Charities work to address joblessness as Thanksgiving nears
By Kevin J. Jones, Staff Writer
Charities work to address joblessness as Thanksgiving nears

.- As Thanksgiving Day approaches, unemployment and the need for Catholic Charities persists.

The U.S. workforce is “still waiting for a recovery,” Catholic Charities USA said in a “snapshot survey” released on Nov. 23. There is a “steady increase” in the number of working poor seeking help for basic needs, especially emergency financial assistance.

In the second quarter of 2010, over 70 percent of Catholic Charities agencies reported an increase in aid requests from the working poor. In the third quarter, 81 percent reported an increase. Asked how the recession has affected clients, about 84 percent of agencies blamed increased unemployment, 65 percent blamed increased underemployment, and 58 percent blamed increased foreclosures.

An extension for federal unemployment benefits expires on Nov. 30 and could push more Americans to seek assistance.

Jennifer Buell, development director of Catholic Charities Terre Haute, Indiana, told CNA her office often receives phone calls from individuals who have lost their jobs. They are “for the first time seeking assistance in meeting the daily needs for themselves and their family, especially food and rent assistance.”

The Catholic Charities affiliate’s food bank serves more than 32,200 individuals and works as a distribution center for more than 75 member agencies like food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters which provide food directly to those in need.

Citing a 2009 survey, Buell reported that the member agencies’ clients are predominantly white and not senior citizens. Forty-one percent are 17 years of age or younger and 73 percent have an income at or below the federal poverty level.

“The most frequently mentioned source of income (51%) was (a) non-welfare governmental source such as social security, unemployment compensation, Disability/Workers compensation, and Supplemental Security Income,” Buell told CNA.

Catholic Charities Terre Haute was “excited” to receive a refrigerated truck from the Walmart Foundation, which also made a $70,000 grant through the Walmart State Giving Program. Buell reported that the donations will be “especially helpful” to deliver nutritious food to the service sites within the Catholic Charities affiliate’s seven-county service area.

In addition to the food bank, Catholic Charities Terre Haute operates a homeless shelter, a youth center and household exchange and a clothes closet.

“Each of these programs has seen an increase in the number of individuals seeking assistance. More and more individuals are seeking assistance with clothing, especially for children; rent assistance because they are facing eviction; utilities (electric and heat) assistance; and even gas for their vehicles to get to work.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

New book 'The Vatican unknown'
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.

Liturgical Calendar

August 1, 2014

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:54-58


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 26: 1-9
Gospel:: Mt 13: 54-58

Saint of the Day

St. Alphonsus Liguori »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: