Christopher Meehan – Director of Development, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Harrisburg
Hello from Catholic Charities! I hope you have had a wonderful summer. It is my pleasure to update you on some important news from our office.
“Hope for All”
In 2012, three of the Catholic Charities residential programs (Evergreen House, Interfaith Shelter for Homeless Families, and Lourdeshouse Maternity Home) moved from three separate facilities into one new location in Harrisburg – the Saint Samuel Center.
Collectively, these three programs are known as our “Homes for Healing.” Each of these services provides help and creates hope for different client groups. Evergreen House helps women recovering from addiction. The Interfaith Shelter for Homeless Families is the only shelter in the tri-county region that keeps families together during a homeless crisis. Lourdeshouse offers various types of support for pregnant women and their babies.
If you need an example of the kind of work being performed by Catholic Charities, the Saint Samuel Center is the perfect illustration. I have been there many times, and I am both proud and humbled every time I visit there. I am proud of the staff who do everything they can to help individuals facing various issues, and I humbled by the people who are trying to face these challenges.
While the move to the Saint Samuel Center has been beneficial for us, there is one challenge that still confronts our programs in the facility. The building is not accessible for handicapped individuals. It would be easy to say, “We’ve never had a client in a wheelchair before, so why is that a concern?” But that would be both selfish and naïve. It is imperative that we address the issue immediately and position ourselves to offer services to all individuals.
In order to do that, renovations are necessary provide handicapped accessible accommodations. These renovations include accessible bedrooms and bathrooms, upgrades to the kitchen and dining areas, a new elevator, a new garden space, etc. To raise the needed funds to make this possible, Catholic Charities and the Diocese of Harrisburg have embarked on an ambitious fundraising effort. The “Hope for All” campaign is a large undertaking for us, and I am hopeful that many individuals, businesses, and foundations will join us in this ambitious effort.
In the coming weeks, you see more information about the campaign and the progress being made at the Saint Samuel Center. Thank you considering being a part of this important project.
Mark your calendars for three upcoming Catholic Charities events. On Saturday, September 13th, the 10th annual Shelter Shuffle 5k Run/Walk will take place on the campus of the former Harrisburg State Hospital (across from the Farm Show). Runners/walkers of all abilities are welcome. In honor of our 10th year for this event, all participants will receive a long-sleeved retro tie-dyed shirt. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Interfaith Shelter for Homeless Families. On Tuesday, November 4th, Bishop Ronald Gainer will be the featured speaker for our annual Come and See Dinner. The evening includes a reception/auction, dinner, and remarks from Bishop Gainer. All proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Homes for Healing. Lastly, tickets are available for our Notre Dame Football Ticket Raffle which will be drawn on Friday, September 26th. Two prizes (including two game tickets to the Notre Dame versus North Carolina Football Game on October 11th, two nights lodging, and spending money) will be awarded.