Everyday, we bring hope to people who are struggling

Together, we give those we serve a second chance to believe in themselves A Message from Lori VanAuken

Every day, the staff of Catholic Charities Family and Community Services give people who are struggling hope. They give individuals the tools they need to regulate their behavior and to make better choices for themselves and their loved ones. I’d like to share a story with you about one of these beautiful people.

“I get up every day by the grace of God.”

Willie was walking over the Bausch Street bridge on his way to a group session when he stopped to look out over the Genesee River. Sick from withdrawal, he wondered what would happen if he were to hit the water below… In this moment, he knew he needed to make a change in his life.

There’s gotta be something else.”

To Willie Torres, Catholic Charities is a “valuable resource… it’s not just a job.” As a Housing Retention specialist, Willie now works with individuals living with HIV/AIDS and helps them find safe, affordable housing. His lived experience helps him connect with clients as he has made his way through addiction recovery.

When asked about his favorite part of his job, he doesn't hesitate:

“My coworkers. I work with happy, positive people, who want to help others.”

Our donors and supporters give our clients a second chance to believe in themselves and pick themselves up through turmoil. As our staff continues to address the ever-changing needs of our community, especially in the face of the continuing pandemic, they enact their personal mission and values to empower others, walking with them so no one is alone!

Won’t you join us? Consider giving of your time, or become a donor to ensure we can uphold a consistent and enduring level of care for those who need us!

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In gratitude,

Lori VanAuken
President and CEO
Catholic Charities Family and Community Services

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