Catholic Charities offering guidance to those navigating new immigration measures

[November 21, 2014 - New Orleans, La.] En Espanol In light of President Obama’s executive action implementing expanded access for undocumented immigrants to legally remain and work in the U.S., Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans will continue to be a resource for the immigrant community in need of guidance through these new measures. They urge those seeking to access these new pathways to consult only licensed and accredited social service agencies and legal professionals or official channels of government in navigating these new policies. Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans Immigration Services is available as a consult for the community and will be offering information, referrals and resources for these new measures as they become available.

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans joins with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in continuing to support measures for comprehensive immigration reform that focuses on respecting the dignity of the individual and the preservation of the family.

“This Administrative Relief will assist the nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants looking for a legal path to building a life for themselves in the U.S, but much work still needs to be towards comprehensive immigration reform,” Said Martin Gutierrez, Division Director over Immigration and Refugee Services of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. “Catholic Charities will continue to advocate and be a resource for these individuals and families in receiving the support and assistance they need.”

Catholic Charities will be holding free group orientation sessions as more specific details of how these new measured will be implemented, including details on who will qualify for Administrative Relief, when the government will start accepting applications, and what the application process will require.

During periods of expected immigration reform, it is unfortunately easier to take advantage of people seeking fast low-cost legal assistance. Immigrants who may qualify for this Administrative Relief should seek legal advice and assistance only from a licensed immigration attorney, accredited immigration representative, or accredited social service agency.

For more information or for those seeking assistance, contact Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans Immigration and Refugee Services at: (504) 457-3462.

 

Contact: Anna Toujas

Archdiocese of New Orleans/Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans

(504) 453-3774

atoujas@arch-no.org

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Caridades Católicas de la Arquidiócesis de Nueva Orleans ofrece orientación a quienes navegan nuevas medidas de inmigración.

[Noviembre 21, 2014 - New Orleans, La.]  En seguimiento a la acción ejecutiva presentada por el Presidente Obama que implementa la expansión de acceso para que inmigrantes indocumentados permanezcan y trabajen legalmente en los Estados Unidos, Caridades Católicas de la Archidiócesis de New Orleans continuará sirviendo como un recurso comunitario para los inmigrantes que necesitan de una guía para entender  las nuevas medidas. Caridades Católicas sujiere a las personas que buscan acceder a estas medidas, que consulten unicamente a agencias de servicios social con licencia y legalmente acreditadas, a profesionales de leyes, o a medios oficiales del gobierno para navegar estas nuevas políticas. Los Servicios de Inmigración de Caridades Católicas de la Archidiócesis de Nueva Orleans están disponibles para ofrecer consultoría a la comunidad, y estará ofreciendo información, referencias y recursos en cuanto estos estén disponibles para estas nuevas medidas. Caridades Católicas de Nueva Orleans se une a la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos para continuar apoyando medidas integrales de reforma migratoria que se enfoquen en respetar la dignidad del individuo y la preservación de la familia.

“Este auxilio administrativo asistirá a casi 5 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados que buscan un camino hacia la legalización. Aún queda mucho trabajo por hacer para obtener un reforma migratoria integral” fueron las palabras de Martin Gutierrez, Director de la División de Servicios para Refugiados e Inmigrantes de Caridades Católicas de la Archidiócesis de Nueva Orleans. “Caridades Católicas continuará siendo un recurso para estos individuos y sus familias, para que puedan recibir el apoyo y la asistencia que necesitan. Caridades Católicas estará ofreciendo sesiones gratis de orientación para dar detalles específicos de cómo estas medidas serán implementadas, incluyendo información de quienes califican al auxilio administrativo, una vez que se tengan los requisitos que incluirá este proceso.”

Desafortunadamente, durante periodos como este donde hay esperanzas de obtener la tan esperada reforma migratoria, se hace más fácil tomar ventaja de las personas que buscan ayuda legal rápida y de bajo costo. Los inmigrantes que podrían calificar para este Auxilio Administrativo deben buscar consejo legal y asistencia unicamente de abogados certificados, representantes de inmigración acreditados, o agencias de servicios sociales acreditadas. En este momento, ningún abogado, represéntate o agencia, debe estar cobrando a las personas por llenar formularios para el auxilio administrativo, ni por ser registrados en una lista de espera para obtener los servicios.

