CCHD 2023 grants to help with emergency housing, driver’s ed, food insecurity

November 27, 2023 at 4:40 p.m.
Volunteers help to box groceries during the Mount Carmel Guild's Summer Feeding Families program. File photo
Volunteers help to box groceries during the Mount Carmel Guild's Summer Feeding Families program. File photo

By EMMALEE ITALIA
Contributing Editor

Thanks to the generosity of donors to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in 2022, a total of $22,000 in grants were recently awarded to six social service agencies and parish programs in the Diocese of Trenton.

The 2023 collection took place in parishes Nov. 18-19, and agencies may submit an application for next year’s grants at https://dioceseoftrenton.org/catholic-campaign-for-human-development - click in the application link in the sidebar.

The 2023 CCHD grant recipients are as follows:

St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Justin the Martyr Church Conference, Toms River: “Expanding Outreach to Area Most in Need” - $3,500

Funding will help provide education and training for volunteers via Family Promise of NJ, and to help replenish funds to be able to help more people, particularly with rent / housing assistance. This SVDP conference works directly with Helpline, a phone outreach manned seven days a week, as part of a comprehensive program to help those help themselves through times of hardship. The Diocesan Council requested St. Justin Parish Conference to include Barrier Island as part of their territory; the high rate of motels and substandard housing has caused homeless people to flock to the Seaside area in hopes of affordable temporary housing. Helpline averages 50 calls per week, and 80 percent of those calls are from people that need immediate help, are on the streets desperate for shelter, or families on the verge of homelessness.

Good Counsel Homes, Inc., Secaucus: “Supporting Homeless Pregnant Mothers in South Jersey: A Pathway to Independence through Driving Education” - $3,500

The grant awarded will help pay for a driving school initiative for homeless pregnant mothers in Good Counsel’s maternity home in South New Jersey. With limited access to efficient public transit, homeless pregnant mothers often struggle to attend crucial medical appointments, work and educational institutions for classes. By initiating a driving school program, GCH can help ensure mothers can attend all prenatal and postnatal appointments, boost employment opportunities through the ability to drive and access a broader range of job opportunities, pursue educational opportunities and encourage independence.

Mount Carmel Guild, Trenton: “Summer Feeding Families” - $3,500

Financial assistance will help MCG respond to summer hunger by filling a gap between SNAP benefits and the increased cost of food for families in the summer months, as well as offer families fresh produce. With children home from school and the meals it provides during the school day, family grocery costs increase by more than $300 a month during summer. The Guild will use funds to sustain the SFF project, which would benefit a minimum of 150 families, purchase more produce varieties, and have the flexibility to acquire food at best prices from variety of vendors, while supporting healthy development of children of food pantry families.

Mercy Center, Asbury Park: “Housing Matters” - $4,500

Funding provided will enable Mercy Center to fill a gap in services so they can help single mothers facing financial hardship and homelessness. The Housing Matters program is designed to assist single mothers who find themselves needing immediate housing support; the grant will help expand assistance to more than 50 women and at least 50 children for the year, provide immediate housing assistance along with personalized solutions for each single mother to help not only return them to stability but also to see them flourish. Secondly, the Housing Matters program helps build a unique, customized support system for each single mom that includes counseling, financial literacy training, life-coaching, mentoring and employment readiness skill-building.

Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) of Mercer County, Trenton: “CYO Bromley Center Food Pantry” - $3,500

The grant will help Bromley Center’s food pantry maintain sufficient inventory of goods in Bromley’s Food Pantry to accommodate demand of 70-80 families per month, more than half of whom are children. The Center’s food pantry collects and distributes non-perishable and frozen food to income-eligible Hamilton Township families. The pandemic and its lingering effects have increased the number of families requiring monthly food assistance. Stock is obtained through monthly donations from NJ’s State Food Purchase Program as well as private contributions from individuals and groups.

