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"Winter is on my head but eternal spring is in my heart." -Victor Hugo Every year at this time, when it’s not quite winter and not quite spring, we are given a unique glimpse into the dichotomy of life. In a matter of days we can experience

warm & cold, old & new, loss & growth.

At Commonwealth Catholic Charities, we often experience these contrasts firsthand through the people we serve. Every day, we see real change. We see loneliness replaced with friendship. We see desperation replaced with confidence. We see pain replaced with hope. We see fear replaced with peace. Across the Commonwealth of Virginia, CCC impacts individuals, families, and communities every day. "We are here to serve the most vulnerable," said CEO Jay Brown. "The staff at CCC are

dedicated & passionate

about igniting real change for our clients. Being a part of that transformation is truly a blessing."

www.cccofva.org • CCC provides quality, compassionate human services to all people, especially the most vulnerable, regardless of faith.





CCC provides extensive services to refugee populations for their first five years in the United States. Services include case management, school and medical liaison support, cultural orientation, employment services, and English language services.

This fall, with a grant from the Roanoke Women's Foundation, CCC also added a new program specifically for refugee women who are unemployed or underemployed. "Many of our clients in Roanoke come from countries with high gender inequality and low employment of women," said CEO

Jay Brown. "This makes it difficult for some women to integrate comfortably into their new lives in the U.S." CCC's new program, Breaking Down Barriers, will assist women through a variety of education and culturally-focused services. "Our research shows that early education helps women navigate and integrate into their new lives better. It even improves the long-term success of their children," said Brown. "We're so pleased to have the opportunity to offer these additional services which will make such a huge difference in our clients' lives."

Jay Brown and Amar Bhattarai were presented with a $70,00 check from the Roanoke Women's Foundation in November 2019.

Help us keep the momentum going in Roanoke with RVGives on March 18. Visit our website for more info!

HAMPTON ROADS OFFICE RECEIVES HOMELESS SERVICES GRANT Commonwealth Catholic Charities was awarded a three-year, $193,500 grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation (HRCF) to support its homeless services in the area. The project was funded by the William A. and Jane M. Charters fund of the HRCF and the Sandee Ferebee and Erik van Striven Fund of the HRCF. “With this grant, we can expand our homeless services in the Western Tidewater and 2 | Commonwealth Catholic Charities

Chesapeake areas,” said Abby Boyd, Director of Supportive Housing and Homeless Services. "While we aren't the only homeless services provider in the area, we do have a unique ability to assist clients in a variety of ways, beyond housing services." Last quarter, the team secured housing for three clients experiencing homelessness who also received financial counseling from CCC’s Income and

Asset-building Services team. With the additional funding, the team looks forward to even more opportunities in the area. The Hampton Roads Community Foundation is southern Virginia’s largest grant and scholarship provider. Since its founding in 1950, the regional community foundation has provided more than $282 million in grants and scholarships to improve life in southeastern Virginia.


Warmed Housed IN FROM THE COLD



When a job brought his family to Richmond this winter, Jeremiah, his wife, and four children spent several very cold nights sleeping in their van. Out of options, they turned to CCC’s Housing Resource Center where they worked with housing specialist, Alyson Saylors. Saylors secured a motel for the family to stay at while they searched for a long-term housing solution.

The City of Hopewell has selected CCC to staff and operate the Inclement Weather Shelter for the 2019-2020 winter season. The shelter has already received an outpouring of support as third-graders from nearby Patrick Copeland Elementary School recently donated their time and creativity to help at the shelter by organizing and decorating with encouraging notes.

The Diocesan Fuel and Hunger Fund of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond has awarded $16,250 to CCC. The funds are available through the generous support of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal by the people of the Diocese and are used to assist clients in dire need of assistance with food and utilities.

“When people are in a crisis like this," said Jacob Snow, Program Manager, Supportive Housing and Homeless Services, "it’s important that they have someone like Alyson to turn to—someone who can find them a warm place to sleep and connect them with other resources like food, clothes, and supplies."

Educated Empowered


SUCCESS IN THE WORKPLACE When Monica came to CCC she was disappointed and dejected from a lengthy—and unsuccessful—job search. She began working with a CCC Employment Navigator who helped her polish her resume, practice interview techniques, and brush up on some of her job skills.

"We work with people where they are," said Workforce Development Supervisor, Michelle Jones. "We tailor our educational tools to each individual's strengths and needs." Soon, CCC's team found Monica a position at a senior care facility where she could earn a living wage.

“We have a network of partnering organizations whom we work with for job placements," said Jones. "Our partners also help with continued job coaching to assist with maintaining employment. It's incredibly rewarding to see someone succeed and to know that we were a part of that." Chronicle • Winter 2020 | 3


Called Inspired “Emails get reactions. Phone calls start conversations.”


he phone call between Pam Hobson, CCC's newly-hired Facilities Coordinator, and a customer service agent was a real conversation starter. “In working on a project for our Richmond office, I had to speak with the power company,” said Hobson. “As Gail, the Customer Service agent, took my information, she hesitated when I mentioned Commonwealth Catholic Charities.”

Gail then proceeded to share how her daughter-in-law and newborn grandson had been on the verge of deportation back to the Philippines. They had exhausted all of their options and couldn't pay an immigration lawyer's $9,000 fee. In desperation, Gail searched for a way to help her family. She found CCC, but more importantly, she connected with Sheila Marble in CCC's Newport News office. Sheila took over the family's immigration case and provided professional, legal

support, keeping them from being deported. “Gail couldn't say enough nice things about Sheila," said Hobson. "How kind and reassuring she was and how she handled the entire process through to the end. She was ecstatic that she gets to see her grandson every day. We were both crying when we finished our call. This conversation cemented the fact that I had joined an amazing organization with amazing people who do amazing things.”

Noticed something missing from your latest issues of the Chronicle? You may have noticed that there is no donation envelope in this issue. While it may seem insignificant, this small change saves hundreds of dollars a year that we use to help our clients. But, don't worry, there are still lots of easy ways to give! We accept mailed checks, online donations, and text donations. www.cccofva.org/donate ● text DonateToCCC to 41444 4 | Commonwealth Catholic Charities


New Board Members

CCC Board of Directors Sharon Dajon Dan Hand Michael Kelleher Kelly Mortensen Sean Prince Ernesto Sampson Commonwealth Human Services Foundation Jeff Gill Michael Hadank Mallory McCune Brenda Poggendorf CCC Housing Corporation Board of Directors Ronald Reger

Chronicle • Winter 2020 | 5


Moved Expanded ST. FRANCIS HOUSE FOOD PANTRY & REFUGEE SERVICES MAKE A MOVE CCC's St. Francis House Food Pantry and Refugee Services began the year with a move up the street. On January 6, the programs started serving clients at 836 Campbell Avenue. “The move helps us to better serve our clients," said Sid Alvarado, CCC Director of Income and Asset-building Services. “Along with the move of our refugee services staff, we’re consolidated in one space that helps us provide multiple services in one location.”

CCC's St. Francis House Food Pantry now has room for more canned and non-perishable food items at its new location.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT EXPANDS THROUGHOUT VIRGINIA Through a Department of Social Services partnership, CCC’s Workforce Development program has expanded from the Greater Richmond area into the Roanoke, Newport News, and Norton areas. "Clients we talk to have often exhausted all of their resources," said Michelle Jones, CCC program supervisor. "They may have been laid-off, cannot pay their bills, or are

6 | Commonwealth Catholic Charities

at risk of losing their homes." Individuals in the program learn important job skills, practice interviewing, create resumes, learn financial strategies, and much more. “CCC is unique in our ability to provide an integrated services approach. Our clients come to us with a need for job skills and we are able to provide them with so much more than that. Because of

our own wide range of services, we can provide behavioral counseling, access to our food pantries, baby clothes closets, and other services," said Jones. "Workforce Development really opens the door for us to help people improve their overall quality of life across the board." For more information visit www.cccofva.org.



ndividuals experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis in the Richmond area now have a new and improved place to go for services. In late October 2019, the team at CCC's Housing Resource Center locked the doors at 511 West Grace Street and began the two mile drive to 809 Oliver Hill Way, where they settled into their new location. “This larger space is a huge benefit," said Abby Boyd, Director of Supportive Housing and Homeless Services. "The location is excellent and, with the additional space, we have room to grow and expand our services."

The colorful new sign at the Housing Resource Center's new location.

Commonwealth Catholic Charities has big plans for the space. “We know that the need for expanded homeless services exists in the city of Richmond. We also know that there is an entire population of youth who don’t fit the typical profile of a person experiencing homelssness. They may have been kicked out of their home, left an abusive or unsafe home, or have aged out of the foster care system. Whatever the reason, we want to provide a safe place for them to come and receive services and support—which is why we became involved in the Youth Hub."

Youth Hub Program Coordinator, J'Shaun Anderson and a client enjoy the outdoor space at the Youth Hub.

The Youth Hub, which is now located in the Oliver Hill Way location, is a partnership of CCC, Advocates for Richmond Youth, Virginia Commonwealth University, and United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg, and is funded through the Robins Foundation's Innovation Grant. In the new Oliver Hill Way location, homeless assistance and Youth Hub services are provided Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:00. CCC also continues daily outreach, bringing services directly to clients living on the streets.

The new Homeless Resource Center was blessed by Bishop Knestout on October 30, 2019.

Chronicle • Winter 2020 | 7

918 Harris Street Charlottesville, VA 22903 434.974.6880

1601 Rolling Hills Drive Richmond, VA 23229 804.285.5900

12284 Warwick Boulevard Suite 1-A Newport News, VA 23606 757.247.3600

809 Oliver Hill Way Richmond, VA 23219 804.648.4177

7813 Halprin Drive Norfolk, VA 23518 757.256.6272 507 Park Avenue SW Norton, VA 24273 276.679.1195 111 Perry Street Petersburg, VA 23803 804.733.6207

820 Campbell Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24016 540.342.7561 St. Francis House Food Pantry 836 Campbell Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24016 540.268.0044 541 Luck Avenue, SW Suite 118 Roanoke, VA 24016 540.342.0411


Before you get rid of your old car, paws and consider donating it to CCC. Your gift could change someone's life fur-ever! Learn more today! jessica.wells@cccofva.org 804.256.2011

Profile for Commonwealth Catholic Charities

Chronicle - Winter 2020