Mentors needed for children of incarcerated

MENTORS NEEDED! We need enthusiastic and caring men and women to be mentors for children with an incarcerated parent through our Cornerstone Kids initiative – 27 children are awaiting a mentor! Call 341-0989 if this could be you!

cornerstone_carter

Photo by Beth Donze/Clarion Herald

John Messenheimer said he would never have known how much fun assembling a basketball hoop could be, were it not for the 10-year-old boy sitting next to him, anxiously awaiting the hoop’s completion.“I can be pretty theological and abstract – always looking for the difficult questions, the difficult answers – but he helps me keep it simple,” said Messenheimer, who mentors the boy through Catholic Charities’ Cornerstone Kids initiative, which matches responsible adult mentors to boys and girls aged 4 to 17 who have one or both parents incarcerated.

Cornerstone’s men and woman mentors, who can be single like Messenheimer, or married with children of their own, are asked to spend at least four hours a month with their mentees in the recreational or social settings of their choice. All mentors are expected to fulfill a minimum one-year commitment, with men matched with boys and women with girls.

“Our goal is to place a responsible adult in the child’s life, with the hope that that adult will become a friend to help that child build self-esteem and confidence in himself,” said Leo Jackson, who has directed Cornerstone Kids out of Catholic Charities’ Office of Justice and Peace since 2008. – Continue reading at The Clarion Herald

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St. Mary of the Angels Head Start Awarded 4 Stars by Louisiana’s Department of Education Quality Start Program

3494-webCatholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans is proud to announce that St. Mary of the Angels Head Start and Early Head Start program has been awarded 4 stars by Louisiana’s Department of Education Quality Start program.

Quality Start is a voluntary program for licensed child care centers designed to increase the quality of child care and early learning for all children throughout Louisiana. Centers may choose to participate and earn up to five stars based on meeting standards established for Program, Staff Qualifications, Administration Practices, and Family and Community Involvement.

Congratulations to St. Mary of the Angels Head Start Program Director, Jonika Julian, and her entire staff for their dedication and commitment to the children and families that they serve!

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Freeze Plan Enacted for City of New Orleans

CITY ACTIVATES FREEZE PLAN FOR HOMELESS

NEW ORLEANS, LA— The National Weather Service expects the temperature or wind chill factor in New Orleans to fall to 35 degrees or below overnight on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, and again on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. All residents should take appropriate precautions to protect themselves from the potentially dangerous effects of this weather. The City advises residents to protect their homes and businesses by dripping their faucets and wrapping their exposed pipes in rags, towels or newspaper. Residents are also encouraged to check on neighbors and the elderly to make sure they are prepared.

Exposure to temperatures near freezing combined with strong winds for an extended period of time can cause serious medical problems. Weather conditions will require all individuals to seek shelter. The City’s freeze plan will be in effect to provide temporary shelter for homeless residents.

Persons needing shelter will be accepted at the following locations under the following conditions:

  • The Salvation Army, 4530 South Claiborne Ave. – will accept males and females beginning at 4:00 p.m.
  • Ozanam Inn, 843 Camp St. – will accept males only beginning at 4:00 p.m.
  • Covenant House, 611 North Rampart St. – will accept males and females between the ages 16-21, their dependent children, and any female with dependent minor children. Mothers with small children may come anytime.
  • New Orleans Mission, 1130 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. – will only accept male or female adults beginning at 4:00 p.m.

All shelters will be opened free of charge to those seeking shelter during this period of inclement weather.

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City of New Orleans Ends Veteran Homelessness: Catholic Charities providing case management and supportive services to formerly homeless veterans through collaboration with UNITY GNO

CCANO logo (clean edge)[New Orleans, La.] In an announcement at the National World War II Museum today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared victory in eliminating veteran homelessness in New Orleans by December 31, 2014. Through a collaborative and concerted effort of the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Unity of Greater New Orleans, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans and a network of community partners, an estimated 193 veterans who were without shelter in 2014 have now received permanent housing.  Catholic Charities joins with Unity of Greater New Orleans and the Mayor’s Office in celebrating this milestone and recommitting to a continued effort to eliminate homelessness in our city moving forward.