Para más información, o para quienes buscan asistencia, contactar la oficina de Servicios de Inmigración y Refugiados de Caridades Católicas de la Arquidiócesis de Nueva Orleans al 504.457.3452.

 

Catholic Charities Strives to Remove Barriers to Health Care

Health Guardians Program to Partner with 10 Community Health Clinics to Provide New Model of Full-Circle Care for uninsured and homeless

 [New Orleans, La.] Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans Health Guardians is setting a goal to remove obstacles to health care for the uninsured in the Greater New Orleans Area  – roughly 25% of the Greater New Orleans population. Through Health Guardians patient navigation program, Catholic Charities is partnering with 10 community health clinics in the Greater New Orleans area to provide individualized, targeted care plans for the uninsured and chronically ill, that will not only reduce burden on the healthcare system, but also work to reduce poverty and homelessness in our community.

“People not getting healthcare have complex problems. People with complex social problems often have barriers to effectively access and utilize health care,” said Elmore Rigamer, Health Guardians Program Director. “Couple chronic medical issues with struggling to meet basic needs and it certainly becomes a vicious cycle that results in unemployment and homelessness.  Our model of service has shown that with the proper guidance, we can help people turn their health and their lives around, while also reducing the burden on the limited resources in our healthcare system.”

Since the program launched in 2012 in partnership with University Hospital, over 72% of the clients were able to decrease their visits to emergency room and inpatient care by half. With continued cuts to inpatient health and substance abuse services in New Orleans and the recent visible homeless population, there has been a drastic need to rethink the way people are able to access care. Partnering with these 10 community clinics will allow Health Guardians to serve a broader base of the community and intercept people before they reach the emergency room. Through the network of services provided by Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans and community partners, Health Guardians can efficiently and effectively coordinate care that produces lasting positive results.

“We want to remove any barrier to health care in our community, whether that be housing or employment issues, or managing physical and mental illness,” said Rigamer. “Health Guardians care model will ultimately have lasting effects on the health of the individual and the overall health of the socio-economic landscape of New Orleans.”

Recent census data ranks Louisiana as 6th in the nation for most uninsured residents, with the majority being low-income individuals or those who fall below the poverty line. Although the Affordable Care Act will increase the number of those insured in our state, coverage does not always equate to access. Lack of proper health care is an open door for other social factors to deteriorate. Health Guardians works to create pathways for the underserved in the community to access available services through intensive care management, improved communication and collaboration among providers, and also meets the basic social service needs such as housing, food and employment assistance.

 

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Sr. Marjorie Hebert named 2014 Woman of the Year

CityBusiness names Sr. Marjorie Hebert ‘2014 Woman of the Year’

By: Greg LaRose, Editor November 14, 2014

In any given fiscal year, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans has more than 500 employees and serves almost 90,000 families. In May 2013, Sister Marjorie Hebert became president and CEO of the charitable organization and now guides, directs and facilitates the more than 35 programs and services catering to the needs of the community. 6 sq

It’s the latest in a string of leadership roles Hebert has held in the archdiocese, all after a 25-year career as a school teacher and administrator.

New Orleans CityBusiness singled her out for her career accomplishments and community impact as its 2014 “Woman of the Year” in a luncheon event today at the Hyatt Regency.

Hebert, who was educated by the Marianite Sisters of Holy Cross, said she always knew she wanted to live a life of service.

“From the earliest times, I wanted to be like [the Marianites],” Hebert said. “I wanted to be engaged in the work of the church.”

She entered the Marianite order in 1960 and made it her perpetual profession in 1969.

Having spent the first 25 years of her service in the church as a teacher and administrator, Hebert was chosen to lead the development and coordination of Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center, an Algiers facility catering to the aging lay and clergy members of 18 different congregations. She served as its CEO for 13 years.

