The annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the U.S. bishops’ anti-poverty arm, will be taken up in all churches of the Archdiocese of New Orleans Nov. 17-18.
Last year, Catholics in the archdiocese contributed approximately $160,000 to the CCHD, and the archdiocese received back about $300,000 in grants for local programs that fight poverty and address quality-of-life for the poor, said Kevin Fitzpatrick, director of the Office of Justice and Peace for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans.
The CCHD locally funded four programs last year, and the Office of Justice and Peace is taking applications for next year’s grants.
The entities funded last year were:
- Jane Place, a land trust that owns land under a 99-year lease in mid-city New Orleans and builds housing that is sold or rented at affordable rates to low-income individuals or families.
“The owners sign a statement that when the property is resold, they will resell it as a reasonable rate and not at market rate,” Fitzpatrick said. “They have rental units as well, and they have helped organize tenants” around issues of renters’ rights.
- The New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice has worked creatively with local judges to host warrant clinics to clear up backlogs in taxes or fines imposed on individuals by the city. The group also has organized seafood-packing industry workers in Lafayette and Houma on workplace issues.
- Together New Orleans has organized throughout the state to help local school boards and sheriff’s offices get a fair share of money when major industries are given large tax breaks. The group has worked actively in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Monroe.
- The Louisiana Bucket Brigade has worked with low-income residents in the St. James civil parish area to assess air quality around petrochemical plants and advocate for the health of those living around the plants.
Twenty-five percent of the CCHD collection remains in the archdiocese and 75 percent is given to the national office, which then makes grants back to local communities.