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans is currently providing case management to the 22 veterans permanently housed at the newly opened Sacred Heart Apartments, a mixed income residence in a former convent and school buildings at 3222 Canal Street. From initial assessments of Catholic Charities case managers, the priority need is now employment assistance and healthcare navigation. Several of the residents may benefit from the Catholic Charities Health Guardians program, an intensive case-management program with health outcomes as primary goal.

“We give thanks for the continued partnership, collaboration and open communication with UNITY of Greater New Orleans, Mayor Landrieu, and the VA that has led to this exciting achievement in ending veteran homelessness,” said Sr. Marjorie Hebert, M.S.C, President and CEO of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. “We know that our service to the homeless and those who may fall in to homelessness must be a continuum of care and one agency or group cannot do it alone. We will continue to be a partner in this effort to serve our homeless brothers and sisters. ”

Homeless Services of Catholic Charities works with Unity Greater New Orleans and The Department of Veterans affairs in providing emergency and transitional housing through several Catholic Charities sites. Once permanent housing is found through a network of community and government partners, Catholic Charities case managers continue to provide support and services for the formerly homeless.

Read the Mayor’s Press Release: New Orleans First Major city in Nation to End Veteran Homelessness, One Year Earlier Than Federal Goal

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New Orleans First Major city in Nation to End Veteran Homelessness, One Year Earlier Than Federal Goal

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that New Orleans is the first major city in the nation to end homelessness among Veterans as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. Members of the New Orleans Interagency Council on Homelessness as well as Veterans, service members, military leaders, national homelessness advocates and partners from the federal government joined Landrieu at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans to announce and celebrate the city’s historic milestone.

“Six months ago on Independence Day, we came together to pay homage to our service members and Veterans who courageously serve our great nation and announced our goal to effectively end Veteran homelessness in New Orleans by the end of 2014,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “I am honored and very pleased to report that we have housed 227 Veterans, exceeding our goal of 193, thanks to the hard work of our committed partners. New Orleans is now the first major city in the nation to answer the President and First Lady’s call to end veteran homelessness – and we did so one year earlier than the federal goal. We owe our Veterans our eternal gratitude for their service and sacrifice to this nation, and making sure they have a place to call home is a small but powerful way we can show our appreciation.”

The ambitious effort began in response to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homeless external linkness, which challenged communities to end Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. To date, 312 mayors, six governors, and 71 other county or city officials from across the United States have accepted the challenge.

According to the HUD 2014 Homeless Point in Time Survey conducted by UNITY of Greater New Orleans, 193 individuals were counted to be homeless Veterans in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. As a part of the Mayors Challenge, Mayor Landrieu put together a coalition of nonprofits, homeless service providers, U.S. service members and Veterans, and federal, state, and local agencies – a coalition that has now permanently housed 227 homeless Veterans in New Orleans.

“Veteran homelessness is an important and challenging issue, and we are very proud of our accomplishment today in New Orleans, but the work of ending Veteran homelessness is never really done,” said Landrieu. “That’s why we have also created a new and sustainable rapid response model that combines all available local, state, and federal resources with the work of our local active duty and former military personnel – utilizing Veterans to help Veterans. I hope our model here in New Orleans can be replicated nationwide so that we can end Veteran homelessness in America once and for all.”

“I want to congratulate Mayor Landrieu and the entire City of New Orleans for turning its commitment to end Veteran homelessness into a reality,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “As one of the first cities to achieve this noble goal, New Orleans is helping lead a national campaign to make certain that these brave Americans have a place to call home. At HUD, we stand ready to assist in bringing this kind of progress to cities across the country, fulfilling our commitment to all those who served our country so courageously.”