She served for three years as vice president for finances and operations and associate to the president for ministry at Our Lady of Holy Cross College. Archbishop Gregory Aymond then asked Hebert to join Catholic Charities.

She said the biggest challenge she has had to overcome in the transition is understanding and embracing the full scope of all that Catholic Charities encompasses.

To explain, she references a Bible verse, Ephesians 3:18.

“I like to use the gospel: The length, breadth and depth: the fullest measure, the depth of God’s love, you can’t fathom all of that,” she said. “That’s how deep it is, how broad it is, how all-encompassing [Catholic Charities] is. It serves people, individuals, regardless of their faith or tradition. We serve people, not because they are Catholic but because we are Catholic.” read more

 Congratulations, Sr. Marjorie! We are blessed by your ministry!

Giving Tuesday with Catholic Charities!

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help us create #GivingTuesday for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans on Tuesday, December 2, 2014!

Here’s TWO easy steps to GIVE with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans this #GivingTuesday

 

1. MAKE A GIFT! via our Givezooks page!

1 dollar… 20 dollars… any amount provides hope and help to the poor and needy in #NOLA through the programs and ministries of Catholic Charities!

2. SHARE IT!

Download our #GivingTuesday profile photo and cover photo for your Facebook page and Twitter accounts. Show you care and SHARE that you are giving on #GivingTuesday. Be sure to Tweet or tag us in your post! We’d love to share how awesome you are! @CathCharitiesNO on Twitter & Instagram!

Download Profile Pic!

Download Facebook Cover Photo!

 

Say Cheese! Take an #unselfie and say why you’re giving to Catholic Charities today! If you want to show some real giving swagger, you can even download our #Unselfie sign for your photo!

WHY IT MATTERS…

  • Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans annually serves 80,000+ men, women, children and families throughout 8 parishes and across the state of Louisiana each year. From housing to nutrition, to healthcare to education, your support makes this assistance possible for so many!
  • When you share that you care, your gift goes farther! Helping us spread the word about our programs and services helps us rally even more support in the community for the poor and needy!

Recommit to PEACE

Join the NOLA Interfaith Peace Initiative in marking one year in our continued work for peace.

Recommit to PEACE

November 11, 2014, 6:00pm

St. Peter Claver,Catholic Church

1923 St. Phillip St., NOLA 70117

 For more information, please contact Joe Givens 504-416-0679, Joegivensno@gmail.com

Blessings and Bells at the new Hope Haven Adult Day Healthcare Center

All are welcome to join Archbishop Gregory Aymond for a special blessing of the new Hope Haven Adult Day Health Care Center on Tuesday, October 21 from 12:30-2pm, 1131 Barataria Blvd in Marrero.

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans to Provide Legal Services to Unaccompanied Children

[New Orleans, La.] Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans is partnering with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Migration and Refugee Services to provide legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children in Louisiana through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Over 1,275 of the nearly 60,000 unaccompanied children who have crossed the U.S. border, have been unified with a family member or sponsor in Louisiana since July 2014. Over 200 of these families have contacted Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans in need of legal guidance. This assistance can be a matter of life or death for some who may qualify to stay in the U.S. based on their past experiences or future persecution, yet nearly two-thirds of minors with cases pending before an Immigration Judge are unrepresented by legal counsel.

 

“Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans has a long history of providing immigrants and refugees with guidance and assistance. This funding will enable us to assist vulnerable children and families in properly navigating the current legal processes,”   said Sr. Marjorie Hebert, President and CEO of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. “They’ll have an opportunity to voice their cases in a court of law with the guidance and representation of a qualified, legal professional.”

 

“These unaccompanied children have made a traumatic journey to the U.S.,” said Martin Guiterrez, Division Director over Immigration and Refugee Services for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. “Many come due to violence and abuse in their home countries and many may have a valid case to stay in the U.S. We will be able to assist a portion of them in getting they get due process afforded by our current laws.”

