Catholic Charities opening new centers, senior housing

By Michelle Martin | Staff writer
Sunday, February 8, 2015

Residents of four of the neediest Chicago communities will have easier access to services provided by Catholic Charities with the opening of four new offices and a new senior residential building this month.

“We are taking people out of one major office and trying to move people closer to where the clients are,” said Msgr. Michael Boland, president of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

“Every 30 seconds someone turns to Catholic Charities for help as they journey to self-sufficiency. That’s more than 1 million people each year who live in our most vulnerable communities,” said Msgr. Boland.

“We are continually evaluating our programs to determine where the greatest need is and how we can better help people in our neighborhoods. Opening four new offices throughout Chicago allows us to offer new and expanded services in the most desperate communities where we are most needed.”

At St. Gall Parish in the City’s Gage Park neighborhood, Catholic Charities opened its newest regional office. This office will offer a vibrant and growing immigrant community counseling services, support groups, a children’s clothing closet, immigrant services, maternal wellness, a food pantry and legal assistance. The office celebrated its opening with a Mass and open house on Feb. 1.

In Uptown, Catholic Charities is expanding to provide “wrap around” services to public housing clients with counseling and job training. In addition, Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program will move their offices to the new Uptown office, making the services more convenient for much of the refugee population.

At St. Mary of the Angels Parish in the West Side’s Wicker Park community, Catholic Charities has partnered with the parish to provide HIV/AIDS programming, adoption and maternity services and counseling.

In the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, Catholic Charities has collaborated with the Sisters of St. Casimir for their Motherhouse to become home to several Catholic Charities programs and hundreds of staff. Catholic Charities already serves 15,000 people in the surrounding community. St. Casimir will be home to housing programs, teen parent services, counseling, addiction services and many more programs.

“We’re hoping to reopen the food pantry that was there, and possibly the adult day care center,” Boland said, mentioning programs that the Sisters of St. Casimir once operated at the site. “A lot of the surrounding parishes used to do things at the motherhouse, and we want to accommodate that as well.”

Finally, on Feb. 10 Catholic Charities will celebrate the opening of its newest affordable housing building for seniors. Porta Coeli residence in Chicago’s South Deering neighborhood has 86 one-bedroom apartments for lowincome seniors.

“As part of our strategic plan, we pledged to respond to the region’s shifting demographics and evolving community needs,” said Kathy Donahue, senior vice president of program development and evaluation at Catholic Charities. “Opening these offices will allow us to better address the most pressing needs of these communities.”

Taking its services to the people who need them is nothing new for the agency, Boland said. It now has 153 programs at 166 sites across Cook and Lake counties. Sometimes the agency simply has to wait for the pieces to fall into place to open a facility in a new area, he said.

The agency is adding the offices without adding any new streams of funding, he said. It will continue to rely on its donors and volunteers.

For more information, visit


  • catholic charities
  • st. mary of the angels
  • sisters of st. casimir
  • porta coeli
  • st. gall

Related Articles