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The Suburbanite
  • Catholic Charities takes part in agency survey

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  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Youngstown recently completed the 2012 Catholic Charities USA Annual Survey, which gathers information on services, collaborative efforts, social action initiatives, parish relationships, personnel, finances, and implementation of mission-related activities from Catholic Charities organizations across the United States.
    Five diocesan institutions participated in the survey: Catholic Charities administrative office; Catholic Charities Housing Opportunities; Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County; Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark Counties; and Catholic Charities Regional Agency.
    Catholic Charities served 55,799 unduplicated clients in the diocese in 2012; an increase of 17 percent over the previous year. Nearly three-fourths of those served receive some type of public assistance, including TANF, SSI, food stamps, and Medicaid benefits. Eighty-one percent reported incomes below the federal poverty line.
    Agencies serving the diocese provided more than $1.2 million in direct assistance to clients last year. Additionally, 26 percent of Catholic Charities’ total operating budget consisted of pass-through funds to clients from grants and contracts with government entities, as well as other direct assistance monies from both diocesan and local sources.
    Catholic Charities devotes 86 percent of its total budget to programs. Nine percent of its operating budget is used for administration, and five percent is devoted to fundraising for its various programs and services.
    Last year, Catholic Charities helped 20,204 people with food, utilities, prescriptions, clothing and other basic needs; a slight increase over the number served in 2011. An additional 3,021 people accessed Catholic Charities’ First Step Pregnancy and Family Support, a program that incorporates material assistance with case management to help pregnant women and families with children ages 0-3.
    The agency’s emergency food assistance program saw a 35 percent increase over the previous year.
    One measure that agencies in the diocese have taken to address hunger is the development of small, on-site pantries. Its Regional Agency received a Fighting Hunger Together grant from the Wal-mart Foundation last spring, and has been working collaboratively with other organizations to help enhance infrastructure and provide education around issues of food insecurity and nutrition.  
    Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County and Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark counties hosted cooking classes and demonstrations to help clients stretch their food resources and introduce them to new and healthy ways to prepare food for their families. Financial literacy education also is used in tandem with emergency assistance to help clients make lasting life changes.  
    Catholic Charities provided services to 3,625 older adults (65 and over) in 2012; an increase of 39 percent over the previous year. Fifty-five (55) older adults with memory loss or dementia participated in adult day services offered in Louisville by Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark counties, and the Regional Agency’s senior support program, served 1,374 people.
    Catholic Charities Housing Opportunities provided assistance to 172 people last year. One hundred thirty-four received permanent housing at Eastwood Village in Youngstown. CCHO also rented four homes to low-income families in  Youngstown, and assisted 29 people with down-payment assistance in 2012. Social service agencies provided housing counseling to 642 people, and housed 83 in apartment units owned by the agency in Ravenna.
    Page 2 of 2 - A total of 138 people received help with citizenship applications, family visa petitions, removal proceedings, and legal representation from Catholic Charities Legal Immigration Services; an increase of 26 percent over 2011. Staff also provided specific assistance and advocacy to seven victims of international human trafficking.
    For more information concerning the 2012 Catholic Charities USA Annual Survey, contact Rachel Hrbolich, associate director of social services for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Youngstown at 330-744-8451, ext. 328, or email   rhrbolich@youngstowndiocese.org or visit Catholic Charities’ website www.ccdoy.org.