Through its Professional Counseling Solutions program, Catholic Charities delivers professional and confidential therapy services to individuals, couples and families regardless of their ability to pay for services. Therapy goals work upon the existing strengths of the clients and focus upon helping clients learn skills necessary to their having successful interactions with the significant persons in their lives.
We focus our therapeutic services through a family system's approach to treatment. That is, many painful symptoms that our clients experience are the result of patterns of interaction among their significant others that are no longer functional and for which they need to seek new solutions. Their self-concepts are low because they do not have the sense that they can be successful in their interactions with others. Unfortunately, their quest for a new solution is frequently frustrated by less than healthy experiences in their families of origin and they find that they have not learned the skills, such as positive communication and conflict resolution skills, that lead to healthier outcomes.
Our ability to continue to reach out to those who ordinarily would not be able to take advantage of therapeutic services in our communities is the hallmark of our services and is clearly what Jesus asks of us. Presently, common avenues of funding counseling services tend to exacerbate the injustice the poor experience and reduce Catholic Charities' ability to serve the poor in our communities.
We hope that you will consider entering into partnership with us so that poverty is not an impediment to our clients receiving the tools to create healthy lifestyles, coupleships and families.
When individuals are in crisis and cannot find their way, we provide basic necessities and help them find the path to self-sufficiency. We work with families to help map out solutions to their problems so that they can regain their dignity. We provide guidance, case management, referral and advocacy. We also may provide food, clothing and household vouchers, rent and utility assistance, or special food baskets and gifts during the holiday seasons. People in crisis need someone who cares and that is why we are here.
Eldercare Options is a program that can assess, counsel and determine the need for guardianship for disabled adults who are no longer able to make sound judgments on their own. People have special needs, especially as they grow older. When someone can no longer manage his or her personal affairs, finances, or health care, our staff will coordinate to secure an appropriate decision maker. We also offer alternative services to guardianship, such as referrals to other agencies, and information and education about guardianship to families.
Elderly Guardianship provides appropriate decision-making and advocacy for elderly adults who lack the ability to make proper judgments concerning their health, well-being and safety after being named Guardian of Person. Our caring staff makes decisions with input from the individuals and with assistance from other professionals on such issues as housing and living arrangements, medical decisions and proper burial. Staff visits with the wards on a monthly basis.
Faith in Action serves frail, homebound individuals, age 55 and older, who live in Decatur and Macon County. The program helps them maintain their independence and dignity. Services are provided at no cost to care recipients through a network of trained volunteers from area churches, service organizations and the community at-large. Some of the services provided are visiting, transportation, escorting, shopping and errands, minor home and yard maintenance, letter writing and reading, respite, and occasional meal preparation.
In 2012, this program, now expanded to include Tri-Cities Faith in Action in the Granite City area, connected 271 elderly individuals with volunteers who helped them maintain independence in their own homes. The program is always in need of more volunteer help. Five of the volunteers in this program have been recognized in the community for their excellent efforts.
Hunger hurts. It denies dignity, lessens human energy, erodes community stability, and damages the potential of a person to progress. America, long the land of plenty, now faces a crisis of hunger. An increasing number of people in our community are without food, some for the first time in their lives. For those of all ages who confront hunger, solutions must be found. Our food pantry staff help with immediate problems as well as search for solutions for the future.
Donations of food, time, and money are necessary for this program to carry out the agency's on-going response to hunger. In 2012, our food pantries served 95,249 clients.
In Carlinville, Quincy, Springfield
The families that we help in these programs are in need of additional support to help them face their daily struggles. The goal of the Intact Family Services program is to keep troubled families together by offering them intense case management and education in parenting and linking them with community resources.
They're called the "golden years," but for many aging Americans, growing older is tarnished by illness, loneliness, diminished capacity and a loss of independence. With age comes an increased chance of becoming dependent on others for help in performing the activities of daily living, including meal preparation. When low income is compounded with poor health, even more seniors have difficulty obtaining an adequate amount of food.
The Meals on Wheels program, administered by Catholic Charities of Decatur since July 2002, is geared toward ensuring the nutritional well being of the elderly, helping seniors stay happy, healthy and independent, longer. On weekdays, 350 lunches are planned by registered dieticians at Decatur Memorial Hospital and prepared in the facility's kitchens, then provided to homebound seniors in Decatur and several smaller communities in Macon County. An array of cheerful, caring volunteers, currently numbering close to 500, deliver hot, nutritious lunches with generous servings of kindness to program participants, many of whom live alone and leave their homes only on a limited basis. Generally, eligible persons are age 60 and older and have limited incomes.
Each meal supplies one-third of the federal nutritional recommended daily allowance and one-third of the recommended calorie intake. When necessary, meals can be prepared for people with special dietary needs. Currently, general, low-sodium, low-fat, diabetic, renal and bland options are available. A typical meal includes meat, vegetables and other items, such as dessert.
In Macon County, Meals on Wheels is funded
primarily by United Way of Decatur and Macon County, East Central Illinois
Area Agency on Aging, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Illinois Dept. on Aging
and the Office of Rehab Services. Volunteer drivers and financial contributions
are welcome to support this worthy effort, which provides over 50,000
meals every year to seniors in need. Call the Meals on
Wheels Coordinator at 422-6611. Tax-deductible contributions may be
sent to Catholic Charities of Decatur, 247 West Prairie, Decatur, IL
Some people find that their budgets will not stretch to include both food and prescription medicines. At Catholic Charities, we believe that no one should be without prescribed medications because they cannot afford to pay for them. The staff of the MedAssist program help individuals determine their eligibility and assist their applications for the programs that the pharmaceutical companies have for the poor. Every dollar contributed provides $7 in medication for members of your community -that is a 700% return on your donated dollars.
Quotes from some of the people who participate in the MedAssist Program:
Staff in each office are knowledgeable about services provided by other agencies and institutions in each area. They network within their communities to make sure they provide the best solutions for people in need and avoid duplicating services. For example, if a person comes to a Catholic Charities to request a service that is not available in that office, we do more than explain that fact. Our staff will go out of their way to see that persons in need are cared for by finding a way to connect them with the agency or facility that can help with the services that they need. We are proud of the fact that we know the other resources in each community and can make referrals when they are needed rather than duplicate any services.
When a helping hand is needed, Catholic Charities provides that hand in many ways. A family may need clothing, a young person may need an outfit for a job interview, a mother may need clothes required for a job, a child may need a coat to keep out the cold. Free help can be arranged when the small fees are not affordable. Donations from the community and volunteer help keep our resale shops open and the stores earn a small income to cover their operating expenses.
In 2012, the resale stores helped more
than 13,739 persons with clothing and other used household items through voucher assistance programs.
St. Clare's Health Clinic in Springfield provides preventative and basic health care for families who could not otherwise afford them. Services include pre-school and school physicals, preventative and restorative dental services, vision exams and eyeglasses, and hearing and vision test screenings. The clinic also serves as a KidCare application agent.
St. John's Breadline in Springfield serves a hot, nutritious meal in a clean, positive environment. People broken by life's struggles come in each day to fill their hunger of body and soul. Yet, despite their sorrows, they share conversations over a meal in a dining room filled with light, music, and colorful people. Without these accessible meals, our guests would spend too much time seeking food security instead of jobs, education, and the relationships that help weave them into our community.
Volunteers work together to help with the more than 195,381 meals we serve each year.