BY ROCHELLE SCHLORTT
The time period between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is National Family Month. In 1998, Congress passed the National Family Month bill to recognize the importance of children and families to the future of the United States. This national recognition of family is particularly important to us at Catholic Charities as most of our programs have families at the center of everything we do.
Our newest family programs pair qualifying families with local congregations as well as access on-site programs and partnerships to transition families out of homelessness. Qualifying families must have a base level of income to enter the program. The success rate of families maintaining housing for at least a year is above 90%.
We also welcome families in crisis and homeless families to partner with us through case management to develop a plan to move from crisis to stability. These families access a variety of programs and services such as Catholic Charities emergency services for basic needs, the Life Skills and Career Development Center to begin developing skills to find employment, or Family Immigration Services to begin the process towards legal residency. These are just a few of the family programs that are available at Catholic Charities.
The intent of National Family Month is to provide opportunities for families to spend time together, develop and renew family relationships, identify and rediscover needs within the family, and remind everyone of the important role that family plays in raising healthy and confident kids. These concepts are recognized in the programming and activities being developed in new family programs at Catholic Charities as well as in existing programs and services. Many of our programs provide educational support and resources that can ultimately strengthen the family structure and provide the tools needed to begin the journey toward greater stability.
We are particularly proud of a partnership that is in development with CPCD and our Family Services programs. When a family in poverty or homelessness seeks our services, we will be able to enroll them in a CPCD Headstart class. Look for more information on this as these plans become more solidified.
Families are at the core of a strong society. If we didn’t think we had a reason to celebrate families publicly, just remember, Mother’s Day to Father’s Day is National Family Month!