Posts Tagged ‘The Bronx’

Catholic Church Aids Mayor’s Plan to Build Affordable Housing

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

“Catholic Church will aid Mayor de Blasio’s plan to add affordable housing,” reports New York Daily News Bureau chief Jennifer Fermino today, May 7, 2014, in the Daily News.

“De Blasio has turned to the Catholic Church for help with his plan to build 200,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years. The church will work with the city to create new affordable housing units and to preserve cheap apartments that are in use.”

Check out her full Daily News report below:

BY JENNIFER FERMINO

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF

Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 11:34 PM

Mayor de Blasio is turning to a higher power for help with his ambitious affordable housing plan.

De Blasio is banking on the Catholic Church to help him reach his lofty target of 200,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years.

The church, mainly through its wing Catholic Charities, will work with the city to create new affordable housing units and to preserve cheap apartments that are already in use.
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Catholic leaders have already offered up the former site of St. Augustine in the Bronx — a 162-year-old church that closed in 2012 and was demolished in December — and have meetings planned to redevelop as many as 10 other sites, said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, the executive director of Catholic Charities.

The site of St. Augustine’s alone could hold “somewhere” around 100 units of low-cost housing, he said.

Sullivan said housing is a basic human right, and helping people of all faiths find it is part of the church’s mission.

“Every person made in the image and likeness of God deserves a decent place to live,” he said.
In the past 40 years, the church has developed about 10,000 units of affordable housing in all five boroughs, he said.

It scouts suitable locations and then sets up non-profits to manage housing on the sites. Catholic Charities also repairs affordable housing units that have fallen into disrepair.

Read more online in the Daily News.

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 thanks to the dedicated long-term commitment of parishes, clergy, religious communities, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Brooklyn and Queens and affiliated community-based organizations

Educating the City’s Youth: We Have a Role to Play

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Todd Heisler, AP / New York Times Pool

Congratulations on the splendid work being done by the schools of the Archdiocese in educating the next generation!

Yesterday, Mayor  de Blasio recognized that work in his visit to St. Francis of Rome preschool in the Bronx.  Cardinal Dolan, Dr. Timothy McNiff, head of the Archdiocese Department of Education and Connie McCrory, director of Early Childhood Education were on hand to help bring attention to the topic of Pre-K expansion.  Cardinal Dolan expressed his strong support while not endorsing any particular funding model and Mayor de Blasio expressed a desire to partner with the Archdiocese on this important effort.

It is worth noting that the Mayor specifically singled out the long and fruitful partnership with Catholic Charities agencies in providing for the critical needs of the people of New York.  When it comes to Universal Pre-K, a number of Catholic Charities agencies are already providing great services and are prepared to expand.  Yesterday’s event was a good opportunity to build on this partnership with New York City to provide help and create hope for those in need.

In addition, the proposed expansion of after-school programs for middle school children is another area where a number of our agencies are prepared to step up to the plate and expand service.  Simply put, there is much opportunity to broaden the scope of our work and continue impacting the aforementioned next generation of students.

- Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

Read the New York Times for more

Msgr. Sullivan, Senator Gillibrand & Fellow Leaders Take on Food Insecurity

Monday, January 27th, 2014

On Sunday, January 26, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan met with the leaders of other emergency food providers and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at the Food Bank for New York City warehouse in the Bronx.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the impending further cuts of billions of dollars to supplemental nutrition assistance programs (SNAP) by the federal government.

The network of Catholic Charities agencies and programs are a significant part of the efforts to address the issue of hunger and food insufficiency.  In fact, the roundtable discussion took place on the same day as the kickoff of Catholic Charities annual Feeding our Neighbors campaign, an archdiocesan–wide effort to replenish food pantries and respond to the overwhelming need in our New York community.

“It’s just sort of a simple, homemade approach to a big problem,” said Cardinal Dolan recently in support of the campaign.   “Everybody talks about hunger and how bad it is, and our politicians argue about it, debate about it, but the faith community said, ‘Let’s do something about it.’ ”

“The meeting confirmed what Catholic Charities has been experiencing across our own network of emergency food programs throughout the communities in the New York metropolitan area,” said Monsignor Sullivan.  “Since November, after cutbacks in support of ongoing nutrition assistance programs [$5 billion nationwide], we have seen a surge in working families visiting our programs.”

In Washington Heights for example, people have begun lining up before 7am to make sure they can obtain food for their families.  Catholic Charities has over 4,000 families registered for food assistance but only enough food to serve 1,000 families in need each month.

