- Assistance Application
This year has been truly exceptional, and the need in response to COVID-19 related challenges is great. Catholic Charities made a decision to expand its services during the pandemic, by modifying our delivery approach for safety, and giving focused attention to the rapidly growing need. We are also bringing two new program sites online, and expanding a third to increase capacity and improve access to food, clothing, and furniture by 100% over the next 2 years. Our goal is focused innovation to improve both the client and volunteer experience through safe spaces to give or receive help at the community level.
Innovations this year include connecting more food insecure neighbors with Family Food Boxes as one example of expanded capacity. Since March 16, we have supported just over 29,000 people in a no contact drive-thru pantry model, from our Midtown location, along with seven church partners across West Tennessee. We are planning to add 10 new church and community partners in the coming year to extend the reach of our support into the communities of greatest need.
Another innovation this year involved our historic summer Camp Love and Learn. A destination camp was not possible with new safe distance requirements, so with your help, we quickly adapted to a home based learning model in partnership with the Compass Schools. This program served 142 fourth and fifth graders with literacy and math assistance this summer, and plans are to extend this support throughout the school year.
Homelessness continues to be a challenge in our community, so Catholic Charities has increased Outreach Services to connect people experiencing homelessness with stable housing. Outreach includes creating safe spaces, trust building, access to food and clothing, documentation gathering, case management, and health screenings. Over the past 12 months, I am proud to share that 1 in 3 outcomes for stable housing in Memphis/Shelby County occurred through Catholic Charities.