In 1968, Monsignor Don Dunn was working at the Archdiocese of Denver (the Colorado Springs Diocese had not been formed yet). He was given the mission of establishing a Catholic Charities office in Colorado Springs. In October of that year, Denver Archbishop James Casey officially signed the articles of incorporation for Colorado Springs Catholic Social Services. Although the name has changed several times, Catholic Charities of Central Colorado has always had the mission of helping those in need and making our community a better place to live.
Catholic Charities of Central Colorado established
Catholic Charities organizations in Colorado
Catholic Charities has a long history of providing food to the community. We began operating the Marian House Kitchen in 1994.
Helping families is in our DNA. We have been serving families since our founding in 1968.
We provide a plethora of services to help individuals and families achieve their goals and become stable.
In May 2013, Catholic Charities opened an office in Castle Rock to address the growing needs of the area.
A lot has happened in 50+ years as Catholic Charities has become an integral part of the community.
In 1985, the Marian House Soup Kitchen – operated by the Bijou community – moved to its current location at 14 West Bijou Street in what was the Sisters of Loretto nunnery. It provides a hot, nutritious meal daily – 365 days a year – to anyone in need. In 1994, Catholic Charities took over soup kitchen operations, building the new Marian House Kitchen in 2008. At the time, an average of 600 daily meals were served.
In 2021, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Catholic Charities opened The Marketplace food pantry to address food insecurity exacerbated by the pandemic. In just the first year, over 180,000 pounds of food were distributed. Together, the meals program and the food pantry form Nutrition Services which meets the most basic human need: providing food to anyone who is hungry.
In 1999, the Life Support Center merged with Catholic Charities. It provided emergency support to pregnant women and families with young children. It was a way to encourage low-income families to continue with an unexpected pregnancy by providing supplemental support for high-cost items that might lead a cash-strapped family to consider abortion.
In 2016, the Family Mentor Alliance moved to Catholic Charities. The two programs combined to become Family Connections. Programs were expanded to provide case management, Life Coaching, Early Education, child maltreatment prevention, and more. The program moved into the Helen Hunt Campus in 2017.
Catholic Charities provides a plethora of services to help individuals and families achieve stability. In the mid-90s, English as Second Language classes began being offered to help immigrants learn English and integrate into the community. In 2008, Family Immigration Services was formed to help immigrants take the next step toward legal residency. Through legal services and using Department of Justice certified counselors, Catholic Charities helps individuals and families navigate the complex immigration system through case management, citizenship classes, waivers, DACA, and more. We help immigrants achieve citizenship, residency, or another legal status
In July 2015, CCCC opened a Life Skills & Career Development Program – now the Hanifen Employment Center – which provides individualized assistance for clients to achieve personal and professional goals. In the first year, 46 clients found employment. In year two, that number had increased to 200. Today, clients are assisted with job placement and skills development through computer and resume classes, personal mentoring, hiring events, and on-site job fairs, and help to apply for jobs online.
In May 2013, Catholic Charities opened an office in Castle Rock to address the growing needs of the area. Initially offering emergency assistance and a variety of English as a Second Language classes, services have expanded to meet the growing community needs. This includes offering a Winter Shelter Network, a Family Center, rent and utility assistance, a food pantry, housing support, and more.
“The Marian House is invaluable because it feeds people. They keep people’s stomachs full and the food is good.”
“Never in a million years did I think I would be homeless.”
“When a person is truly ready to change, Catholic Charities will provide everything you need to change your life.”
“Some days it is just so hard to be homeless.”
“I feel way more confident in myself and my ability to be a mom.”
“Catholic Charities offered me a hand up and that made all the difference.”
“It felt like freedom…finally!”
“It seemed like there was no hope.”
“Every day we are thankful for Catholic Charities.”
“Seeing the help they gave to those in need really impressed me.”
“I am making the changes to get the life I have dreamed of.”
“If I didn’t have Catholic Charities, I don’t know where we would be. I am so grateful.”