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Ringing in the New Year with Joy, Hope and Love

A New Year’s Message from Sr. Marjorie Hebert, M.S.C

Ccano-bellsHappy New Year from Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans! As I reflected on “ringing” in the new year, I was reminded of the tradition of ringing bells in our Catholic Church. As Catholics, we ring bells to create a joyful noise for the Lord during Mass. Church bells are also used to call attention to announcements being made, to remember an event, to signal an alert for safety, or simply to mark the time of day.

As we “ring” in this new year, what do we want to celebrate, to accomplish and to focus on in 2015? What will the bells ring for in your life?

At Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, we’re ringing in the new year with JOY – We celebrate the dedicated men and women in our many programs and ministries serving the frail, the poor, the forgotten and the struggling. We rejoice in their continued commitment to the ministries of Catholic Charities and we celebrate their many accomplishments and achievements in 2014.

We’re also ringing in the new year with HOPE – In the face of unforeseen challenges, we know we must be the source of hope during difficult times. It is our calling as the hands and heart of Jesus in our world today. As we prepare to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this year, we look forward in hope as we continue to address the needs and struggles of the people of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Finally, we’re ringing in the new year with LOVE – Pope Francis reminds us that when we love one another we are loving and serving Christ. We will continue to seek out the marginalized and serve them with the compassion and love of Jesus Christ.

Yes, the bells are ringing for Catholic Charities in 2015 – let’s ring them for and wide! Thank you for embarking on this journey of service with us in the new year!

God Bless You!

Sr. Marjorie Hebert, M.S.C.

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Give Hope and Help in 2014 …and Beyond!

There are only a few days left to make your 2014 tax-deductible gift to support the programs and ministries of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans!  

donate now

 

Your gift will provide hope, help and loving care to thousands of men, women, children and families in the new year!

Catholic Charities 2014

Check out just a few of the many ways Catholic Charities provided hope and help in 2014… With your gift, you can help us do even more in 2015! 

  • In 2014, Catholic Charities served over 81,000  individuals and families through our many programs and ministries.
  • 170 Head Start students successfully transitioned to kindergarten this Fall.
  • Catholic Charities and PACE celebrated the opening of the new Hope Haven Adult Day Healthcare Center. The facility provides affordable daytime care for up to 96 seniors on the Westbank.
  • Food for Seniors added 7 new sites in 2014, bringing our total to 410 food distribution sites across the State of Louisiana.
  • Refugee children from Latin America and their families received support and guidance from Immigration and Refugee Services. Their services continue to be a trusted resource  for the immigrant community in NOLA.
  • Adoption Services placed 11 children with loving families.
  • Homeless Services continued collaboration with community partners to assist in decreasing the number of homeless in our city in 2014.
  • Data collected and analyzed by the Hurricane Isaac Disaster Case Management Program helped continue state-wide recovery efforts for those still struggling after Hurricane Isaac in 2012.
  • 112 student volunteers participated in SERVE through our Volunteer Services over the summer, providing 3,798 hours of service in the community!
  • Health Guardians committed to removing barriers to healthcare. Their intensive case management program made strides in changing lives and changing the way the community thinks about healthcare.
  • Independent Living Skills Program (ILSP) settled in to their new home at Claire Avenue in Gretna. Their Hope Chest and Food Pantry is stocked and open to assist former foster care children get a great start in life as independent young adults. 
  • ACCESS kept hundreds of babies covered by distributing 62,778 diapers to moms in need. ACCESS also hit the road in its new mobile pregnancy center making stops throughout the Greater New Orleans area and the North Shore!
  • Spirit of Hope Workforce Development provided 394 individuals with employment assistance, job certifications, training and development that will help them achieve their career goals in 2015 and beyond.
  • And much more!
donate now

If you have already made a year-end gift, THANK YOU for being a partner in our ministry of service for the poor and vulnerable!

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May your heart be filled with peace & joy this holiday season!

christmas 2014“In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” John 1:4

As we celebrate this Holy Season, I pray that your heart is filled with peace, joy and the warmth of the light of Christ!

Thank you for your partnership in our mission of offering life-giving programs, advocating for the voiceless, and empowering the poor and vulnerable to foster a more just society. Your prayers and support are truly a blessing to all of us in ministry and the many families and individuals served by Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans.

