CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY Daily Feed
UPDATED PHOTOS: Chrism Mass; Exposition of the Sacred Relics
April 15, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption;
Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist
April 1, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass
Did the priest who would serve in Ellinwood, Liebenthal, and Great Bend, also act as a spiritual advisor to hoodlums? It’s apparent that Father Phillip Coughlan lent aid to notorious outlaws such as Baby Face Nelson and John Dillinger — and at least knew personally, if not helped, others such as Ma Barker and Legs Diamond. He even was asked by the lesser known, but highly successful bank robber Eddie Bentz to help him and his wife adopt a child. But whether or not the aid that Father Coughlan offered was outside his purview as a priest — and perhaps even outside the law at times — has not been determined.
Little did SW Kansas Catholics know that their pastor was known as a
‘Spiritual advisor to hoodlums’
The following is reprinted with permission from babyfacenelsonjournal.com.
The website from which the following came presents this story in chapters. The following chapter contains information on Father Phillip Coughlan, who served in SW Kansas. The story took place in November, 1934. The chapter begins just after a special agent and an investigator are killed in a chase. “Helen” is Baby Face Nelson’s wife, and “Chase” is his good friend:
NELSON MANAGED TO GET BACK TO THE AGENT’S CAR and drive it around to the rear of his disabled Ford. Chase, little more than a spectator in the final minutes of the battle, began gathering their weapons when he saw Nelson driving toward him and calling for Helen.
As Chase approached the Hudson, Nelson looked at him and said, “Drop everything and get me to the priest.” Chase said he’d get their personal belongings from the disabled car, but Nelson said “Forget that stuff. You’ll have to drive. I’ve been hit pretty bad.” He then called for Helen again.
Chase leaned in and helped Nelson move to the passenger side. He testified that Nelson’s left pant leg was soaked in blood from mid-thigh to his ankle. As Chase got behind the wheel, he asked, “Where is she?” referring to Helen. Nelson shook his head, “We’ll have to catch her later,” and then again asked to be taken to the priest.
Just as Chase began to pull away, however, he saw Helen in the rearview mirror running toward them. She jumped into the rear seat, and Chase headed west toward Fox River Grove. As Helen cradled her husband’s head, he looked at her and said, “I’m done for.”
As the early evening wind whistled through the Hudson’s bullet-pierced windshield, fear and confusion reigned inside the vehicle. Chase testified he was speeding along unfamiliar roads, at times hitting 85 mph, trying to figure out where he was. A weeping Helen continued to hold Nelson’s head as he took long, deep breaths and attempted to direct Chase down one road after another, through one small town after another.
They finally entered Wilmette and made their way to 1155 Mohawk Road, the home of Father Phillip Coughlan’s sister. Both Nelson and his wife were raised Catholic, and Father Coughlan was an old family friend. It would eventually come out that Father Coughlan had met with Nelson, bankrobber Tommy Carroll and others many times over the years, but he always denied any knowledge of their actions.
It was just before 5 p.m. when the family maid notified Father Coughlan, who was in the house, that a woman was at the back door and needed to see him immediately. The priest went to the door said saw Helen.
“Jimmie’s been shot. You have to help us. He’s in the car,” she said.
Meanwhile, Chase had pulled the car. When Helen and the priest went into the garage, Chase was holding Nelson up, and they were at the back of the vehicle. When Nelson saw the priest, he muttered “Hello” and then slumped back against Chase.
Helen pleaded with the priest to give her husband refuge, but the priest refused, noting it was his sister’s house; her 8-year-old son was inside, and she was expecting several guests that evening. Chase later testified Helen began to cry. “But he’s dying. He’s got to get someplace where he can lay down.”
The priest said he knew of a safe location he could bring them to, but later told police he didn’t know of any place. He just wanted to get them away from his sister’s house.
Helen suggested they all go in the priest’s car, but Father Coughlan said it would be better if they followed him since they couldn’t leave the agent’s bullet-ridden and blood-stained car there. “Follow me in your car,” he said. “We won’t go far.” When Chase became suspicious and questioned the priest, he was assured by Father Coughlan that he meant to help them.