 

Up until now, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans has acted as point of contact for the unaccompanied children and their sponsors seeking assistance, in addition to helping organize orientations for families on the legal process. They have also been working in partnership with Catholic Charities Baton Rouge and the volunteer-driven Pro Bono & Juveniles (PB&J) legal coalition in providing referrals for unaccompanied children.

 

The federal government announced this week that the Department of Health and Human Services will grant $9 million to support legal services for immigrant children who entered the United States without a parent or guardian.  As a grantee in partnership with the USCCB, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans joins a number of affiliate Catholic agencies who will also be working with Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) to provide these legal services. The other agencies include:

  • Catholic Charities of Los Angeles;
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston;
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami;
  • Catholic Charities of Baltimore;
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.;
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington (Va.).

More about Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans provides hope, help and loving care for the most vulnerable and needy in the eight civil parishes of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. We work to be the hands and heart of Jesus Christ for our brothers and sisters in need. Through our ministries, programs and community partnerships, we provide a comprehensive network of social services that connects clients to resources and acts as a springboard to self-sufficiency for those struggling. We offer support that empowers individuals, families and communities to grow and thrive. Our Mission: Respecting the dignity and potential of each human person, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans collaborates with the wider community to serve those in need. Impelled by the love and teaching of Jesus Christ, we offer life-giving programs, advocate for the voiceless, and empower the poor and vulnerable to foster a more just society. www.ccano.org

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Stories of Hope: Empowering the Voiceless – Project SAVE

Learn how Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans is providing hope and creating help in our community!

Elyria Chambliss is a hard working mom. Her three children, Aaliyah, 11, John, 6 and Jiron, 9, bounce energetically around the play room at the New Orleans Family Justice Center. When asked to gather for a photo, all three children eagerly gather in close to their mom for the snapshot. After several silly faces and poses, the family comes together for a nice smile. Elyria smiles brightly as she embraces her children. It’s hard to imagine that this family photo might not have been possible a short while ago. Elyria is a survivor of domestic violence. In the process of trying to separate from the abusive situation, the father of her children attempted to take away her custody rights to care for her kids. Elyria not only needed to stand up for her own well-being but also needed to be a voice for her children. With no one to turn to and no ability to afford an attorney, she went to the first court hearing alone.

Elyria recalled, “The first time I went to court, I felt so uncomfortable. I didn’t have a chance to voice my opinions to let the judge know my side and what was actually going on.”

Thankfully, Elyria was connected with the legal team at Project SAVE. “Once I got in touch with Project SAVE, they helped me in a big way.”

Project SAVE (Stopping Abuse through Victim Empowerment) provides free emergency legal assistance for victims of domestic violence. Staff attorneys assist with legal orders to keep survivors of domestic violence safe and to protect their rights. These legal services include temporary restraining and protection orders, temporary child support and in Elryia’s case, assistance with maintaining custody of her children.

Joan Miller with Elyria Chambliss and Allyson Tuttle

With attorney Joan Miller at her side, Elyria was able to find the courage and strength she needed to speak up for herself and her kids. “Next time I went to court, I felt like I had a voice. It felt wonderful to know I had that support.”

The help doesn’t stop after the court proceedings end. Project SAVE works hand in hand with the New Orleans Family Justice Center to provide full-circle support for the victim and for their families. Elyria and her children were also able to receive on-going counseling through this program.

“The staff at Project SAVE gets the job done!” Elyria said. “They gave me the chance to be with my kids again.”

Whether making big strides like helping clients get custody of their children or providing an and an open ear to listen and offer support, Project SAVE is advocating for survivors like Elyria, helping them find their strength and their voice to speak up for themselves and their families.

 

CLINIC and Affiliates Funded to Provide Legal Services to Unaccompanied Children

SILVER SPRING, MD – October 2, 2014 – The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) is partnering with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services to provide unaccompanied immigrant children with legal representation. The federal government announced this week that the Department of Health and Human Services will grant $9 million to support legal services for immigrant children who entered the United States without a parent or guardian.

