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Catholic Charities of West Tennessee Helps Those Transition From Poverty to Self-Sufficiency

Following the teachings of Jesus Christ, Catholic Charities of West Tennessee is on a mission to provide help to those in need and to bring them hope by supporting them on the path from poverty to self-sufficiency. A misconception often is that Catholic Charities of West Tennessee is just for the Catholic community, however, quite the opposite is true. Catholic Charities of West Tennessee serves all people regardless of religious beliefs, socio-economic status or ethnic background.

The organization accomplishes its mission through four main programs: Emergency Services, Housing Ministries, Driving the Dream, plus Camp Love & Learn. Emergency Services programming meets the essential needs of the community though assistance in applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), obtaining garments through the Clothes Closet, ensuring no one goes hungry through their Food Pantry and Mobile Food Pantry and much more. Through St. Sebastian Veteran Services and Genesis Homeless Services Catholic Charities of West Tennessee’s Housing Ministries helps individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as Veterans and their families, navigate the rehousing process from homeless to independence.

Through a partnership with the United Way of the Mid-South, Driving the Dream is Catholic Charities of West Tennessee’s program that supports families escaping poverty on a path to self-sufficiency. One of only six designated Driving the Dream hubs in Memphis, Catholic Charities of West Tennessee serves as the clients’ point of entry, the data tracking center and follow-up service to ensure accountability by both clients and the partner agencies. The care coordinator in each hub takes an in-depth look at each of the client’s goals and obstacles in obtaining those goals, then connects clients to the services they need and offers long-term follow-up.

Another program Catholic Charities of West Tennessee is proud to provide is Camp Love & Learn, where the focus is reducing the impact of summer learning loss for children in K-5. Due to COVID-19, Camp Love & Learn 2020 will be a mobile “camp-in-a-box” home curriculum where families can learn together. An expansion of this summer learning program is underway, serving more families than ever before with fun learning materials and food resources, as many of these same families are struggling with food insecurity following recent job losses from COVID-19. 

Today, the need for Catholic Charities of West Tennessee is greater than ever, and luckily the nonprofit has risen to the occasion. Since the start of the Safe at Home Order, Catholic Charities of West Tennessee has been able to provide emergency food relief for 11,000 people through their Mobile Pantry. In addition to much needed meals, Catholic Charities of West Tennessee has been meeting the demand for hygiene kits and clothing to outfit those facing homelessness. All of this good work can’t be done alone, and Catholic Charities of West Tennessee is always looking to expand its network of those who can help lend a hand and support through volunteerism. Those that are interested in learning more can visit Catholic Charities of West Tennessee’s website at www.ccwtn.org or give them a call at 901-722-4700.

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