2016 Catholic Charities USA Annual Survey
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 00:00

NEWS RELEASE                144 West Wood Street,
                                                                     Phone: 330-744-8451
                                                                     Fax: 330-742-6448
                                                                     Rev. Monsignor John A. Zuraw, Chancellor

FOR RELEASE Immediate DATE SENT May 16, 2017
SUBJECT         2016 Catholic Charities USA Annual Survey

MORE INFO     Catholic Charities  330.744.8451 x328


Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Youngstown recently completed the 2016 Catholic Charities USA Annual Survey, an instrument administered annually to all Catholic Charities organizations across the United States to assess services, client demographics, finances, personnel, and execution of mission-related activities.  Participating in the 2016 survey on behalf of the Diocese of Youngstown were Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County, Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark Counties, Catholic Charities Regional Agency (serving Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties), and Catholic Charities Housing Opportunities.  An assessment of programs and activities managed by Catholic Charities’ diocesan offices, such as Legal Immigration Services, parish engagement, and implementation of Catholic identity, were also captured in the survey.

With its ten locations and twenty programs, Catholic Charities throughout the Diocese of Youngstown served a total of 32,010 people in 2016.  Eighty six-percent (86%) of Catholic Charities’ clients reported incomes below the federal poverty line, which was $24,300 for a family of four in 2016.  Eighty three-percent (83%) of the clients served qualified for some type of public assistance, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP--food stamps), and Medicaid benefits.  Additionally, Catholic Charities assisted 519 veterans and 306 military families.   

Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Youngstown provided close to $1 million in direct assistance to clients in 2016.  Sources for the direct assistance funds include the Annual Bishop’s Appeal for Catholic Charities and Church, as well as grants and contracts with government entities and other local sources.

Ninety-percent (90%) of Catholic Charities’ 2016 budget was devoted to programs that meet basic human needs, strengthen families, build communities, and empower low-income people.  Ten-percent (10%) of the budget was allocated to administration and fund raising activities.

Ensuring that clients and their families have food, adequate and stable housing, and other basic needs continues to be Catholic Charities’ top priority. 

In 2016, a total of 11,797 households accessed Catholic Charities’ basic needs assistance programs.  The majority of these households received food assistance.  Catholic Charities maintains eight food pantries, which provided over 14,000 food bags/boxes last year to 8,681 people.  An additional 4,443 people received food vouchers and other food services.  Through its Senior Center in East Liverpool, Catholic Charities Regional Agency delivered over 17,000 meals to local homebound residents, and offered 580 meals on-site at monthly “community meals.” 

A newer hunger-relief initiative offered by Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County and Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark Counties called Cooking Matters at the Store, provided an interactive grocery shopping experience to 144 people.  A program of Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign, Cooking Matters empowers participants to stretch their food budgets to provide healthy meals for their families at home.

Over 1,756 clients received housing services, which include foreclosure counseling, housing counseling, pre-purchase counseling, case management, and rent/mortgage assistance.  Catholic Charities provided over $300,000 in rental assistance payments last year to help over 1,400 client families remain in their homes.  Additionally, Catholic Charities provided twenty-five (25) units of permanent housing to low-income individuals and families.  Five clients became first-time homebuyers through Catholic Charities’ down payment assistance program.

In addition to food and housing, Catholic Charities’ utility assistance impacted 5,733 adults and children.  Over 1,400 people received clothing assistance; 88 people received transportation assistance; and 84 people received direct prescription assistance.  Other basic needs, including emergency shelter assistance, personal hygiene items, and furniture and household items for those transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing were provided to 2,051 people.

In addition to basic needs assistance, Catholic Charities offers other programs that affirm the value of life, respect the human dignity, and help people reach their full potential. 

Catholic Charities’ First Step Pregnancy and Family Support Programs available throughout the diocese address the specific needs of low-income pregnant women and families with children ages 0-3.  First Step pairs case management with specific material assistance—including food, formula, diapers, and other baby essentials.  Last year, 1,827 households received information, referral services, and tangible goods to help ensure their families’ health, safety, and well-being.

