Joanne Granato, a manager at St. Gabriel’s Hall in Audubon, credits a dedicated staff for helping to allay pandemic-related anxiety among the adjudicated youth who reside at the facility, part of archdiocesan Catholic Social Services. St. Gabriel’s Hall is one of several archdiocesan outreaches that will benefit from a recent $150,000 grant from the Connelly Foundation designed to assist the most vulnerable in the COVID-19 crisis.  (Photo courtesy of James Black)

Three archdiocesan Catholic Social Services (CSS) agencies have received critically needed funding to serve the most vulnerable in the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a generous grant from the Connelly Foundation.

Adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, delinquent and dependent youth, and food-insecure families and individuals will all benefit from the $150,000 award, which was announced June 2 by the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

The Communities of Don Guanella and Divine Providence (DGDP), a state-licensed intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities, received $50,000 of the grant.


The DGDP communities provide a continuum of care through community and campus-based living arrangements, life sharing through family living, in-home supports, respite care and day programs.

The funding will assist in covering dramatically increased costs for personal protective equipment and overtime pay for staff, who have been working increased hours to ensure the safety and well-being of clients. In addition, DGDP has rented additional space in which to house staff between shifts.

Similar costs for the equipment and staff overtime have affected CSS’s youth services division, including its sites at St. Gabriel’s Hall in Audubon and the St. Francis-St. Joseph Homes and St. Vincent’s Home, which have together received $50,000 of the funding.

The monies will also cover internet access upgrades to continue residents’ contact with families, as well as staff meetings with city and state agencies.

The final $50,000 of the Connelly Foundation grant will be allocated to several CSS outreach ministries working to address pandemic-related food insecurity, which has soared over the past several weeks. Several archdiocesan food cupboards have reported a 100% increase in client volume since COVID-19 restrictions were implemented.

James Amato, secretary for archdiocesan Catholic Human Services, said he was grateful for his agency’s ongoing collaboration with the West Conshohocken-based Connelly Foundation to meet an array of social service needs in the five-county archdiocesan area.

“The support of the Connelly Foundation has been a long-standing gift for Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as well as the local church’s various ministries and good works,” said Amato. “I am deeply thankful for this partnership, especially so in these challenging and difficult times.”