By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the U.S. Catholic bishops’ domestic social justice, anti-poverty program, recently announced its 2009-2010 grant recipients in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

Three national grants and four local grants totaling $130,000 have been awarded to seven organizations.

CCHD addresses the root causes of poverty in America by supporting organizations that afford those who are marginalized a voice in social change and economic development.

The campaign is funded through an annual collection in Catholic parishes. In the Philadelphia Archdiocese, the CCHD collection will be taken up during Masses this weekend, July 11-12.

One-fourth of the money collected in each diocese is administered by the diocese for local projects; three-fourths is allocated to the national office in Washington, D.C., which uses it to fund educational programs and self-help projects around the country.

In the Philadelphia Archdiocese, the campaign is coordinated through the Secretariat for Catholic Human Services.

“Philadelphia is among the top 10 cities with the highest poverty rate: 25.1 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,” said Suzanne O’Grady Laurito, coordinator for the archdiocesan CCHD. “The seven organizations in our Archdiocese that will receive CCHD funding this year truly make a significant difference in the lives of inspaniduals, families and communities.

“While I recognize that we are living through difficult economic times, the reality is that there is always someone with greater needs than our own,” added O’Grady Laurito. “I am hopeful that people will be as generous as they can be toward the collection this weekend.”

The three organizations receiving national CCHD grants are follows:

Juntos, $30,000
Juntos (Spanish for “together”), located at 2029 S. Eighth St. in Philadelphia, is comprised of Mexican and other Latino immigrants who advocate for justice locally and in their home countries.

Through the CCHD grant, Juntos will strengthen its ability to organize Latino day laborers, seeking to protect their rights and ensure their livelihood.

Home Care Associates, $30,000
Home Care Associates, located at 1500 Walnut St. in Philadelphia, recruits, trains and employs low-income inspaniduals as home health aides in the city.

As shareholders in the company, the aides have a stake in their own futures. The full-time jobs include benefits packages.

The CCHD grant will increase the number of training slots and employ 10 additional aides by providing four weeks of paid training.

Women’s Community Revitalization Project, $30,000
Women’s Community Revitalization Project, 407 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, advocates social and economic justice for low-income women and their families.

The grant will help WCRP develop affordable housing and neighborhood facilities, provide supportive services and organize low-income women and their families to advocate for change and to build leadership skills.

The four organizations receiving local CHCD grants are as follows:

Witness to Innocence, $10,000
Witness to Innocence, P.O. Box 34725, Philadelphia, empowers exonerated ex-death row prisoners and their families to become leaders in the movement to abolish the death penalty.

Youth United for Change, $10,000
Youth United for Change, 1910 N. Front St., Philadelphia, is comprised of low-income high school students organized to improve the quality of public education.

Child Space Cooperative Development Inc., $10,000
Child Space CDI, located at 5517 Greene St., Philadelphia, is dedicated to improving the quality of jobs for traditionally low-paid childcare workers and the care of the children and families they serve.

Every Mother is a Working Mother, $10,000
Every Mother is a Working Mother, located at 22 Maplewood Mall, Philadelphia, is a multi-racial grassroots network of mothers and grandmothers who campaign that raising children should be reflected in welfare, other resources and in social and economic policies.

CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at (215) 587-2468 or

Cardinal thankful for continued support of CCHD

The annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) will be taken up in parishes across the Archdiocese this weekend, July 11-12.

For nearly 40 years, the CCHD has stood with poor and low-income peoples, helping to create permanent solutions to poverty, Cardinal Justin Rigali said in a letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese.

“Through the collection, contributions of the faithful become tools of self-reliance, self-sufficiency and self-determination as anti-poverty projects are implemented across the country and in the communities and neighborhoods of our own Archdiocese,” continued the Cardinal.

Noting that the lives and futures of 37 million Americans who are living in poverty are at stake, he said the annual collection also raises consciousness about poverty and the Church’s social mission.

“On behalf of literally thousands of citizens and neighbors whose lives will be offered hope through this program, I thank you for your response to this appeal,” said Cardinal Rigali.