The priest helped Chase put Nelson back into the front passenger seat and Helen into the back. They then followed Father Coughlan for several blocks until the priest saw Chase make a sudden U-turn and speed away. The priest said he attempted to follow them but soon lost them in traffic. He would later admit he was relieved, but also saddened because they might have feared “I was leading them into a trap.”
And that’s exactly what both Chase and Helen would later tell police that Nelson feared. He told Chase, “I don’t like the way he’s acting. He seems wrong. Lose him.”
Nelson, it seemed, knew of a safe place, and began directing Chase down one road after another, eventually leading them out of Wilmette and into Winnetka and finally down a back alley and into a red two-stall garage in the rear of a gray stucco cottage facing Walnut Street. Chase would later testify he had never been to the house and didn’t know where he was, but that Nelson assured him “friends” were inside.
Chase knocked on the front door and “a tall dark-complexioned man in his late 30s answered.” Chase said “There’s someone out here who needs you,” and led the man to the garage. Chase said once he looked into the car “he instantly recognized Jimmie.”
The two men and Helen then carried Nelson into the house. Chase said they entered by a side door and walked through a kitchen and down a hallway and turned left into a small bedroom where Nelson was placed on a large white iron bed. Chase said there was a young woman and an old man in his 60s in the house but neither said anything or tried to help. Once on the bed, the younger man left.
“All three of us knew Les [Baby Face Nelson’s real name was Lester Joseph Gillis] was dying, but there was nothing we could do,” Helen told officials several days later. Given scissors and other supplies, Helen cut off all of Nelson’s clothing, later telling authorizes that his white shirt was mostly crimson. She stuffed cotton into the bullet hole in his stomach and into the large exit wound in his back. She then covered both wounds by wrapping his waist with a long strip of cloth torn from the bed sheet. Finally, she cleaned the buckshot wounds on his legs and then wrapped him in a blanket when he complained of being cold.
“That’s better,” he said to her and then told them the pain was gone but there was a spreading numbness. Helen simply held his hand and waited for the end.
Cimarron couple seeks child to share home, family, unconditional love
By Dave Myers
Southwest Kansas Catholic
Editor’s Note: The following is part of a continuing series on local couples seeking to adopt through the Catholic Charities of SW Kansas Adoption Program. If you would like to see a video/slideshow about the Staats, go to http://catholiccharitiesswks.org/services/adoption/our-waiting-families.
Their eyes met from across the crowded room and suddenly time stood still. The boy and the girl approached each other slowly, perhaps a bit apprehensively, guided by divine providence toward what they couldn’t know then was a destiny designed by God.
Well, that’s not … entirely accurate. I mean, this was preschool after all, and it would be a few years before the youngsters even entered the Kootie stage, much less recognized any sort of future destiny.
Kallie and Rodney Staats of Cimarron are among those rare married couples who can say they’ve known each other since they could barely form sentences. And today, in their home just blocks from where they were reared, the couple are working through Catholic Charities of SW Kansas Adoption Program to begin a family.
“One private adoption company wanted $30,000,” said Kallie, who works for United Telecommunications. “Catholic Charities was better, more economical. I also like that it’s non-profit. Nobody should get rich off a child.”
The pair approached Catholic Charities two years ago, where adoption social worker Lori Titsworth guided them through the intensive process of preparation for becoming adoptive parents. It doesn’t cost $30,000, but it’s not cheap.
“It is cheap!” countered Rodney, a diesel mechanic. “That’s not the right word. I should say ‘economical’. It’s based on your income. If someone doesn’t make a lot of money, they can still adopt.”
By August of last year — after an extensive review and education process — the couple placed their video/slideshow onto the Catholic Charities website (http://catholiccharitiesswks.org/services/adoption/our-waiting-families), introducing themselves to birth parents who may be considering the adoption process.
There you learn that Kallie and Rodney were friends all through school; they didn’t fall in love until after each had graduated from college. Before then, they’d spent those freedom-filled days of childhood and youth hanging out together from time to time, cruising Main Street with mutual friends, never knowing that their futures were tied inexorably together.
On June 4, the couple will celebrate 13 years of marriage – among which have been times of great joy and great heartbreak.
A few years ago, the two became foster parents to two young children, a boy and a girl, belonging to a relative.
“We went from childless to parents of two in 24 hours,” Kallie said. “It was the hardest most difficult time of our lives, but it was also the best. It was a mental roller coaster.”
