Home is where the heart is 💙

A Message from Lori VanAuken

Home truly is where the heart is. From welcoming refugees and providing services to those living in poverty since 1917, to the opening of our first residence for people with developmental disabilities, Gavitt House, in 1980, to the creation of Liberty Manor in 1989 as the 1st substance abuse residential program for women and their young children in Upstate NY, Catholic Charities has been helping individuals and families find a warm and safe “home” in our community for over 100 years.

I’d like to share the many ways you made a difference in the lives and homes of those we serve.

Alice was born in 1941 after a pregnancy in which her mother contracted Rubella. This resulted in developmental disabilities for Alice. In those days, doctors recommended sending children like Alice to live in institutional settings. The family struggled with Alice’s consistent sadness, and they would cry along with her when leaving her after family visits.

Alice’s parents wanted something better for her, and in 1980, they found it. Alice moved into Catholic Charities Community Service’s Gavitt House, a beautiful Victorian home, in Lyons, NY. Alice finally found her home, and there she has shared her heart with the other residents and staff… her CCCS family.

This spring, after we shared Katie’s story, who had been adopted through Catholic Charities years ago, eight people reached out to us to share their adoption stories or to share how their families grew through our foster care, intervention and family services.

--- We adopted our son 60 years ago. We have two wonderful grandchildren --- his gift to us --- ours for his birthday! --- anonymous

Since August 2021, we have helped welcome nearly 300 people arriving from Afghanistan with open arms. Over 1,000 items valuing over $30,000 have been purchased by generous donors and sent to us from our Amazon Wish List to help these new arrivals make a new home. Over the past several months, we have seen an increase of people reaching out to volunteer to help welcome refugees.

Three facilities underwent renovations this year: Francis Center, our shelter for men, Jones House, a community residence for men in recovery and Hannick Hall, a beautiful residential treatment home for women, and women with their children. Also, Barrington House, a community residence for women in recovery broke ground for a completely new space which will serve women in recovery along with their children. Nine new permanent supportive housing units opened at our Joseph Avenue Apartments Nine new permanent supportive housing units opened at our Joseph Avenue Apartments , providing stable housing options for those on their journey to independence.

--- It’s tremendous to see the outpouring of support from the community. --- CCFCS Volunter-of-the-Year, Larry Farnand

Since January, approximately 1611 households (just over 4,000 individuals) have remained stably housed through our Eviction Prevention and Rent Assistance programs.

Monroe County’s eviction prevention program led the country in our ability to respond quickly and get funds out to households that needed it fast.

These are but a few examples of how you have made a BIG difference in the lives of so many who need us the most.

Thank you for helping others begin their stories and for helping us all to build community together.

Give today »

--- CCFCS has been walking hand in hand with me. --- Jackie, former client

Happy New Year to All!

Lori VanAuken
President and CEO
Catholic Charities Family and Community Services

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