Catholic Charities provides critically necessary help for adults, children, and seniors when they are in their darkest hours. The vast majority of the families we serve are poor and low-income families who are barely just getting by each month with their own resources. Then they are confronted by a foreseen crisis that disrupts the already precariousness of their lives.
The events that can take a family from relative stability to complete uncertainty often occurs in rapid and unpredictable ways. For low-income families—a sudden event or loss sets off a domino effect of circumstances that can quickly lead to a crisis. Job loss, a decrease in scheduled hours at work, a car that must be repaired, an unexpected illness or hospital visit, or even a death in the immediate family can be the catalyst that destabilizes an already fragile reality.
The families that come to us have nowhere else to turn for help. Catholic Charities is there to do whatever may be possible to help these families regain stability and move forward with their lives. Their difficulties are often complicated, and they simply do not have the resources to solve their problems without support from the community.
Catholic Charities views those we help as possessing tremendous strengths and potential. Like all of us, they have hopes and dreams for a better life for themselves and their children. However, these families—especially those at the lowest end of the income scale, often face massive institutional, economic, environmental, and social barriers. Many are struggling to address multiple problems simultaneously.
These families may be judged as irresponsible and lazy “takers” when in fact the most basic opportunities required for self-sufficiency—a steady income, sufficient housing, opportunities for a good education and training, reliable transportation, truly affordable healthcare—are simply not available to them. They cannot move their lives forward without support from the wider community, so they can recover from an immediate crisis and regain their fragile stability. These are the families that require the care and attention of Catholic Charities.