After two years, the birth parents petitioned to have their children returned, and the courts decided in their favor. It’s not difficult to imagine the sadness Kallie and Rodney endured.
“When they took them away, that was heartbreaking,” Rodney said softly. “It was God’s will. The good Lord was preparing us for something else.”
Last year, Rodney was offered the chance to spend a mission trip in Rwanda with a ministry started by his sister Kendra Willard and her husband, Ruben, called, “Lift Them Up.”
“We had prayer meetings; we talked with the children,” Rodney explained of his time in Rwanda. “They like to touch. The men there don’t have hair on their arms, and some of them have never seen a white person. So, there was me and Ruben, two hairy white guys.
“I can’t believe as poor as they are, how happy and content they are,” Rodney added. “They show love for everyone. And they’re forgiving. The people who killed their families are now getting out of jail – people who lived right next door – and they’re forgiving them.”
The wait for an adoptive child requires two things: 1) patience and 2) more patience. As the couple looks forward to the day when God leads a child to their door, Kallie looks back on those two years as a foster mom as a mirror for what is to come.
“It’s the unconditional love — those hugs and smiles and kisses for no reason at all, and the conversations with children — that I look forward to. You never know what they will say. You may have a bad day, and they can bring you right back up.”
“I’m going to enjoy teaching them things,” said Rodney, his grease-stained coveralls and the machine shop, wood shop and a large garden on their surrounding property paying testimony to a man who is expert at making things work.
“And spoiling them,” he added. “We look forward to loving whoever God brings to us.”
Father Murphy honored for 65 years of ministry
By TIM WENZL and DAVE MYERS
At the March 22 Chrism Mass, Father Ultan Murphy was celebrated for 65 years of service as a priest.
At the reception to follow, he told those gathered that prior to he and the other Irish transplants first making their way out to the newly formed Catholic Diocese of Dodge City, he was told how beautiful it was on the prairies of Southwest Kansas: expansive fields of grain wafting like waves in the wind; fields of cattle paying tribute to the economy of the region; and good farm folk eager for the Good Word.
“When we arrived in Dodge City there was this massive cloud of dust. I turned to the others and said, ‘What the hell have we gotten ourselves into?’”
The large crowd erupted into laughter.
In 2014, Father Murphy, then 87, retired after 33 years as pastor of St. Ann’s Parish in Olmitz. At the time of his retirement, he had the distinction of being the oldest active Catholic pastor in the state of Kansas.
Father Murphy was appointed pastor at Olmitz and Holy Trinity, Timken, in 1980. He served both parishes for 23 years until he announced his retirement earlier in 2003. He reconsidered, and his responsibilities were reduced to the Olmitz parish at that time. His official title also changed to “parochial administrator.”
“I’ll do what I do now,” Father Murphy said in 2014, “Say Mass every day, visit the sick, just fill in if I’m needed. They’re not going to miss me. No, I’ll be here; I’ll be around. I don’t go home to Ireland any more. My nieces and nephews come over here every few years. No need for me to go. With communication now, it’s just like being there — almost.
“After having served these people, I can say without any reservations, they’re just good people. All solid people, many from Eastern Europe, who brought the faith with them and kept the faith and are doing their best to pass that on to their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I’ve seen it in all of my 33 years.”
When asked about his happiest memories, Father Murphy responded: “The happiest part of my ministry has been many converts – marriages – getting people back to the Church. I’ll probably miss visiting the kids in the classroom on Sunday morning. That was one of my better things to do.”
Father Murphy resigned the pastorate at Olmitz with this simple advice to the parishioners, “Stay the course and believe in God and say your prayers. Take your children to Mass and make sure your children go to religion class.”
Father Murphy was ordained June 7, 1953, by The Most Reverend John Staunton, bishop of Ferns, at St. Peter’s Seminary, Wexford, Ireland. He was recruited for the Diocese of Wichita, but was transferred to the Diocese of Dodge City by agreement of Bishop Mark K. Carroll and Bishop John B. Franz. He has served under all six of the bishops who have shepherded the Diocese of Dodge City.