As part of the federal funding, the following CLINIC affiliates will provide direct legal representation of unaccompanied children:

  • Catholic Charities of Los Angeles;
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston;
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami;
  • Catholic Charities of Baltimore;
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.;
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington (Va.);
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

CLINIC will provide these organizations with legal technical assistance, training, and support. This project will help more than a thousand unaccompanied migrant children who have been reunified with families in these locations.

“This funding will allow these children to have access to due process,” said Jeanne M. Atkinson, Executive Director of CLINIC. “Children need to have a fair opportunity to explain why they deserve to stay in the United States. Our affiliates are known for providing high quality legal services for those most in need, which these children surely are. ”

About 60,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended along the southern border in fiscal year 2014. Most of these children have been released to friends and family members located throughout the United States. These children are currently in removal proceedings and need competent legal representation.

Nearly two-thirds of minors with cases pending before an Immigration Judge are unrepresented by legal counsel.[1] Many of these children are eligible to remain in the United States based on their past experiences or fear of future persecution. Yet, without the advice or representation of a lawyer, a child has very little chance of fighting government efforts to deport him or her. This is particularly troubling given that some children face return to countries where they risk mistreatment, abuse, and even death.

CLINIC has responded to the upsurge in unaccompanied children by providing free immigration law training to advocates and pro bono attorneys. In the past few months, CLINIC has trained advocates in how to effectively interview and represent unaccompanied children and how to apply for the available forms of relief. This project will leverage CLINIC’s experience in delivering trainings and technical assistance to legal service providers and will support its mission to promote the dignity and protect the rights of the most vulnerable

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The nation’s largest network of nonprofit immigration programs, CLINIC supports more than 260 affiliates located in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. CLINIC advocates for humane and just immigration policy. For more information go to www.cliniclegal.org.

 

Stories of Hope: Fostering Peacemakers of Our Time – Isaiah 43

Learn how Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans is providing hope and creating help in our community!

A group of adults and kids stand in a circle in the St. David Parish Hall in the Lower 9th Ward. They are instructed to grab the hand of someone they are not standing next to, until their arms end up criss-crossed across the center of the circle. “Now, it’s your job to get untangled without letting go of the  hand you’re holding!” Sr. Salvatrice Murphy, Assistant Program Director of Isaiah 43 Parenting and Mentoring Program,  instructs the group. Laughter and a flurry of discussion erupt as the group attempts to untangle themselves. Eventually, they realize it’s only by working cooperatively and listening to one another that they are able to unravel the circle again. The group gives each other a round of applause after getting untangled.

The group is gathered for a mentoring workshop with Isaiah 43 Parenting and Mentoring Program. These small lessons are at the heart of Isaiah 43 which strives to engage our youth and provide support for parents to foster future peace makers of our time. Each month, volunteer mentors and mentees come together for an evening of fun and fellowship in addition to one-on-one activities and outings between mentor and mentee pairs.  Among this group are mentor Monica Alicino and her mentee partner, Jyra Phillips, 14. Monica and Jyra have been paired together for a year through Isaiah 43.

“My favorite thing about working with Monica is the one-on-one activities,” said Jyra, who is one of ten brothers and sisters. Monica, who came from a family of 11 brothers and sisters, can relate.

“It’s great this program allows us to give attention to one instead of always something in a group,” said Monica. “I have a lot of favorite things about working with Jyra,” Monica said, “I always try to find something we can learn on our various outings.” Some of their favorite outings have included a visit to view the art exhibits at the New Orleans Healing Center and going to the movies.

Isaiah 43 programming is now in about a dozen parishes throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans. In addition to mentoring, Isaiah 43 also hosts parenting workshops where parents and caregivers of young children can improve their communication skills, learn non-violent discipline techniques and also just find support in one another. In providing these resources and support for both parents and our youth, this program strives to counteract the culture of crime and violence in our city. Since it was launched in 2011, the participation in this program has doubled. Isaiah 43 continues to expand to other parishes and neighborhoods.

“There is a need for a program like this in New Orleans and the Catholic Church wants to be involved in stemming the violence in any way possible,” Monica said. “By having kids be more involved in something other than street life makes a big difference.”