05/20/2020 | News Articles
By Jim Sliney Jr
The Coronavirus impact on Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County makes it challenging to deliver on their mission. That mission? Helping neglected children, homeless families, new immigrants and refugees, seniors in need, and the newly unemployed. That’s a big plate and in February of 2020, it was, as usual, full.
But Catholic Charites Community Services of Dutchess County (CCCSDC) was not idle when the concerns began to grow about the Coronavirus coming to America. They developed on-site and off-site plans of action following the CDC guidelines as they were released. By March 16th CCCSDC reduced on-site staff hours and increased their telecommuting work. Like for all of us, that transition was challenging, but forethought and careful planning made it so that by March 20th, services became 100% remote without interrupting services.
A PROFILE IN AID
During the pandemic, CCCSDC received a call from a 44-year-old, Spanish-speaking man. He was in dire need of food assistance and unemployment services. A bilingual case manager got the SNAP program coordinator on the phone and enrolled him immediately. He has since been connected with local pantries for ongoing food support. The case manager also instructed the man how to apply for unemployment, which he did and is currently pending. “I am grateful to Catholic Charities Dutchess,” said the man, “for their ongoing assistance during this time of uncertainty. Without their help, I do not know what would have become of me.”
This is why the network of agencies of Catholic Charities exists, and always will, to help people in their time of need. No matter how big the problem, Catholic Charities of New York and agencies like Catholic Charity Community Services of Dutchess County will be there.
“Physically being apart from the team is hard for us all,” said executive director of CCCSDC Julie West. “Good mornings, conference calls, virtual birthday celebrations do not make up for being with such fabulous team members. Most of our clients are used to simply walking in and being seen immediately by the assigned duty case manager. That connection is something my team and I miss greatly. Being with our brothers and sisters in need and truly helping is why my team and I are here.”
CAN Catholic Charites Community Services of Dutchess County HELP ME NOW?
Yes, they can. If you are in need you can call 845-499-1597 24-hours a day, 7 days a week and your needs will be assessed by bilingual case managers.
You can also seek assistance by visiting the CCCSCD website at https://catholiccharities-dutchesscounty.org/contact/ where you can fill out a contact form and write in your needs.
For Immigration help, call 845-288-2662.
FOR EXISTING CLIENTS
The services you need continue to be provided. In fact, staff have been redeployed to the neediest areas to ensure resources remain active. This means Food Pantries are in modified-operation, as are the Kinship Women’s Groups, the ONA Navigator and Deaf Ministries which are operating remotely.