Catholic Charities does a lot of reporting. In the nonprofit industry, sharing the specific numbers and outcomes of our work is essential. Reporting lets our donors know we are using their money well and funders know that they are getting the value we promised. It also shows the public the impact we are having in the community.
Tracking and measuring the services we provide is how we can say that through September of this year, the House of Charity sheltered 3,257 people and served 109,208 meals. Our Childbirth and Parenting Assistance (CAPA) program provided 756 parents with classes and support sessions and our Counseling program responded to the calls of 1,146 people. We are proud of those numbers, and they are just the tip of the iceberg of those we have served this year.
Reflecting on our work is just as important as reporting on it. This December, during the Advent season of quiet reflection, we have been thinking about what these numbers add up to. For the last century, Catholic Charities has been doing more than just providing a meal or paying a bill. We have been working to reshape our community so that all of our neighbors can live with hope and dignity.
By helping families rebuild their lives, we are laying the foundation for children who grow up in poverty to become adults who thrive in Eastern Washington. We are very proud that our new Rising Strong program is helping families heal together from the trauma of addiction. The first cohort of Rising Strong families moved into their own permanent apartments at The Sisters Haven.
Providing housing for all in Eastern Washington is another key goal of ours, and we are excited to share that all 75 units are full in our newest apartment building for chronically homeless individuals and families. The residents have taken the first hopeful step toward living an independent life. In November, we dedicated and blessed the apartments. Construction of the Sisters Haven was funded using $14.3M in tax credits, so no donor dollars were used for this building.
Building housing is one way we are working to solve homelessness in Eastern Washington. Offering shelter spaces that serve each one of our neighbors with compassion and dignity is another. This year at House of Charity, we completed a project to give patrons more outdoor space where they can spend time off of the street and out of the rain while the shelter is closed.
We had a lot of fun this year, too.
We gathered at the Gala to celebrate our supporters and share how we are changing the landscape of Eastern Washington.
We held our first annual Dig In event to promote the work of Food For All in making sure everyone in our region has access to fresh, healthy food.
We celebrated our annual Caring for Kids event at the historic Davenport. Our community gathered to show support for programs like CAPA, St. Margaret’s Shelter, St. Anne’s Children & Family Center, Rising Strong, and our partner Morning Star Boys Ranch.
We offered a safe and fun Halloween through our Trunk-or-Treat event, where the Gonzaga University Athletic Department provided hundreds of pounds of candy to young trick-or-treaters.
We provided dignity to families at Rising Strong and CAPA by holding our first annual Thanksgiving celebration.
As we prepare for 2019, we are hopeful that we are helping Eastern Washington rise to meet its biggest challenges. We are humbled by the trust you have placed in us to lead this work. And we are ready to get to work.
Happy New Year!