and serving the homeless, supports this plan.

“With today’s announcement, the Mayor has taken an important and necessary step in addressing this crisis,” said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director, The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.  “This multi-faceted plan includes programmatic and funding commitments to protect families from losing their homes, while creating housing opportunities for those who currently have little recourse but to spend their nights in shelters.  It contains concrete solutions to help vulnerable populations.”

Specifically, the plan:

 •    Proposes creation of two rent subsidy plans that will assist working families who have been in shelter for more than a year and vulnerable populations

 •    Utilizes targeted supportive housing for high needs populations

 •    Reaffirms the administration’s commitment to assess, improve, and reimagine shelter models to better serves families and individuals before they seek shelter, address their needs while in shelter, and strategically plans for families exiting shelter

•    Invests in better outcomes for homeless households as they achieve independence, creates and develops higher quality shelters with better targeted programming throughout the system, and it reduces reliance on shelter models that do not encourage supportive environments.

 “The blight of homelessness causes suffering to far too many New Yorkers,” Msgr. Sullivan added.  “It is unacceptable.”

Teaming Up with Corporate Volunteers, Artist Brightens Lives

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Theresa Flaherty turns on a projector and casts her blueprint onto an 18-square-foot canvas divided into six equal sections  temporarily housed in a Terrance Cardinal Cooke Catholic Center conference room.  After pairing her inspiration with hours of painstaking computer design work, this Catholic Charities volunteer’s creation is ready to roll.

Her creativity provides the essential link between corporate volunteers yearning to brighten the lives of persons in need and locations where some of those served by Catholic Charities live and thrive.

Catholic Charities Beacon of Hope, for example, provides supportive housing and vocational transition programs for persons challenged by mental illness.  While providing much needed services, the sites could benefit from brightening.

Meanwhile, corporate volunteers from the financial services company Deloitte LLP and the media company Viacom offered their help to cheer up these sites.

But their know-how was in business, not in art.

So Catholic Charities Director of Volunteer Services Staci-Jo Bruce advertised for a volunteer mural artist to design paint-by-number-type canvases that corporate volunteer groups could complete.  Voila…Theresa saw the ad posted and signed right up.

“A lot of art out now is about self expression,” Theresa says, as she traces her projected design on to the canvases.  “I want to go someplace else, to give something to the viewer to uplift them.”

Once she finishes her outlines, corporate volunteers can dawn aprons, pick up paint brushes and try their hands in a new line of work.

They have already completed six designs — 36 canvases all told — that now brighten Beacon of Hope locations.

“The unusual coupling of artists with corporate volunteers and persons in need creates a dynamic where everyone wins,” says Damian Buzzerio, who assists with the Catholic Charities volunteer program.

For corporate volunteers, it offers a morale booster where artistic clerks and less artistic bosses swap leadership roles as they take advantage of the opportunity to help those in need.

For Theresa, who earns her living as a book and poster illustrator, volunteering provides a stress reliever that offers an opportunity to create according to her own inspiration.

And for Beacon of Hope residents, the donated art serves as an uplifting reminder that people, many of whom they never meet, care enough to brighten their homes and lives.

“I think art should be where you need it,” Theresa says, “for regular people and not just in galleries.”

Artistic or not, you can make a difference.

Check out our comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities.

Come join us. 

Sign up now.