Over the past 35 years, Catholic Charities has distinguished itself as one of the most flexible, competent, and tireless providers of social services in the two-county area. However, the tremendous local needs of families in our region far, far exceed not only our organization’s resources, but the limited resources of all public and private providers of human services combined.
Catholic Charities is the number one referred to organization for services by 211 in both counties as well as numerous public agencies, other non-profit organizations, and churches. Because we work in high need – low resourced communities, the demand for our services absolutely exceed available resources. Though we assist thousands of families each year, our harsh reality is that we are unable to serve far more families than we are able to serve. We do all we can with what we have each year to meet local needs while constantly seeking out new public and private resources to maintain and expand our necessary work.
Local statistics show the tremendous needs that exist throughout our region:
- In San Bernardino County, nearly one-fourth of children live in poverty.
- Currently, the unemployment rate is 13.1% in Riverside and 12.4% in San Bernardino, far higher than the neighboring counties of Orange and San Diego which currently have unemployment rates if 7.9% and 9.2%.
- The city of San Bernardino has the second-highest poverty rate in the nation at roughly 34% (with only Detroit’s 37% being higher).
- About 52% of children living in poverty in San Bernardino reside in “food insecure” households.
- San Bernardino has the second-highest high school dropout rate in the nation at nearly 22%.
Throughout these counties, there exist very few resources to meet high demands with only a handful of organizations providing direct services to desperate families in need of support. The dramatic need for social services within the two counties is here and growing.