.- The fight against the root causes of poverty in the United States will get a $9-million boost from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). The CCHD, the anti-poverty initiative of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, made the announcement yesterday. An additional $150,000 will be committed for special grants of $50,000 each to three different community-organizing networks—Pacific Institute of Community Organizations, the Industrial Areas Foundation, and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now—to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina toward long-term recovery.
The August 2005 Census Bureau report indicates that poverty rose across the U.S. for the fourth consecutive year to 12.7 percent, and most of the increases this year occurred among the working poor.
Over the years, CCHD has provided more than $280 million to more than 7,000 projects, designed to attack the root causes of poverty by seeking long-term and permanent solutions.
Even with all these funds, the CCHD is able to fund only 71 percent of the requests, and 49 percent of the requested dollars.
“This speaks to the enormity of the problems faced by the poor across this nation," Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, N.Y, chairman of the CCHD committee.
This year's grants will fund 315 local projects in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Funds come from an annual nationwide church collection. One quarter of the local collection stays in the diocese, and the remainder is distributed nationally according to need.