- Assistance Application
Catholic Charities of West Tennessee (CCWTN) has served our community’s most vulnerable neighbors since 1971, regardless of religious beliefs, socio-economic status, or ethnic background. Our focus is meeting people where they are, and helping them to chart a path forward that ultimately leads to self-sufficiency. A key driver for all efforts at CCWTN is volunteerism and community engagement where over 1,000 volunteers serve regularly each year; individuals, families, local businesses, schools, and churches bring hope and dignity to the front lines of poverty through CCWTN.
CCWTN is an essential organization in the Greater Memphis area, where the second highest rate of poverty (of cities over 500,000 people) presents persistent challenges for thousands of our neighbors (Economic Innovation Group, May 2020). Memphis has seen a 13% growth in the percentage of its population living in high-poverty neighborhoods since 1980 (over 30% poverty rate), with 43 percent now living in high-poverty neighborhoods.
A strong indicator for neighborhood health is food security. The national average for food insecurity is 10.5%, meaning that 1 in 10 families have no clear access to their next meal. Tennessee averages 12.5% statewide, with Memphis at 17.8% or 1 in 6. Families with children in Memphis who have no access to their next meal is at an all-time high of 1 in 5 (USDA and Feeding America). COVID-19 unemployment has resulted in more families seeking supplement food support, and many for the first time. Catholic Charities of West Tennessee has responded to this need by increasing its capacity for food support by 100%, and is preparing to increase by another 50% in the coming year.
Who we serve:
Catholic Charities of West Tennessee serves four different populations with its key programs.
- Low-income households with stable housing who are experiencing food insecurity and other basic needs. Within this population, 26% are children and 19% are senior citizens
- Low-income households experiencing homelessness, or at risk of becoming homeless. Approximately 50% of this group are Veteran households and 50% single individuals
- Chronically homeless individuals requiring daily assistance with basic needs
- Low-income families with children seeking self-sufficiency programming. This includes financial literacy, job search and placement, and childhood literacy during school breaks