In addition to meeting the basic needs of children and families, Catholic Charities also works with older adults who struggle to provide for themselves on fixed or limited incomes.  Over 1,800 adults ages 65 and older participated in Catholic Charities’ programs in 2016, including adult day services in Stark County (Louisville); senior center and hot meal program in Columbiana County (East Liverpool); volunteer guardianship program in Ashtabula County; and senior support in Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull Counties, which provides in-home social work, case management, support, and transportation to necessary appointments and errands. 

In recent years, Catholic Charities has expanded its efforts to help basic needs assistance clients move toward greater self-sufficiency.  Over 600 clients last year participated in financial literacy counseling, a service that helps people develop and enhance their money management skills, while receiving information on decision-making, budgeting, avoiding predatory lenders, tracking and prioritizing expenses, and problem-solving.  A pilot project launched in the last quarter of 2015, Project Assisi, provides material assistance and case management to families with the motivation and ability to achieve self-sufficiency.  Financial literacy counseling offered through Project Assisi helps families plan for long-term stability.  In 2016, seventy-two (72) households throughout the diocese participated in Project Assisi. 

“Catholic Charities is an organization that meets people where they are and responds accordingly,” explains Rachel Hrbolich, Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities.  “We are there when people are facing the crisis of the moment—hungry children, a utility about to be disconnected, a pending eviction—as well as when people are ready to make major changes in their lives. 

Catholic Charities recognizes that each situation presented to us is unique and requires a response tailored to the needs of the client.  Over the years we have learned that we can’t solve every problem with financial or material assistance.  This is why case management is emerging as an integral part of our basic needs assistance programs.  Through case management, we can take the time necessary to explain that poverty does not have to be a life sentence.  We can empower our clients to change their course, while assuring them that Catholic Charities will continue to offer encouragement and support along the way,” Hrbolich continues.

Other Catholic Charities’ programs in the diocese, including those listed below, had a significant impact in 2016:

  • Homeless Outreach services provided by Catholic Charities Regional Agency were provided to 1,309 people, 175 of whom were also linked with health care through Community Connect. 
  • Christina House, the domestic violence shelter in Columbiana County sponsored by Catholic Charities Regional Agency, provided emergency shelter to 96 women and children.  Legal advocacy, assistance with obtaining protection orders, and information and referral services were provided to slightly more than 1,000 people.  Staff from Christina House fielded 336 crisis telephone calls, and provided community presentations and trainings to over 2,400 people.  One hundred forty (140) inmates participated in domestic violence and anger management groups facilitated by Catholic Charities Regional Agency.
  • School-based abstinence education sponsored by Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County was provided to about 3,000 students. 
  • Representative payee services offered by Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County helped 273 people with special needs manage their financial affairs when no available family member or trusted friend was available to do so. 
  • Caritas Café, a program of Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark Counties located in Ravenna, provided approximately 250 people with daily light refreshments and socialization in a casual, informal atmosphere.  This program focuses on low-income and homeless individuals, many of whom have mental health, substance abuse, and rehabilitation issues.
  • Women’s Professional Closet, a program sponsored by Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark Counties located in Canton, provided clothing for 134 low-income women entering or re-entering the workforce.
  • Catholic Charities Legal Immigration Services, accredited by the Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA) since 2006, provides family-based immigration assistance to those who wish to obtain legal status in the United States, either for themselves or for their relatives.  In 2016, Catholic Charities Legal Immigration Services helped 118 people with citizenship applications, family visa petitions, removal proceedings, and legal representation for other matters.

All of Catholic Charities’ services in the Diocese of Youngstown were delivered by a staff of 56 full-time and 28 part-time employees.  Two hundred seventy-three (273) volunteers contributed over 10,000 hours of service to Catholic Charities last year.  An additional 37 people served on Catholic Charities’ various boards of directors. 

Catholic Charities is committed to developing and strengthening relationships with parishes throughout the six-county diocese, as well as promoting Catholic identity through new employee orientation, on-going training for current employees, prayerful work environment, art and ambiance of service sites, and marketing materials for external audiences.

For more information concerning the 2016 Catholic Charities USA Annual Survey, contact Rachel Hrbolich, Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities, at 330-744-8451, ext. 328 ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or visit Catholic Charities’ website at www.ccdoy.org.