Catholic Charities | Nonprofit spotlight

Catholic Charities was established by the Diocese of Youngstown more than 90 years ago as a way to help the less-fortunate develop a pathway to success.

Catholic Charities was established by the Diocese of Youngstown more than 90 years ago as a way to help the less-fortunate develop a pathway to success.

Focused on furthering the social mission of the Catholic Church, the nonprofit organization aims to strengthen families, build communities and empower low-income people while helping meet the core needs of humanity. All client matters are kept completely confidential.

“Because we are not dependent upon government funding for emergency assistance situations, we are able to fulfill our Catholic faith-based mission and look to the individual’s needs rather than being limited by any funder’s specifications,” said Diana Stromsky, executive director. “This allows more flexibility in considering individual requests.”

With support from grants, local Catholic churches, the Diocese of Youngstown and the United Way Collaborative, the local agency provides emergency assistance with rent, utilities, money management and referrals for needed services.

Catholic Charities also provides support to individuals and families faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

Through the First Step Center for Family Support, it counsels clients and helps them develop a plan to meet their needs during the pregnancy and after delivery until age 3. It also provides referrals to other community resources for pregnancy testing, prenatal care, parenting support, case management, and infant clothing and supplies.

Another program the agency offers is Stark Pathways to Success, a collaborative program between Catholic Charities Stark, Stark Metropolitan Housing, Stark State College and private investors that provides educational assistance for single-parent families. The program provides mentorship, financial support, child care support and counseling in life management while allowing clients to attend classes toward a degree.

Among the other programs that the organization supports:
• Emergency food pantry. The pantry offers nonperishable food items to those in need and nutritional
information to families.

• Adult day services. Located in the lower level of St. Joseph’s Care Center in Louisville, the adult day services provides socialization, planned activities and basic health care services to enable older adults to remain as independent as possible. All services are provided on a sliding scale with assistance from Passport, Veteran’s Program and United Way.

• Legal immigration services. This program provides family-based immigration assistance to those individuals who wish to obtain legal status in the United States. The need for all services provided by Catholic Charities has increased in Stark and Portage counties. “With the current economic conditions, we have seen a vast increase of those who are in need of help,” said Deborah Kampman, assistant director of Catholic Charities. “While we can’t help everyone, we serve anyone whom God brings to our doors regardless of race or religion, to the best of our ability.”

ABOUT CATHOLIC CHARITIES

WHO: Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark Counties

WHAT: Nonprofit organization established by the Diocese of Youngstown to assist those less fortunate.

BOARD MEMBERS: Stephen Griffin (board president), Kathryn Trzeciak (first vice president), Matthew Hinderegger (treasurer), Sister Rose Anne Krantz (secretary), Mary Ellen Andersen (ex officio president, Catholic Charities Corporation in Youngstown), David Bissler, Christine Callahan, Jean Geopfert, Dave Gram, Cynthia Kerchner, the Rev. Don King of St. Michael the Archangel Church, Gail Miranda, Melissa Roubic, Ann Marie Salva and Jude B. Sreb.

DONATIONS: Send to Catholic Charities, 3112 Cleveland Ave.NW, Canton, OH 44709-2813. For information, call 330-491-0896.