Father Murphy’s assignments include: assistant pastor at St. John, Hoisington, (two terms); and St. Rose of Lima, Great Bend; and pastor at St. Mary’s Loretto; St. John’s, Kiowa; St. John, St. John, and St. Francis, Seward; Holy Rosary, Medicine Lodge, and St. John’s, Kiowa, all prior to his appointment at Olmitz and Timken.
Father Anselm Eke, MSP, resident pastor at St. John the Evangelist, Hoisington, was assigned to the additional pastorate at St. Ann’s, Olmitz.
When the diocese divided, priests’ parishes left to the luck of the draw
During a 2010 visit to the Priests Retirement Center, Irish priest Father Eugene Kenny, explained how the newly ordained were divided between the dioceses. “They did that at the dining hall of the rectory of the (Wichita) cathedral. I remember that room, all right. There were eight of us.
We met Bishop Carroll and picked cards out of a biretta. Some say it was the biretta of Archbishop Strecker, who was chancellor at the time. The cards said either Bishop of Wichita or Bishop of Dodge City. The four who drew Dodge City were Father (Ultan) Murphy, Father (Andrew) McGovern, myself, and Father Kieran Murray.
“(Msgr.) Pat Leahy, God love him, and (Msgr.) John Cody arrived and took us to Dodge City, and we met Bishop (John B.) Franz … and that’s the way it was. I still have the card I drew out of the hat.”
Father Kenny then opened a file, pulled out a card with well-worn corners. “It is very simple, just a postcard. It defined the destiny of a young man,” he said with a hearty laugh.
It takes a community
Colorado woman creates a place of refuge
Southwest Kansas Catholic
LAKEWOOD, COLO. “Last night I had a bad dream about the Taliban attacking,” said an Afghani youth as he sat at a kitchen table in a large, white farmhouse.
Behind the house, a tract of farm land juts up against a long apartment complex. It’s an area where the urban landscape literally meets the rural countryside.
A couple of horses romp nearby. Roosters crow in the distance.
Sitting beside “Asghar” at the table, is his friend, Pamir, as well as Renata Heberton, founder of what dozens of child refugees and formerly homeless Americans know as Angelica Village.
While still in her 20s, the 33-year-old purchased a duplex where she began fostering children. Today, she oversees five living spaces — including houses and apartments — where formerly homeless families live and thrive in community.
“A friend and I bought this house for the ‘Unaccompanied Refugee Minors’,” Heberton said of the large, white house. The term indicates a status which the youth fall under as refugees.
“We hosted a ‘GoFundMe’ site [a free internet fundraising platform] for the down payment on the house,” said Heberton, who has a master’s degree in social work. “We raised $30,000 in 10 days. We had incredible support.
“We’re a licensed foster home.”
Asghar lives in Michigan where he is a high school senior. When the Catholic visited, he was in Colorado on Spring Break visiting his friend, Pamir. On April 27, he will have been in the United States two years.
Along with his two brothers and mother, Asghar escaped the grasp of the Taliban and made it to Pakistan. But peace was illusive. The Taliban made its presence known there, too.
Under the status, “Unaccompanied Refugee Minors,” Asghar was able to escape to the United States with the help of Bethany Christian Services and the support of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees — a UN refugee agency). It was in Pakistan where he met his friend sitting next to him in the Colorado kitchen.
“It’s a very different country than what I expected,” Asghar said of his new home in the United States. “The hardest part has been learning English,” and getting used to American cuisine, he added with a laugh.
With the bad dream from the previous night echoing in his head, he said, “Here it is safe. You can work. You can go anywhere you want. The people are nice. They are very kind.”
The soft-spoken Pamir, 17, who like many of the other youth in Angelica Village was sponsored by Lutheran Family Services, escaped Afghanistan with his family to Pakistan when he was “too young to remember.” The teen has only been in the United States four-and-a-half months, and is still getting used to a range of allergies he has suffered.
Abel, another youth — a teenager from Uganda by-way-of the Congo — yawned as he entered the kitchen and began fixing breakfast. The 10 youth living at the home are all on spring break, Heberton said, which is why they were lumbering sleepily into the kitchen at 10 a.m. instead of being off at school.
“When I came here, it was very exciting,” the tall, 19-year-old said. “I’m happy here. It’s better education, better work. In Africa it was hard to get an education. There was not enough money for education. I cannot go to school. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come here. You can get everything you want with help, or on your own.”