O Come, Emmanuel! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

-Sr. Marjorie Hebert, M.S.C., President and CEO

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By Region: Information available for immigrants who may qualify for legal relief under Executive Action

En Espanol: Información disponible para inmigrantes que podrían cumplir con los requisitos para acceder al alivio establecido por la acción ejecutiva

On Thursday, November 20, President Obama gave a speech announcing executive action on immigration. These new policies announced by President Obama will defer deportation and allow certain noncitizens to temporarily remain in the U.S., as well as obtain work and travel authorization.  Katherine, a native of Marksville, Louisiana, had a hard time grasping how much that one-hour speech changed her life.  Her husband, Marco, is from Honduras.  He arrived without documents about twelve years ago.  Katherine and Marco have been married for ten years and have three small children who are all United States citizens.  When Katherine realized that Marco may qualify for one of the new “deferred action” programs, she burst into tears.  Katherine said that the first thing she wants to do is go to the Alexandria zoo and take a picture with the Christmas lights, then “send a copy of our family photo to President Obama and say thank you.  We could never go anywhere as a family before; we were afraid to go out.”  Merry Christmas indeed!

There is a network of accredited organizations working to provide free or low-cost immigration legal services across Louisiana.  These agencies include: the Central Louisiana Interfaith Immigration Center in Alexandria; the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy in Slidell; the LSU Law School Immigration Clinic, the Loyola New Orleans College of Law Immigration Clinic, and Catholic Charities of the Dioceses of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Shreveport.  These organizations are ready to help eligible immigrants respond to this new opportunity, and are working hard to provide free and accurate information to immigrants who may be eligible for these new legal protections.

These organizations have observed that during periods of immigration reform, there are unfortunately unscrupulous attorneys and non-attorneys who take advantage of people seeking fast low-cost legal assistance.  Although many people offer to help with immigration services, not all are authorized to do so.  It important to avoid notario fraud by those who may offer to “sign you up now” for a fee.  The reality is that the application process is NOT open yet.  The government will not be accepting applications for another few months, no-one can sign you up now, and there is no priority “waitlist” for applications.  http://www.uscis.gov is the government website with reliable information on who is eligible and when applications can be filed.  Accurate information on President Obama’s new immigration policy is also available at: http://www.adminrelief.org.

You are encouraged to attend one of the many legal group information sessions being held across Louisiana to get complete and accurate information on whether you might qualify for deferral from deportation under these new “deferred action” policies and if so, what you can do to prepare:

New Orleans area:

–         Immigration Services of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans is holding free group orientation sessions at its Catholic Charities office, San Martin’s Hall at 2505 Maine Avenue in Metairie, LA 70003.  The first of these sessions will be held on January 8th at 7:00 pm.  Space is limited, so advance registration is required and will be granted on a first-come first-serve basis.  To register or to sign up to receive more details on this and future group orientation sessions, contact Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, Immigration and Refugee Services at: (504) 457-3462.

–         The Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, a regional non-profit law and justice center, has a free information session scheduled at 10:00AM December 20th at Iglesia de Dios Getsemani, 2701 Transcontinental Dr., Metairie, LA. 70006.  Space is limited and registration is required and will be granted on a first-come first serve basis. Please register by calling 504.739.9939 (se habla espanol) or e-mail info@gcclp.org

 

Alexandria area:

–         The Central Louisiana Interfaith Immigration Center (CLIIC) has scheduled free workshops on the new programs throughout December.  The workshops will be held in:

  • Alexandria on Mondays, December 8, 15, 22, and 29 at the Newman Outreach Center, 4210 South MacArthur Drive, from 2-7 PM;
  • Forest Hill on Tuesdays, December 9, 16, 23, and 30 at Our Lady of Guadelupe, 10 Butter Cemetery Road, from 2-7 PM;
  • Leesville on Wednesdays, December 10 and 17 and January 7 at St. Michael’s, 604 South 5th Street, from 2-7 PM; and
  • Natchitoches on Thursdays, December 11 and 18 and January 8 at First United Methodist Church, 220 Amulet Street, from 7 AM to Noon.

