For nearly 40 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 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 assists thousands of families each year, yet the reality is that we are able to serve only a fraction of those who absolutely need our assistance. We do all we can with what we have each year to meet local needs, and we are constantly seeking out new public and private resources to maintain and expand our necessary work. But the gap between need and available resources is enormous.
Imagine if there was only one hospital in your county due to limited resources. Such a scenario would be clearly insufficient to meet the pressing medical needs of all of the families requiring hospital services in any day. Only a handful of the families that desperately required hospital care would receive services. The remaining families would have to wait fearing the worst or simply not be served at all.
Such is the reality of non-profit organizations in our Inland Counties that are trying to address the significant needs of tens of thousands of low-income families. With the overwhelming need for social services in our communities combined with extremely limited resources to help, the vast majority of families that desperately need social services either cannot be fully assisted or do not receive help at all.
Compared to coastal counties in California, the Inland Counties lack a strong private funding community: a critical mass of high-net worth, philanthropically-minded individuals, large private foundations, and multi-national corporations based in and committed to supporting their communities. Although Riverside and San Bernardino Counties make up more than 10% of the population of the state of California, these counties receive only 1% of the state’s philanthropic resources. Additionally, there is also a dearth of highly collaborative, essential partnerships between nonprofit organizations and public human services agencies in the Inland Region, partnerships that are typical in more urban areas.
In our Inland Counties, we have the perfect storm with very limited private and public resources, dramatic human service needs, and 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 now and growing.