As he spoke, a diminutive girl appeared in the kitchen doorway. She is Jeta, Abel’s older sister. The two, along with their brother, have lived in the home for approximately two years.
When asked, she said she misses her homeland. One can almost feel her heartache for the home she was forced to leave behind.
“I love Africa. Africa is my favorite dream, which I will never forget.”
Other youth living in the home (or who have lived there in the past) include kids from Guatemala, Honduras, and Columbia. She also has fostered youth from Denver, and Native Americans from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and from the Navajo Reservation in the Four Corners region.
Like a typical parent, Heberton helps the youth to discover their path in life, encourages them when it’s time to get a job, and urges them to think about college.
As the interview continued, a truck pulled up to the house with a delivery of fertilizer for a large garden the household maintains.
Heberton hopes to form a community garden one day for all of Angelica Village. In fact, it’s Heberton’s dream that Angelica Village will one day be as closely knit physically — a real village — as the members are spiritually and emotionally.
“We build relationships,” Heberton said. “One of the biggest injustices in the world is when people are not connected in their community. Community allows people to thrive and discover their potential.”
She has help in her amazing endeavor to serve the homeless and the young refugees. Though spread out across a large neighborhood, with members from several countries and cultures, residents of Angelica Village represent one community.
This is at the heart and soul of Heberton’s mission. In fact, she hopes to one day form a “creative art and music space,” a “therapeutic center” for the arts and physical therapies, such as massage, as well as a community corner store providing staples for families and youth in transition.
And she hopes to one day be able to open her doors to those with physical and intellectual disabilities.
As their mission statement reads, “Through love, care, and sustained mutual support, Angelica Village nurtures conscious community living spaces where people with special abilities, families seeking refuge from war and violence, individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and fellow community partners receive what they need and share what they can.”
For more information, including a list of needed items to donate, visit angelicavillage.org.
March 19, 2018
Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Dear Worthy Grand Knights:
This month we join you, our brother Knights and families, in observing the 135th anniversary of the founding of the Knights of Columbus on March 29. This Founder’s Day is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to rededicate ourselves to our Order’s principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism, and to continue to seek to form our good works in the spirit of Knights of Columbus founder, the Venerable Servant of God Father Michael J. McGivney.
We are writing to you with a special appeal, one that we believe would be dear to Father McGivney’s priestly heart and thus to his Knights. We seek your support for a statewide effort called the Protect Adoption Choice campaign.
The Kansas Legislature is currently considering the “Adoption Protection Act,” legislation that would protect faith-based adoption providers like Catholic Charities from unjust litigation and government action (the House version is HB 2687 and the Senate version is SB 401). There have been situations in other states where government agencies have forced Catholic Charities to shut down their adoption ministry because they will only place children in homes with a married mother and father. The Adoption Protection Act would proactively ensure that this will not happen in Kansas. This legislation simply allows faith-based child placement agencies to continue to operate according to their religious principles. The bill does not infringe upon anyone’s legal right to adopt children; it simply affirms that faith-based agencies cannot be punished for adhering to their religious beliefs in their adoption ministries.
We are calling upon you, your spouses, the voting-age members of your family, and all brother Knights to get involved in the Protect Adoption Choice campaign now before the regular session of the Kansas Legislature ends on April 6. Failure to take action on this important issue could one day result in the closure of faith-based adoption agencies like Catholic Charities.
Please contact your state representative and senator as soon as possible. The following is a sample of what you might say:
“Hello, my name is ___________ and I am a registered voter from ___________ . I respectfully ask you to support the ‘Adoption Protection Act’ (HB 2687 in the House and SB 401 in the Senate). This legislation ensures that faith-based adoption providers like Catholic Charities will continue to be free to serve children and families. Catholic Charities’ adoption ministry has been forced to close in other states because of groups and government agencies hostile to our Catholic beliefs. Catholic Charities and other faith-based adoption providers should be free to serve the common good as they have for so long. This legislation does not affect anyone’ legal right to adopt, it just protects groups like Catholic Charities. Birthmothers and adoptive parents who want to use a faith-based provider should be free to do so. As your constituent, this legislation is very important to me. Thank you.”
To learn more, please visit www.ProtectAdoptionChoice.orgcan directly email your state senator and representative. To find the phone number of your state legislator, please visit http://www.kslegislature.org/ or https://openstates.org/. Those without internet access can call Legislative Administrative Services at 785-296-2391 to be connected to their legislators.
Let us join efforts as members of the largest Catholic family fraternal service organization to defend the religious freedoms we value so dearly. We place this effort under St. Joseph’s care and pray for its success through the intercession of Father McGivney.
Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann
Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
Most Reverend John B. Brungardt
Bishop of Dodge City
Most Reverend Carl A. Kemme
Bishop of Wichita
Very Reverend Francis E. Coady
Diocesan Administrator – Diocese of Salina
‘I was homeless, and you gave me shelter’
By DAVE MYERS
Southwest Kansas Catholic
“I was homeless, and you gave me shelter.” – Matthew 25:35
For 19 years, Marci Smith closed doors. It was part of her job. And it broke her heart.
“One of the worst things was locking people up,” she said of her nearly two-decade job in juvenile probation.
Today, she works for Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas where her job is to open doors — to find homes for the homeless, a sense of security for those escaping violence, a new start for those recently released from prison.
“Here, we work with a lot of the same people, and we don’t have to lock them up,” said Smith, Director of Family Services.
In 2017, her first full year with Catholic Charities, she helped find homes for 40 adults and 41 children.
So far in 2018, among those she has helped include a woman who had been living in a car for weeks with several of her eight children. Another had five children and were living in a home already over-crowded with numerous extended family members.
As the wind chill reached record lows, a young man was sleeping in a display shed in front of a hardware store. It took a while to find the young man a home, even after he was kicked out of his shed/shelter.
“He told me not to worry, that he’d been on the streets for a long time, and that he’d be fine,” Smith said.
It is these individuals and families — and the many others served by Smith and Catholic Charities — who have been helped by the Vibrant Ministries Appeal.
Much of Smith’s funding comes from grants such as the federal HUD grant and the Kansas Emergency Solutions Grant. But it’s the unexpected expenses – a family or individual who needs a night or two in a hotel or other emergency assistance, or, say, who needs appliances or even various kitchenware — that are made possible because of the appeal.
When a person is in dire straits and dependent on the kindness of strangers for the basic necessities, meeting those unexpected needs can mean the difference between comfort and misery.
Like all of Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas, Smith’s office takes the teachings of the Lord directly to the people — not in words but in action.
“We use the ‘Housing First’ model,” Smith stressed. “A home comes first, then we talk about income.”
The only requirement?
“They have to be homeless to come here,” she explained. “That includes living on the street, in a shelter, or if they are fleeing domestic violence.”
Once they enter the doors of Catholic Charities, they are given a questionnaire that will assess their needs and prioritize them. As one can imagine, there’s a waiting list.
“It’s not first come, first served,” Smith said. “Housing is based on risk level.” The Garden City office currently has 36 people on its waiting list, while the Dodge City office has six.
Catholic Charities tries to get the clients independent within a year, but they can help support them for up to two years.
“Our goal for them is to be self-sustainable.”
They are mostly single men who come to the Catholic Charities office, Smith said, but there are couples and children as well. Sadly, there are far more in need than there are resources to meet those needs.
Catholic Charities does not have the staff or financial resources for an unlimited number of clients, so it must try to limit its clients to a total of 16 homes. There are currently seven homes being served in Dodge City, and 11 in Garden City, which adds up to 18.
“Brooke [Hamlin-Lopez, Family Support Specialist], is the case worker for Garden City,” Smith said. “This is a difficult population to case manage, so we all work together to help the case management process run more smoothly.
“We pay the first three months’ rent and the safety deposit,” Smith explained. Every three months, Smith’s staff will visit with the clients to reassess their situation.
“We help find them housing and work with landlords,” Smith said. “Our clients are never charged more than 30 percent of their income.”
And if they don’t have some sort of income? Catholic Charities helps them to apply for various programs that will assist them as they get back on their feet. She is “SOAR” certified, which means Smith can help individuals apply for disability if they are homeless or at the risk of homelessness.
“My greatest reward is seeing people make changes in their lives, become self-sufficient,” Smith said.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” -- Matthew 25:40