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Lives in Poverty are Transformed With the Help of Catholic Charities of Fort Worth

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Putting an end to poverty and hunger is the goal of Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, an organization that provides services to the 28 Roman Catholic Diocese there. As Shannon Rosedale tells us, "We are giving it our all every day and looking at the issue from every angle to find a solution. We are taking a holistic approach and implementing bold initiatives to find the answers needed to make real change.'

Hunger and poverty is driven by many causes. Language or transportation are often barriers to getting or keeping a job. Not having marketable skills is another employment barrier, while lack of interview-appropriate clothing, housing, access to showers and poor food also hinder those individuals or families trying to better themselves.

Everyone has the power to act and this organization is no exception. Aside from working with other area charities and providing resources, this service-oriented nonprofit has 350 employees and 2,500 volunteers annually that help run their over 40 community-oriented programs. Catholic Charities run each program with an emphasis on individual self-worth, self-sufficiency and transformation of lives.

Rosedale proudly notes, "More than 90 cents out of every dollar donated goes directly to provide services." The organization's business savvy and number of volunteers are crucial to keeping the administrative costs low in order to spend the most on their programs.

Catholic Charities has various social enterprise initiatives that are maximizing social impact. Their Translation and Interpretation Network (TIN) is a successful and profitable enterprise that provides a bridge in language gap and employment opportunities to immigrants and refugees. TIN provides translation and interpretation services for health care, immigration and social services, education, and legal support while employing those that speak various languages. WORN gives refugee women living in the United States a way to earn money by knitting clothing for "peace, hope and fashion." Housing, job training, and English language studies are all at Catholic Charities' Urban Manor apartments.

Catholic Charities doesn't stop there. Through their fleet of vehicles, Catholic Charities Fort Worth provides the second largest transportation program in Tarrant County. This is extremely beneficial for those who live outside of public transportation boundaries or need access to affordable off hour transportation. They connect clients to needed social services, healthcare, employment, and appointments.

Padua Pilot is their newest poverty-buster model that realizes what's been done before does not work. "Through Padua," says Rosedale, "we have redefined our definition of being out of poverty and are dedicated to finding the solutions to ending poverty." The nonprofit hopes to be able to change the social services model nationwide through this pilot project.

"Our mission is to provide service to those in need, to advocate compassion and justice in the structures of society, and to call all people of goodwill to do the same," explains Rosedale. "By meeting the needs of children, families, elderly, refugees and immigrants regardless of creed, ethnicity, or culture, we are able to serve and give hope to over 100,000 individuals and families in need each year."

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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