Dear Friends of Catholic Charities:
Despite unprecedented financial challenges over the past year, I am pleased to report that Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has maintained its longstanding and dedicated mission of serving the poor and suffering in our midst. While our overall operating budget has decreased, the number of people we serve on a daily basis continues to be astounding. In fact, the number of clients who were served in our foster care and adoption programs represented only a small fraction of the total number of people Catholic Charities serves on an annual basis.
Steven E. Roach, M.S.
In life, we have joy as well as sorrow.
Joy comes from many sources such as being a responsible person, a caring
spouse, a loving parent, a respectful child. Sorrow comes from snags
in these relationships.
Professional Counseling Solutions: Our therapeutic programs offer professional, compassionate counseling services to individuals, couples and families striving for emotional wellness. In addition to addressing such problems as depression, anxiety, difficult life transitions, and co-dependency, counseling focuses on providing individuals with the coping skills they need to be happy, productive members of their families and communities. Even though it offers a sliding fee scale, additional donations enable the agency to offer these counseling services in a safe, caring environment.
Supportive Pregnancy Services: Located in the Quincy area, this service offers crisis material assistance consisting of baby diapers and formula, as well as a parenting series for new and expecting parents. About 600 clients were served in 2012.
Faith in Action: More than 12 million Americans have a serious, long-term health need that prevents them from carrying out many daily activities for themselves. In addition, a growing number of people are faced with the challenge of helping a loved one, neighbor or friend with cancer, arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS or other conditions. The nationally-renowned Faith in Action program was created to meet those needs.
Catholic Charities of Decatur oversees the non-denominational Faith in Action of Macon County, where volunteers make a difference by providing simple assistance, such as grocery shopping, light housekeeping, transportation and companionship. Our program fills gaps in services among people who may not qualify for other programs. Presently, a network of volunteers provides non-medical assistance to nearly 100 care receivers throughout the year. Faith in Action empowers frail, homebound seniors, age 55 and older, to maintain their independence and dignity.
Madison County Catholic Charities recently began to oversee the Tri-Cities Faith in Action program, which serves seniors in the Granite City area
Elderly Guardianship and Eldercare Options: People have special needs, especially as they grow older. When someone can no longer manage his or her personal affairs, finances or healthcare, Catholic Charities’ Eldercare Options can assess, counsel and determine the need for guardianship for disabled and aged adults. We offer alternative services to guardianship, such as referrals to other agencies, and information and education about guardianship to families.
Whenever necessary, we assume guardianship and make decisions regarding the health, welfare and safety of a senior in our Elderly Guardianship program. Through input from the individual and assistance from professionals, we coordinate living arrangements, job training, entitlement and benefits, property and civil rights, religious rights, medical care and burial.
Meals on Wheels: For many homebound seniors, the prospect of preparing a meal for themselves can become overwhelming. Shopping is challenging and preparing a meal can be cumbersome. Without family or support systems, malnutrition is a potential problem.
In Macon County,
there’s such a support system in place in Meals on Wheels, operated
by Catholic Charities of Decatur since it assumed oversight of the program
in 2002. On weekdays, nutritional lunches are planned by registered
dieticians at Decatur Memorial Hospital and prepared in the facility’s
kitchen. The hot meals are then delivered to homebound seniors in Decatur
and several smaller communities in Macon County by an array of cheerful,
caring volunteers, currently numbering close to 300. Annually, we facilitate
the preparation and delivery of over 51,900 meals.
Catholic charity in America began by serving families in need. Today, children and their families remain the focus of the mission of Catholic Charities.
Catholic Children's Home: Catholic Charities provides management of the Catholic Children's Home (CCH) in Alton. The home offers emergency shelter care, residential and independent living programs for children who are wards of the state and victims of abuse and neglect. In addition, CCH operates a Special Education School for almost 140 special needs children in the Metro East St. Louis area.
Intact Family Services: To aid troubled families and children who are at risk of abuse and neglect, Catholic Charities offers an Intact Family Services program to help families learn the skills needed for future success while the family stays together. Usually, the children have been abused or neglected by parents who are having difficult problems. Without home-based services, the children may be placed in foster care. Participants do not pay fees for this service and receive some cash assistance for specific needs.
Relief Every Day: Basic Needs
For example, the food pantries located in Alton, Carlinville, Decatur, Effingham. Mattoon, Quincy and Springfield serve more than 95,000 clients a year in need of food, household supplies and personal toiletry items. During holidays, many pantries supply food baskets to area families. St. John’s Breadline in Springfield provides two free meals a day, served 365 days a year to anyone who is hungry. For those in need of health care, Catholic Charities offers many services on a low-income, sliding-scale fee basis. The St. Clare Health Clinic in Springfield serves more than 1,800 children and 400 adults a year by providing medical, dental and vision care. Under the MedAssist program, which is offered throughout the Diocese, more than 1,700 eligible clients last year were able to obtain more than $8 million of prescription medicines from pharmaceutical companies for a small fee.
Last year, Catholic Charities’ Professional Counseling Services provided counseling to 803 clients facing personal or family conflicts and problems. Student counseling is also offered by Catholic Charities’ professional therapists. Those in the Springfield diocese facing domestic crisis situations can turn to Catholic Charities for assistance in finding shelter, food, clothing and transportation. About 17,700 people a year are aided through crisis assistance centers located throughout the area. Catholic Charities staff members also serve as client advocates for those who need services from other organizations.
Hope For the Future