Catholic Charities Self-Sufficiency Programs
Catholic Charities fulfills the Church's role in the mission of charity to anyone in need by providing compassionate, competent and professional services that strengthen and support individuals, families and communities based on the value and dignity of human life.
Lake County Family Self-Sufficiency Program
The Family Self Sufficiency program assists low-income, single-parents with dependent children break the cycle of welfare and poverty. Participants receive education, training, employment assistance and case management for up to five years as they learn to achieve and maintain an independent, self sufficient lifestyle that allows them to provide the basic needs for their families.
Lumba, a single parent, explains that she was given a hand up, not a handout when she needed help by the Lake County Family Self-Sufficiency Program.
"I am very thankful for the help this program has extended to my four children and me. When I was homeless, with no food or clothes, they picked me up and gave me a helping hand. I am extremely grateful and will always carry Catholic Charities in my heart for the rest of my life. All the staff, my case manager, my employment case manager and supervisor, went the extra mile and were great examples for my children and me. I thank God for this program and know it can help anyone at any age, young or older, to be successful in their lives," Lumba said.
Family Shelter Program
Catholic Charities provides interim housing to families with children. The shelter serves single-parent families with children up to the age of 18. Heads of household must be at least 18 years of age. Residents are given room, board, and basic human needs services, as well as social services.
Rebeka, a single mother had lost everything, including her home and all personal property, in a fire. The building that she and her daughter lived in did not have insurance, nor did she have rental insurance. She found out about our shelter service when she called the City of Chicago's 311 non-emergency phone number. She and her four year-old daughter were hungry and alone when they arrived on Catholic Charities' door step. Rebeka discovered that she had not lost everything; with her inner strength and the wonderful staff of the program, she began to rebuild her life. In a very short period of time, she had gotten a better job, and was able to save towards her moving expenses into her new apartment.
Lake County Samaritan Hope
Samaritan Hope is a scattered site apartment style permanent housing program with supportive services for families to obtain stable housing and become self-sufficient. Families facing homelessness receive help locating an apartment, a gradually decreasing rental subsidy and wrap around supportive services such as case management, counseling, budgeting, employment, housing stabilization and self-sufficiency services. There are many opportunities to sponsor families and to provide apartment start-ups and ongoing assistance such as Thanksgiving baskets, gas and food cards, etc. as they chip away at the barriers to self-sufficiency and succeed in launching their families.
New Hope Apartments
Catholic Charities New Hope Apartments Program provides housing with intensive case management services for homeless families with children in the City of Chicago and Suburban Cook County. Families are housed in transitional apartments and for up to 24 months receiving services such as rental assistance, household furnishings, employment assistance with training and educational referrals, child care, budgeting assistance, transportation and assistance in accessing appropriate government programs. Families achieve job skills and income, decrease debt and increase self-determination during their time in the program.
Cecilia, a single mother, was living at PADS in the Northwest suburbs with her young son after having been laid off as the manager of a health club that closed because of the recession. "I wanted to get out of the shelter and get him back into stable housing," says Cecilia, who entered Catholic Charities' New Hope Apartments transitional housing program a few months ago. Now, she is moving toward self sufficiency because she had the time and the guidance to figure out how to improve her life. "No one had ever taught me how to separate my needs from my wants," she says, explaining how she was able to fall so far so quickly. "Catholic Charities has literally saved my life, because so many doors had been shut in my face when I was in my time of need, but Catholic Charities helped me. I plan on volunteering here after I leave the program."