The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the domestic anti-poverty program of the United States Catholic Bishops, works to break the cycle of poverty in America by helping low-income people participate in decisions that affect their lives, families and communities, on local and national levels.

Each year in November, the Trenton Diocese participates in the national CCHD collection in which a percentage of monies are retained to provide grant funding to local organizations. The CCHD-DT grant monies are received from the collection that is taken up in each parish within the Diocese the weekend before Thanksgiving. This year’s collection will be Nov. 21-22.

Of the amount collected, 75 percent is sent to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops national office of CCHD and 25 percent is retained by the Diocese to be used for the awarding of grants. This year, the Diocese will award between three and five grants in the amount of $2,000 to $10,000 each. Social service agencies are asked to complete an application, and awards will be based on three major criteria:

  • Priority will be given to new initiatives taken by agencies or parishes that enhance or provide for a foundation of self-sufficiency.
  • The agency or parish outreach program will have a mission of providing social services with a focus on basic human needs (food, clothing, shelter, employment).
  • Applications will only be accepted from Catholic agencies (Catholic agencies recognized as such by the National Catholic Directory) and parish social service outreach programs in the Trenton Diocese.

Applications for 2020 are currently being accepted through Oct. 5. Grant applications can be downloaded at Dioceseoftrenton.org/catholic-campaign-for-human-development and emailed to Brenda Rascher, diocesan executive director of Catholic Social Services and acting CCHD director for the Diocese, at brasch@Dioceseoftrenton.org.

The 2020 CCHD awardees will be announced in early November, funded by the 2019 collection.  Previous grant recipients in the Diocese have included parish-based St. Vincent de Paul conferences and other diocesan agencies such as Mount Carmel Guild, a Trenton-based outreach agency; the Mercer County CYO, which provides athletic and educational programs for youth of Mercer County, and parish-based food pantries.

National outreach efforts assisted by the CCHD have focused on the following goals: Economic empowerment through new businesses, jobs and financial opportunity; Creating resilient communities through access to housing and strong schools, defending the rights of immigrants, reforming the criminal justice system, protecting worker rights, expanding access to health care, empowering persons with disabilities and protecting the environment.

To read more about the CCHD program in the Trenton Diocese, click HERE.