Photo by Alan M. Dumoff, ccdphotolibrary.smugmug.com
Jennifer Dyer, Catholic Charities assistant director, and Sylvia Loumeau, director of mental health services, sort canned goods for the new food pantry at the Catholic Charities newly renovated space at the Village Shoppes at the intersection of routes 47 and 9, Rio Grande.
Staff of Catholic Charities rolled up their sleeves in Rio Grande on Tuesday, Sept. 4, to help the agency move its Cape May County Family and Community Services Center from its 1,700 square foot facility to the newly renovated space at the Village Shoppes at the intersection of routes 47 and 9.
Kevin Hickey, Catholic Charities executive director, said that the agency’s move into larger quarters will enable Catholic Charities to continue to expand its presence and programs in Cape May County.
“In 2011 Catholic Charities served 250 families in Cape May County,” Hickey said. “With larger facilities we can begin planning to serve even more people in need.”
Of the 250 families served, Hickey stated, 74 percent had household incomes below the poverty line.
“Cape May County and the other five counties we work in across southern New Jersey face many challenges, and poor and vulnerable people have it particularly tough in this economy,” Hickey stated. “Now is the time for Catholic Charities to continue to expand its services.”
Hickey pointed out that Catholic Charities is a regional organization and in addition to its Cape May site, is physically present in all six counties of the Diocese of Camden. In 2011 the agency’s six family and community services centers served 32,580 people, of whom 86 percent fell below the poverty level.
“Catholic Charities is the visible manifestation of the Catholic Church’s understanding that God summons all people of good will to serve the poor, and that every person has dignity and that the poor and vulnerable have first claim on our attention,” Hickey said. “We are happy to partner with our parishes, federal, state and county governments, private sector companies, foundations and our generous benefactors, to serve the most vulnerable among us.”
Catholic Charities is a human service agency serving all people regardless of faith. Hickey said that one of the agency’s mottos is “We don’t serve people because they are Catholic but because we are Catholic.”
On Sept. 4 Hickey and 15 other staff moved supplies and equipment to the new site.