* The impasse has made a whole lot of people realize that their charitable donations are just a drop in the bucket of what those vital organizations need…
As of May, the state owed Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago over $25 million. That money pays for state-contracted services the agency provides mostly to seniors. The agency floats the state $2 million each month.
Catholic Charities in the archdiocese is the largest social-service provider in Illinois, caring for 1 million people annually. While the agency raises about $25 million privately each year, a large portion of its annual $200 million budget comes from government contracts. […]
Every 30 seconds, someone in Cook or Lake counties contacts Catholic Charities for help at one of its 160 locations. If the agency were to cut 20 percent of its programs, 200,000 people would be affected — a population about the size of Aurora, Illinois. While Catholic Charities relies on a staff of 3,000, they also have 15,000 volunteers — many from local parishes — to administer services. […]
“As of this month, we have heard that more than 40 food pantries have closed. The safety net continues to crumble around us,” [Msgr. Michael Boland, president and CEO of Catholic Charities] said.
Catholic Charities often refers clients to their nearest food pantry or other providers for services they qualify for that the agency may not provide.
“We never give up and always try to find resources, but our clients are having to travel further distances to receive help,” he said. “All of our emergency assistance sites have seen an increase in people coming to them for help for basic services like food, rent and utilities as the agencies around them are closing.”