catholic charities survey By the numbers
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Youngstown recently completed the 2009 Catholic Charities USA annual survey, which collects information on services, collaborative efforts, social action initiatives, parish relationships, personnel, volunteers and finances from Catholic Charities organizations across the United States.
Participants: Six institutions in the Diocese of Youngstown participated in the survey. In addition to the Catholic Charities administrative office located in the diocesan chancery, information was provided by Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County; Catholic Charities of Portage County; Catholic Charities Regional Agency (serving Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties); Catholic Charities of Stark County; and Catholic Charities Housing Opportunities (CCHO).
Number served: In 2009, Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Youngstown served a total of 43,109 individuals. About 78 percent received public assistance, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplementary Security Income, food stamps and Medicaid benefits. Eighty-six percent reported incomes below the poverty line, which was $22,050 for a family of four in 2009.
Emergency assistance: Last year, 10,985 households received help with food, utilities, prescriptions, emergency shelter and other basic needs. About $900,000 was provided in direct cash assistance to clients throughout the diocese. First Step Pregnancy and Family Support Program for low-income pregnant women and families with children from infants to 3 years old provides immediate material assistance, such as food, formula, diapers and other essential items, and case management assistance to help clients obtain the resources, information and community support to help them become financially self-sufficient. In 2009, Catholic Charities assisted 2,354 people through the First Step Program. Last year, 2,034 older adults received senior prescription assistance, home-based case management and counseling, transportation, adult day services and respite care (Stark County only), guardianship and representative payee services (Ashtabula County only) and hot meals at Catholic Charities’ senior multi-purpose center in East Liverpool.
Housing: In 2009, more than 700 people received housing counseling services, while 37 households received down-payment assistance. Catholic Charities also maintained 177 units of permanent housing throughout the diocese: five single-family homes in the city of Youngstown; 20 apartment units in downtown Ravenna; and 152 apartment units in Eastwood Village on Youngstown’s East side, which is co-sponsored by Catholic Charities Housing Opportunities and Humility of Mary Housing, Inc.
Referral services: Through The Ohio Benefit Bank, case workers at Catholic Charities agencies helped about 105 of the 113 participating households recognize their eligibility and enroll in public assistance programs.
Financial education: Catholic Charities is addressing another emerging need for financial literacy education with programs in Ashtabula and Stark counties that help clients develop a household budget and learn to make prudent financial decisions. The long-term goal of this effort is for clients to become less reliant on social services and more financially independent. Last year, 690 people participated in financial literacy programs at Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County and “Real World Money Management” in Stark County.
Initiative: Catholic Charities also launched the “Sharing Hope in Tough Times” initiative in March of 2009 to engage the Church in ministry to people who have been adversely impacted by the economic crisis. Staff members from the diocesan Catholic Charities offices of Social Action and Social Services have helped parishes discuss and implement efforts to reach those who are experiencing unemployment, under-employment, or anxiety about their current financial situations. Catholic Charities will continue working with parishes, schools and other Catholic institutions interested in developing job networks, support groups and special events to address economic uncertainty and insecurity.
Leaders and staff: Mary Ellen Andersen, president and chief executive office of the Diocese of Youngstown Catholic Charities Corp., the organization that provides oversight for the affiliate agencies of Catholic Charities, and Brian R. Corbin, executive director of Catholic Charities Services and Health Affairs for the diocese. Catholic Charities employed 100 people in 2009, a reduction of about 9 percent from 2008, and 19 percent from 2007. Fifty-six percent of Catholic Charities’ employees work full-time, and 90 percent are women. Additionally, 312 volunteers provided nearly 13,716 hours of service to Catholic Charities agencies, and another 60 people served on the various Catholic Charities boards of directors.
Information: Call Rachel Hrbolich, associate director of Social Services for the diocese, (330) 744-8451, ext. 328, or the Catholic Charities agency nearest you. The Web site is www.ccdoy.org.