Volunteer efforts and food drives can only do so much to address the overwhelming need.  They cannot come close to replacing the need for government resources and assistance for families struggling to put food on the table.

Building Bridges by Feeding Our Neighbors

Monday, March 18th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Feeding Our Neighbors, an Archdiocesan effort throughout 10 counties to fight hunger, celebrated the tremendous participation of Catholic schools among others during its second annual campaign with an Art Exhibition and Awards Presentation at the New York Catholic Center on East 55th Street in Manhattan on March 13.

Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan joined with Dr. Timothy McNiff, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York, and Dan Ahouse, Cablevision Area Director of Government Affairs, to welcome participants and announce awards.

“As we celebrate this wonderful transition and election of Pope Francis, we remember that one of his titles is called Pontifex, a word that simply means the builder of bridges,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan at the event.

“The pope builds bridges,” Msgr. Sullivan continued. “The Catholic Church builds bridges. And Feeding Our Neighbors has built bridges because of the participation of so many.”

Students at local Catholic schools competed in the Feeding Our Neighbor Art Contest. Awardees included Syleste Alexander, a student at St. Teresa School in Staten Island, Omar Reyes, a student at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx and Anna Nicotra, a student at St. Augustine School in Ossining.

High School students also competed in the Cablevision Power to Learn Competition that raised food and funds for hungry New Yorkers. Students representing Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx won the competition. They donated their $6,000 award to their favorite charities; $5,000 to their high school and $1,000 to Catholic Charities.

The Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign is a response to Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s call that we all do our part to replenish the food pantries and soup kitchens that growing numbers of families and children in our communities rely on to survive. Sponsored by Catholic organizations throughout the Archdiocese of New York and managed by Catholic Charities, contributions to the campaign support local food pantries that serve New Yorkers non-Catholic and Catholic alike. Now in its second year, Feeding Our Neighbors joined forces this season with UJA Federation of New York to fight hunger and need.

  • In New York City, approximately 400,000 children rely on soup kitchens and food pantries for food.
  • In New York State, more than 3 million people rely on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, or Food Stamps) to meet their basic food needs.

Join us in Feeding Our Neighbors.

Click here to do your part to make sure no hungry neighbor is turned away.

  • $11.16 helps feed a child for one day.
  • $45 helps feed a family of four.

Art, Salsa and Stickball: A Celebration of the South Bronx

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

You might not expect to hear a trumpet fanfare, see a game of stickball or witness a performance by the award-winning dancer Arthur Aviles on the streets of Hunts Point and Longwood, but on Saturday, October 6th, that’s exactly what audience members experienced. The final event in last weekend’s celebration of the South Bronx featured 88 performers showcasing the music, dance and games that contributed to the vibrant culture of the neighborhood throughout history.

Earlier that day, visitors met at Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education for a walking tour of the South Bronx Culture Trail. A two year initiative, the Trail celebrates the rich cultural history of the South Bronx. For example, visitors heard about some of the biggest names in Latin music who came from the area, and they learned that salsa legends Eddie Palmieri, Joe Quijano and Ray Barretto went to school at P.S. 52.

After the tour of the Trail, participants viewed the opening of the HOME exhibit at Casita Maria. The exhibit features objects brought in by members of the Casita Maria community that answer the question, “What does home mean to you?” Also on display are collaborative works between artists and the South Bronx community.

The celebration culminated in PASEO, which means “promenade.” Performers and audience members alike took to the streets with a parade through the neighborhood accompanied by lively music and dancing. On the street known as Banana Kelly, pigeons were released from a roof overhead. Participants also got to see games of stickball, double dutch and skelsies.

Created by Casita Maria and Dancing in the Streets to encourage community members and visitors to embrace the fascinating history of the South Bronx, the South Bronx Culture Trail helps bring people together and keep younger generations engaged in their cultural past.

Find out more about Casita Maria, view photos from Saturday’s celebration or watch a video of PASEO’s festivities.

How do you celebrate the cultural history of your neighborhood?

Homebase Scores Back-to-School Home Run for Children in Need

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Catholic Charities HomeBase, a Catholic Charities Community Services program dedicated to preventing homelessness, teamed up with community partners at a neighborhood back-to-school event on August 31, 2012.  Children received backpacks, clothing and other school supplies they will need for a successful school year.

Read the Homebase newsletter and learn more.