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Catholic Charities USA Begins Centennial Year With Poverty Reduction Summit

 

 

Conference Engages Community, Recognizes Effective Programs

SAN ANTONIO,  -- Catholic Charities USA, the 170-member national human services organization committed to cutting poverty in half by 2020–hosted by Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc. and joined by Catholic Charities agencies from around the region–convened one of 10 Centennial Summits in San Antonio today as part of the organization's 100 year history.  The event brings together civic leaders, elected officials and all interested parties to address the devastation of poverty in this country.

The event featured a keynote address by Rev. Larry Snyder, president, Catholic Charities USA.  Others on hand included:  Most Reverend Jose H. Gomez, archbishop, Archdiocese of San Antonio; Sister Yolanda Tarango, CCVI, congregational coordinator, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word; Tommy AdkissonBexar County Commissioner, Precinct 4; Steve Saldana, president/CEO, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc.; and James C. Heck, board chair, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc.

"In a country like ours, even in these tough times, it is simply unacceptable that close to 40 million people live in poverty," said Rev. Snyder.  "Catholic Charities agencies and Catholic Charities USA seek a sustained national commitment that will ensure a reduction in poverty.  Together, we can lift each other up.  Only collectively can we begin to change the face of poverty."

The summit also included an awards presentation honoring three Catholic Charities programs that are effectively working to reduce poverty in their communities. The innovative programs were recognized for best practices in Catholic Charities USA's poverty issue areas: health, housing, hunger, economic security, education/job training.  Each agency received a$25,000 award to invest in further development of their program.

  • The Caritas Center's Continuum of Care, Catholic Charities of Kansas City – St. Joseph -- This family center offers a continuum of comprehensive programs and strong advocacy for all clients. The mission and programs focus on reducing poverty through an innovative, dual strategy. The dual approach addresses the wide-ranging needs of clients in the moment and geography of their need, while further empowering and strengthening grassroots social service agencies across the region to successfully combat the formidable strains of poverty.
  • The HOMES Program, Catholic Charities of Forth Worth -- The HOMES program works with chronic homeless individuals and families, in pursuit of a permanent end to each person's homelessness. The program works with individuals through every step of the process beginning with initial engagement on the street or in shelters. Through every interaction with the program's previously homeless individuals, the program staff use a strengths-based, client-centered approach.
  • St. Patrick Center, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of St. Louis -- Founded in 1983, this agency has served over 132,000 homeless and impoverished people since its inception and now provides comprehensive, holistic services for about 9,000 people each year. The center's 28 programs are designed to take extremely disadvantaged individuals from mere subsistence to lifelong self-sufficiency. The center focuses on the three basic areas that contribute to ongoing homelessness and poverty -- housing, employment, and mental health.

The San Antonio summit is part of a nationwide series that will culminate in Washington, D.C., on September, 26, 2010.  The summits provide a forum for thought-leaders, major influencers and citizens-at-large to come together and act on poverty.  

Catholic Charities USA's members—more than 1,700 local Catholic Charities agencies and institutions nationwide—provide help and create hope for 8.5 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds.  For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from health care and job training to food and housing.  In 2010, Catholic Charities USA celebrates its centennial anniversary.  For more information, visit www.CatholicCharitiesUSA.org.

 

SOURCE Catholic Charities USA



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