Catholic Charities is observing its 99th anniversary of Providing Help and Creating Hope to those most in need throughout Eastern Connecticut. Our rich history of ministering to people of all faiths during their time of crisis is the foundation of our daily work.
For 99 years, Catholic Charities has continued to love the most vulnerable of every faith and background in Eastern Connecticut. That love remains the clearest evidence of God’s grace in our lives. After so many years, people certainly know Catholic Charities well enough that it may sometimes go unnoticed. Yet people are also surprised when they learn exactly how much Catholic Charities does for our communities.
Pope Francis has said, “It is not enough to offer someone a sandwich unless it is accompanied by the possibility of learning how to stand on one’s own two feet. Charity that leaves the poor person as he is, is not sufficient. True mercy, the mercy God gives to us and teaches us, demands justice, it demands that the poor find the way to be poor no longer.”
Catholic Charities has shifted away from the one-time crisis intervention programs to self-sustainability, by offering long-term wrap-around services. While Catholic Charities will always provide emergency assistance, food, and hope to those in crisis, this long-term approach will move people from crisis situations to sustainable hope for the future. As we embark on our 99th anniversary year, we realize and understand the true power of hope and what it means to those who we serve. “Hope anchors the soul” Hebrews 6:19.
Last year, Catholic Charities served more than 60,000 residents throughout Eastern Connecticut, regardless of race, religion or national origin, through our four community-based offices.
Intensive Case Management served more than 5,181 households, providing more than 11,000 units of service to individuals and families in need. Individuals and families were helped with emergency basic needs, food, transportation assistance, rental, utility, fuel and prescription assistance, budgeting and financial skills education, job readiness, obtaining and maintaining employment, parenting education, pregnancy education and support, adoption searches, and through immigration education. Through the Emergency Basic Needs component of our Intensive Case Management Program, we disbursed more than $175,880 of direct relief to those in need.
Our three licensed outpatient clinics served 611 clients and provided more than 6,560 units of direct service through our Behavioral Health and Clinical Services program and provided for more than $238,800 of charitable care. Clinical services were provided to people of all ages and situations to address trauma, depression, anxiety, domestic violence, sexual abuse, grief, behavioral problems and substance abuse to abusers and family members.
These psychiatric, group, family and individual services included therapeutic interventions designed to meet a variety of family needs to improve the well-being of family members, reducing risks of crisis, abuse and neglect, with the goal of keeping families together.
-- By Ed Tessman