In just the past five years, Catholic Charities has outgrown two offices – one in St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, the other in downtown Castle Rock. At the end of October, the organization moved once again to a much larger space at 410 South Wilcox Street, Suite 201.
“This move allows us to meet the growing need for assistance in Douglas County,” said Andy Barton, Catholic Charities CEO. “But what we are even more excited about, is the way in which this new space will allow us to continue working on innovative and collaborative solutions that go beyond the traditional “hand-outs” and really address the root causes of poverty.”
Since arriving in Douglas County five years ago, Catholic Charities has established critical collaborations with the county and other human service providers. This team approach was a consideration in the move. “Co-locating with Tri-County Health and Alternatives Pregnancy Center was a key consideration,” said Barton. “We believe this move consolidates key services in one building that will bring much improved access for the families we serve.”
“It is paradoxical that Catholic Charities needs to be here in Castle Rock, a community known for its wealth. However, more families than ever before are walking through our doors seeking help. Last year we served 635 households which reflects a 150 percent growth in families served each month in just the past three years,” said Paul Narduzzo, regional director for Catholic Charities of Central Colorado.
Established programs such as English as a Second Language classes, emergency services, and a furniture outreach program were a few of the original programs and are still available. However extensive case management, counseling services, and specialty outreach programs such as winter coats, Thanksgiving turkeys, and the Christmas Giving Tree help families have a sense of normalcy while they work with their case manager to pursue stability.
“Case management is so important to ensure clients start and continue down a path to stability. Sometimes we research available services; other times we educate our families on the services available, not only from us, but within the community. Many times we are the cheerleader or the person to listen and offer encouragement,” said Kathy Bullen, community case manager with the Castle Rock office. The theory is if agencies can provide wrap-around services within the case management structure, families will gain stability more rapidly and for the long term.
Catholic Charities was a founding partner and serves in an administrative and case management capacity with Douglas County Cares (DCC), a program that provides wrap-around services and some affordable housing for families experiencing homelessness or poverty. Catholic Charities is also a primary referring agency for the Winter Shelter Network in Douglas County.
“The need is clear, and this move ensures Catholic Charities has the programs and services to continue to help families for years to come. Whether in Douglas, Park or Elbert counties, we are focused on filling service gaps to help families recover from crisis and build resiliency,” said Narduzzo.