June 19, 2014
WASHINGTON—The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the national anti-poverty program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has approved grants totaling over $14 million to empower poor and low-income communities to overcome poverty and injustice. The bishops of the CCHD subcommittee approved the grants during their meeting in New Orleans on June 10.
"The groups receiving funding from CCHD are like the mustard seed in the Gospel parable. With our support, they are growing communities where families can flourish," said Bishop Jaime Soto of the Diocese of Sacramento, chairman of the Subcommittee on CCHD. "Groups supported by CCHD understand that our partnership with them is an expression of our Catholic faith and of our desire to serve the poor as the followers of Jesus.”
This year's grant allocations include nearly $10 million in regular annual CCHD grants. These grants will support community-based organizations addressing the structural causes of poverty, such as unjust immigration and criminal justice policies, as well as organizations promoting economic development, through initiatives such as cooperatives and community lending institutions.
Over $4 million has been allocated through CCHD's Strategic National Grant Program, which focuses on issues that require an intensive community response, especially from the Catholic community. New strategic grants include support for the launching of a Catholic institute dedicated to addressing systemic economic and social problems along the Mexico-U.S. border; the promotion of community land trusts on nationwide scale to promote affordable homeownership; a statewide organizing effort to promote quality public education for poor and low-income communities in Pennsylvania; and support for a major initiative of the Washington State Catholic Conference to both get African American and farmworker communities engaged in the public square and to create support networks for expecting families. The bishops also voted to provide support to four targeted dioceses across the country to increase enrollment in Catholic schools of Latino and Hispanic children, who often lack the means to attend.
"Pope Francis has repeatedly made the point that this economy is excluding too many people, and is pushing the young and elderly off the margins. This is destroying our communities and wrecking families,” said Ralph McCloud, director of CCHD. “In a situation like this, the only solution is solidarity. The bishops of the United States stand together with everyone pushed to the edges of our communities, and CCHD is a powerful symbol of the efforts of the Catholic Church to build real and lasting solidarity.”
More information on CCHD is available online: www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development
Keywords: Catholic Campaign for Human Development, USCCB, U.S. bishops, anti-poverty, national strategic grants, social justice, economic development, Catholic social teaching, Bishop Jaime Soto, immigrants, grassroots
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