CCHD Funds Four Local Projects that Address the Root Cause of Poverty
To Break the Cycle of Poverty, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) in the Diocese of Brooklyn has issued grants to four projects that address root causes of poverty, as well as those that seek to empower the poor, the disabled, minorities, workers and immigrants. In an intimate setting honoring these local community groups and their efforts, CCHD in the Diocese of Brooklyn held an Awards Reception at the Bishop’s Residence in Brooklyn, on Thursday, October 18th. Among those in attendance were Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn; Rev. Msgr. Alfred LoPinto, Vicar for Human Services; and Robert Siebel, Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens.
One of the local CCHD-funded groups is the East River Development Alliance (ERDA). They are receiving an Economic Development Grant. This is a Community Development Credit Union which provides banking, checking, savings, and NYCHA rent payment services to families living in three major public housing residences in Long Island City and surrounding neighborhoods. The credit union is a project of the East River Development Corp. which also provides tax preparation, financial literacy, employment counseling and other services to the low income community. In its first two years of existence, ERDA has continued to show steady growth with helping low income people develop assets and the habits of saving. The credit union now has over 1,000 members and over $750,000 in assets.
Other local CCHD-funded groups include Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), which works to organize and empower low-income South Asian immigrants for racial, economic, and social justice. DRUM has taken the lead in successfully reforming NYC DOE’s School Discipline Code so that Restorative Justice practices replace punitive measures. This is intended to keep young immigrants in school while saving the city the extra resources needed for summer school and out-of-class suspensions; Bushwick Housing Independence Project (BHIP), which supports tenants in the low-income neighborhoods of Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant in their fight to preserve their homes and protect themselves from landlord abuse; and Centro Hispano Cuzcatlan (CHC), which works with a citywide coalition to simplify the Division of Housing and Community Renewal’s administrative process and make it more accessible to non-English speakers. They have accomplished translating important documents into Spanish, as well as set-up an information hotline for Spanish speakers.