 

Lafayette area:

-            Migration/Refugee Services, Diocese of Lafayette.  Beginning December 2nd – No appointment necessary.  Walk-in consultations will be available every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 – 4:00 at the Diocese of Lafayette located at 1408 Carmel Drive in Lafayette, Louisiana in the offices of Migration & Refugee Services (excluding holidays).  Evening & Saturday appointments available upon request.  Staff is available for group discussions at other locations.  Contact:  Tina Quesada or Ana Gamboa. 

 

Baton Rouge area:

–         Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge has a free information session scheduled on December 11th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library on 7711 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806.

 

Here are some of the basics on President Obama’s new relief from deportation policy:

  • The Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) has been to defer deportation and permit more noncitizens to temporarily remain in the U.S.:
  1. If you arrived in the U.S. before your 16th birthday and have been in the U.S. since before January 1, 2010, you may now be eligible to apply for DACA no matter how old you are now (i.e. even if you were over age 31 on June 15, 2012);
  2. DACA for new first-time and renewal applicants will now be granted for relief from deportation for three years, not just two.

The government will begin accepting applications for the new DACA relief on or around February 20, 2015.

  • A new program has been created called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).  Like DACA, this is a temporary protection from deportation, with a grant of employment authorization.   People who may qualify are those who:
  1. Have a son or daughter of any age who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and was born on or before November 20, 2014;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 2010;
  3. Were physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014, and at the time of making a DAPA request;
  4. Had no lawful status on November 20, 2014;
  5. Are not an “enforcement priority.”  This is defined as people with certain criminal records and/or recent deportation orders.  It will be important for people who may be in this category to get legal counseling from a licensed immigration attorney, accredited immigration representative, or accredited social service agency to find out if your criminal or immigration record affects your eligibility before applying.
  6. DAPA applicants who are approved will be granted for relief from deportation for three years.

The government will begin accepting applications for the new DAPA relief on or around May 20, 2015.

For more information:

Central La Interfaith Immigration Center in Alexandria http://www.diocesealex.org/immigration-legal-services

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans http://www.ccano.org/programs/hacs/

Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy in Slidell http://gcclp.org/legal-services/immigration

Migration and Refugee Services, Diocese of Lafayette http://www.diolaf.org/index.cfm?load=page&page=174

Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge http://ccdiobr.org/programs/migration-and-refugee-services.html

Catholic Charities of North Louisiana in Shreveport http://ccshpt.org/immigration.html

Loyola New Orleans College of Law, Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice http://www.loyno.edu/lawclinic/

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Spring 2015 ESL Classes Begin in January!

English as A Second Langauge

(504) 722-5692
English as a Second Language (ESL) classes serve hundreds of adult learners annually and operate in 6 sites throughout Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Tammany parishes. Both morning and evening classes are offered in order to accommodate all work schedules, and 100% of instructors are volunteers. Our ESL and Citizenship classes provide a key component for integrating into the American society for both immigrants who have recently arrived and those who have been in this country for several years.

Spring 2015 ESL  classes begin in January 2015! Please call 504-722-5692 or email Tessa Wheelock at TWheelock@ccano.org for registration info! You can also download a flier with registration dates and more info here:

Primavera 2015 clases de ESL comienzan en enero 2015 ! Por favor llame a 504-722-5692 o por correo electrónico Tessa Wheelock en TWheelock@ccano.org de información de registro ! También puede descargar un folleto con las fechas de inscripción y más información aquí:

Mùa xuân năm 2015 lớp học ESL bắt đầu vào tháng 1 năm 2015 ! Xin vui lòng gọi 504-722-5692 hoặc email Tessa Wheelock ở TWheelock@ccano.org cho thông tin đăng ký ! Bạn cũng có thể tải về một tờ rơi với ngày đăng ký và biết thêm ở đây:

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