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.”

Cornerstone Builders host Symposium for Systemic Change

Cornerstone Builders and staff at the 2013 New Beginnings Ceremony

Symposium for Re-entry and Systemic Change

Join in a discussion with community leaders on how we can work for social justice and systemic change in our criminal justice system. The symposium will feature an initiative for emergency housing, immediate employment and empowerment services to returning citizens, within 72 hours of release from prison. Featured speakers include:

Kenneth Polite, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Louisiana

Whalen Gibbs, LA Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections Assistant Secretary

Susan Lindsey, Assistant to Sheriff Marlin Gusman and Reentry Program Administration

Rhett Covington,  LA Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections Deputy Assistant Director for Reentry

Other presenters include:  Catholic Charities Cornerstone Builders, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Ozanam Inn, Re-entry Partners

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014, 8:00 am to 1:30 pm

St. Anthony of Padua Church

234 Angus Drive, Luling, LA 70122

For more information or to register contact Emily Heiser at 504-310-6954  or email at eheiser@ccano.org

JUSTICE a judicial system of fairness and mercy

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE spiritual healing, reconciliation, and transformation

CIVIC JUSTICE rehabilitation through service

JUSTICE REINVESTMENT advocacy for public dollars to be spent on rehabilitation and job creation for returning citizens.

 “If you want peace, work for justice”- Pope Paul VI

Why? The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world.  For the many leaving our criminal justice system, homelessness and unemployment are major factors in continuing the cycle of recidivism back into a life of crime, violence and ultimately back into the prison system. Check out this video on Mass Incarceration in the U.S. for some great background info and join us for the discussion on October 3!

Hope Haven Adult Day Healthcare Center Open House 9/18

Join PACE and Catholic Charities friends and staff at an open house celebration on September 18th from 10:30am-6:30pm. Take a tour, meet our staff and learn more about our senior services!  For info, call 504-267-9690.  To enroll today, call 504-835-0006.

Dine Out for Life on September 24!

Join us for ACCESS Night at Ye Olde College Inn on September 24th!

Wednesday, September 24, 4 – 11 p.m.
Ye Olde College Inn, 3000 S. Carrollton Ave.
866-3683*
ACCESS receives 20% of all proceeds on this night!
ACCESS is a pro-life program of Catholic Charities, that provides free comprehensive pregnancy support services including pregnancy testing, ultrasound, case management and material support to nearly 1,000 abortion-vulnerable women each year.
*Reservations accepted, but not necessary.

Providing Help, Creating Hope

The 2014 Catholic Charities Annual Report is here!

Download our FY 2014 Annual Report > | View a list of our FY 2014 Donors >

A message from our President and CEO, Sr. Marjorie Hebert, MSC:

We are called to act with justice.
We are called to love tenderly.
We are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God.*
Dear Friends of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans,

How are you called? The lyrics above are from one of my favorite hymns. In reflecting on my first full year as President and CEO of Catholic Charities, this song immediately came to mind. Catholic Charities is truly called to be the hope and provide the help for the poor, the vulnerable, the lost and the needy. Every day, the people of Catholic Charities are answering the call to be the hands and heart of Jesus here on earth.

We are truly called to act justly. Whether it is advocating for a victim of domestic violence through Project SAVE or providing access to English as a Second Language classes for immigrants and refugees, we give strength, confidence and a voice to those who are marginalized or unable to speak for themselves. We are indeed called to love tenderly. When a caregiver shares a smile with one of our disabled brothers and sisters of Padua Community Services or when we are able to provide support for our parents and youth through Isaiah 43 Parenting and Mentoring, we enfold those in need in Jesus’ loving embrace.

We are certainly called to humbly serve. In all 108 church parishes in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, at least one (or more!) Catholic Charities program has been present to provide assistance to someone in need. With over 500 employees across our many diverse programs and services, it is our daily mission to continue to evolve our ministries as a source of support for our parishes in meeting the needs of those who are struggling.
Yes, we are truly called by name. And we will continue to answer that call through our love, through our services and through the people we serve. By being a supporter of our work, you already share in our answering the call to service. For many, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans is the voice of hope and the hand that gives help. We thank you for your continued support and prayers.

God bless you,
Sr. Marjorie Hebert, M.S.C.

Annual reports are being mailed out to our donors and friends this week. Join our mailing list to get the latest info and news from Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans!

 

*From We are Called by David Haas

 


West Bank Catholic Charities Food Distribution Site Moves to First Avenue in Harvey

Harvey, LA – Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans Food For Seniors monthly food box distribution site at Hope Haven on Barataria Blvd. in Marrero has been moved to 1245 1st Avenue in Harvey. Enrolled participants should stick to their usual assigned date for the new location. New registrants and participants with assigned dates August 1 -12 who missed their usual date can pick up a food box any day this August.

Food for Seniors distribution site at 1245 1st Avenue in Harvey will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am – 2pm and Wednesday is 12:00 – 5pm.

This program distributes free supplemental food boxes for qualifying low-income senior citizens Enrollment in Food for Seniors program is always open. New and registered participants with questions can call toll free 1-800-522-3333 for more information and enrollment.

Food For Seniors/Food For Families currently holds food box distributions throughout all 64 civil parishes in Louisiana, with more than 40 sites in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. Some of these include senior living facilities, senior day care centers and churches. Food for Seniors/Food for Families is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). It is an equal opportunity program of the US Department of Agriculture and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals in collaboration with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans.