L.A. ARCHDIOCESE CONTINUES PROVIDING AID DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC THROUGH VARIOUS PROGRAMS ESTABLISHED DUE TO NEED
In response to the need among the community due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the community of faith have come together to provide assistance, support and essential services to brothers and sisters in need throughout the last nine months of this crisis. New infographic illustrating the impact of the Catholic community in helping families during the first six months of the pandemic is available at https://lacatholics.org/impact.
“The coronavirus pandemic has hit families very hard. People who never worried before, found themselves with housing and food insecure, affected by this terrible illness or suffering from anxiety,” said Kathleen Domingo, senior director of the Office of Life, Justice and Peace. “Our LA Catholic community has come together with volunteers, resources, and new opportunities for helping. We are grateful for the sacrifices and generosity of so many that continue to help those in need, those who are sick and those who are lonely. Through these works of mercy, we bring Christ’s love to our community.”
The Archdiocese has provided financial support to over 350 individuals/families in desperate need. More than $400,000 have been donated to these families through the Cardinal McIntyre Fund, which provides emergency help and acts to solve immediate, pressing problems such as lodging for the night, emergency medical care, rent to tide over a financial crisis or a utility bill to keep the water or heat turned on for the week. This fund received online donations, specifically to help with COVID-19 efforts, totaling $105,000 and $20,000 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
In March, the Office of Life, Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese launched Hearts to Serve in partnership with St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Knights of Columbus. This initiative has served over 1800 people and continues to provide support especially to the elderly, homebound, and pregnant women and 900 individuals and families with referrals to: social services, food resources, food delivery for homebound, financial assistance, moms in need, and homelessness. A video highlighting the initiative is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8wk0kgNFg4&feature=emb_title.
Catholic Charities of Los Angeles has continued its commitment with the community by providing services to the most vulnerable. Through March to May 2020, Catholic Charities of LA has served 58,561 clients and 61,263 through their food distribution services located in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
The Department of Catholic Schools has served over 1 million from April-September 2020, serving meals at 60 schools to children no matter which school they attended. All schools transitioned to distance learning within 72 hours and over 26K iPads were distributed to students. In addition, the Archdiocese partnered with the Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation to distribute free play equipment to children and families across local communities to encourage healthful activities for youth while they are confined at home due to COVID-19 restrictions. Approximately 7,500 pieces of sports equipment have been distributed to low-income schools. For a video and photos recapping the distribution of play equipment visit, https://youtu.be/0nwnhOuGbQ and https://angelusnews.com/photo-video/our-lady-of-guadalupe-east-la-special-partnership-distributes-free-play-equipment/.
The Archdiocese has allocated funding from the local Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection, which was distributed to parishes and community organizations to help them continue their work in supporting those in need. CCHD has donated $169,222 in grants to 30 parishes, community organizations including Habitat for Humanity, MEND, and Claris Health, and Catholic Charities Community Centers located in the Our Lady of the Angels Region – St. Robert’s Center (Venice), St. Margaret’s Center (Lennox) and El Santo Nino (South LA) received $5,000 each.
For more information on the outreach and support efforts of the parishes, schools and ministries of the Archdiocese during the COVID-19 pandemic visit, Make An Impact. For stories and updates on COVID-19, please visit Angelus News or In The News. For messages of Archbishop Gomez during COVID-19, please visit Messages of Hope.