The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, (CCHD) the national social outreach campaign sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops since 1970, has released the list of proposed grant recipients for fiscal year 2017.

On the list within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia there are four recipients of national grants for Philadelphia-based groups ranging from $75,000 to $25,000 and seven local awards with most grants $6,000 to $3,000.

While not every organization receiving a grant is specifically Catholic-sponsored, all reflect the Gospel values of outreach to the poor and the disenfranchised.


In keeping with USCCB guidelines, the campaign funds “such projects as voter registration, community organizations, community-run schools, minority-owned cooperatives and credit unions, capital for industrial development and job training programs.”

To qualify for grants, the guidelines state, “the applicant organizations must not promote, in any way, activities that work against Catholic values. CCHD’s grants to local anti-poverty efforts are screened and awards are monitored in close partnership with local Catholic dioceses. CCHD grants to groups in a local community require the explicit approval of the bishop of that diocese.”

This year the Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will be held at Masses on the weekend of July 9-10, according to Suzanne O’Grady Laurito, who is the coordinator for the campaign.

From the collection 75 percent will be sent to the national campaign to be applied against national grants, including those in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, while 25 percent will be retained in Philadelphia for the local grants that are chosen directly by the archdiocese.

“Our review is pretty strict. I Google the organization to see what they are doing and visit them,” Laurito said. “We really look for Catholic principles when we choose them. They are all doing important work, and the people will be happy to know what they are doing.”

National CCHD grants

* $60,000, Urban Tree Connection. To assist low-income neighborhoods by transforming abandoned property into food producing gardens. It will partner with Catholic entities in Chester.

* $60,000, POPASH (Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health). Organizing day laborers to address injustice they are facing and making a difference in the lives of immigrants.

* $75,000, POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild). Focus on employment education, criminal justice and blighted neighborhoods.

* $25,000, PACA (Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance). Cooperative development in support of creating quality jobs.

Local CCHD Grants

* $20,000, Aquinas Center, South Philadelphia. To support Teen Voices leadership development program and expand small business opportunities that will foster leadership.

* $6,000, Dawn’s Place, Philadelphia. Support of the education and advocacy work of Dawn’s Place, which provides a safe and secure residential program for women who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

* $3,000, Inn Dwelling, Kensington. Funds for a three-day formation retreat for 18 financially challenged Catholic youth.

* $6,000, Mission of St. Joan of Arc, Frankford. Create a community garden as a way to bring the community together, beautify the neighborhood and produce fresh food.

* $6,000, Our Lady of Hope Parish, North Philadelphia. Engage parishioners in faith to do justice around food security, poverty, racism and injustice faced by immigrants and the formerly imprisoned.

* $6,000, Providence Center, North Philadelphia. Subsidize the operating cost of a Teen Leadership Program that develops students into leaders and role models for younger students.

* $3,000, Community Center at Visitation, Kensington. Support the work of the Kensington development program that brings together local community members, social service agencies and businesses to work toward solutions for community problems.