St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Catharine Conference, Spring Lake: “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” - $3,500

Funding will help with future projects including emergency assistance, outreach to shut-ins, Neighbor to Neighbor transportation assistance to medical and job sites, establishing a food bank and expanding outreach to assigned communities of Spring Lake Heights, Wall Township and Sea Girt.


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Thanks to the generosity of donors to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in 2022, a total of $22,000 in grants were recently awarded to six social service agencies and parish programs in the Diocese of Trenton.

The 2023 collection took place in parishes Nov. 18-19, and agencies may submit an application for next year’s grants at https://dioceseoftrenton.org/catholic-campaign-for-human-development - click in the application link in the sidebar.

The 2023 CCHD grant recipients are as follows:

St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Justin the Martyr Church Conference, Toms River: “Expanding Outreach to Area Most in Need” - $3,500

Funding will help provide education and training for volunteers via Family Promise of NJ, and to help replenish funds to be able to help more people, particularly with rent / housing assistance. This SVDP conference works directly with Helpline, a phone outreach manned seven days a week, as part of a comprehensive program to help those help themselves through times of hardship. The Diocesan Council requested St. Justin Parish Conference to include Barrier Island as part of their territory; the high rate of motels and substandard housing has caused homeless people to flock to the Seaside area in hopes of affordable temporary housing. Helpline averages 50 calls per week, and 80 percent of those calls are from people that need immediate help, are on the streets desperate for shelter, or families on the verge of homelessness.

Good Counsel Homes, Inc., Secaucus: “Supporting Homeless Pregnant Mothers in South Jersey: A Pathway to Independence through Driving Education” - $3,500

The grant awarded will help pay for a driving school initiative for homeless pregnant mothers in Good Counsel’s maternity home in South New Jersey. With limited access to efficient public transit, homeless pregnant mothers often struggle to attend crucial medical appointments, work and educational institutions for classes. By initiating a driving school program, GCH can help ensure mothers can attend all prenatal and postnatal appointments, boost employment opportunities through the ability to drive and access a broader range of job opportunities, pursue educational opportunities and encourage independence.

Mount Carmel Guild, Trenton: “Summer Feeding Families” - $3,500

Financial assistance will help MCG respond to summer hunger by filling a gap between SNAP benefits and the increased cost of food for families in the summer months, as well as offer families fresh produce. With children home from school and the meals it provides during the school day, family grocery costs increase by more than $300 a month during summer. The Guild will use funds to sustain the SFF project, which would benefit a minimum of 150 families, purchase more produce varieties, and have the flexibility to acquire food at best prices from variety of vendors, while supporting healthy development of children of food pantry families.

Mercy Center, Asbury Park: “Housing Matters” - $4,500

Funding provided will enable Mercy Center to fill a gap in services so they can help single mothers facing financial hardship and homelessness. The Housing Matters program is designed to assist single mothers who find themselves needing immediate housing support; the grant will help expand assistance to more than 50 women and at least 50 children for the year, provide immediate housing assistance along with personalized solutions for each single mother to help not only return them to stability but also to see them flourish. Secondly, the Housing Matters program helps build a unique, customized support system for each single mom that includes counseling, financial literacy training, life-coaching, mentoring and employment readiness skill-building.

Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) of Mercer County, Trenton: “CYO Bromley Center Food Pantry” - $3,500

The grant will help Bromley Center’s food pantry maintain sufficient inventory of goods in Bromley’s Food Pantry to accommodate demand of 70-80 families per month, more than half of whom are children. The Center’s food pantry collects and distributes non-perishable and frozen food to income-eligible Hamilton Township families. The pandemic and its lingering effects have increased the number of families requiring monthly food assistance. Stock is obtained through monthly donations from NJ’s State Food Purchase Program as well as private contributions from individuals and groups.

St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Catharine Conference, Spring Lake: “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” - $3,500

Funding will help with future projects including emergency assistance, outreach to shut-ins, Neighbor to Neighbor transportation assistance to medical and job sites, establishing a food bank and expanding outreach to assigned communities of Spring Lake Heights, Wall Township and Sea Girt.

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