Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, along with its partners, the New York City Department of Homeless Services and the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, celebrated the dedication of the Dr. Elizabeth Lutas Center on Thursday, home to CCBQ’s Brooklyn Homebase Homelessness Prevention and East New York Family Support Programs.
During the 12-month period that the location at 3060 Fulton Street has been open, the Dr. Elizabeth Lutas Center has served 775 families in the East New York and Canarsie communities and in 2014 hopes to serve more than 1,100 families through the combined efforts.
On Thursday, the center was dedicated in honor of Dr. Elizabeth Lutas, a longtime supporter of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and a doctor of Internal Medicine for the past 37 years. Dr. Lutas has dedicated 22 years as a physician in homeless shelters in New York City and three years at a community health center serving mostly undocumented immigrants. She currently works in a health center in the Bronx, caring for individuals who are homeless and struggling with AIDS. She directed a homeless program for 12 years at her parish, Saint Teresa’s Roman Catholic Church in Queens. She serves her parish as a lector, Eucharistic minister and religious education teacher.
Yaminah McClendon, Catholic Charities Director of the East New York Family Support Center; Donna Corrado, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Inc.; Ellen Howard-Cooper, Deputy Commissioner of Prevention, Policy & Planning, NYC DHS; Jacinta Thomas, Catholic Charities Director of the Homebase Homelessness Prevention Program at the Dr. Elizabeth Lutas Center; Msgr. Denis Herron; Dr. Elizabeth Lutas; Robert Siebel, CEO of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and Affiliated Agencies; Sister Ellen Patricia Finn, OP; Dep. Executive Director CCBQ; Beverly James, Associate Commissioner for Family Support Services, NYC ACS; Georgette Martinez, client of the Dr. Lutas Center.
The event was well attended with approximately 100 enthusiastic supporters, friends and guests of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, Dr. Elizabeth Lutas, the NYC Department of Homeless Services, the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA), and community representatives and legislators.
Among those who gave remarks at Thursday morning’s event were: Robert Siebel, the Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and Affiliated Agencies; Ellen Howard-Cooper, the Deputy Commissioner of Prevention, Policy and Planning for the New York City Department of Homeless Services; and Beverly James, the Associate Commissioner for Family Support Services in the Division of Family Support Services for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Georgette Martinez and Jahmina Stephens, current clients from the Dr. Elizabeth Lutas Center also provided testimonials. New York City Councilman Rafael Espinal (D-37th District) spoke as well and Msgr. Denis Herron, a long-time friend of Dr. Lutas, blessed the center.
“The services offered within these walls make a vital difference in the lives of countless families here in Brooklyn. For our families who are going through difficult times, this Center provides services to help strengthen families and keep children safe through our efforts and with valued partnerships with day care providers, substance abuse assistance programs and employment job training,” remarked Robert Siebel, CEO of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. “It is only fitting we name this program in honor of Dr. Elizabeth Lutas, a woman who has selflessly devoted her career to helping those in need and who is referred to by her friends as a ‘saint.’ With her track record of exemplary service, coupled with her extremely generous support of the work of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, we could think of no one more deserving of this honor today.”
The Catholic Charities Homebase Homelessness Prevention program opened eight years ago, with its first program located in Jamaica, Queens. The Dr. Elizabeth Lutas Center is the Brooklyn counterpart.
In fitting with the CCBQ mission of providing services to vulnerable individuals and families, the Homebase Homelessness Prevention program is funded by the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS). Through their partnership, CCBQ and DHS continue to focus on providing the most basic services of case management, financial assistance and advocacy.
With the East New York Family Support Center, the Dr. Elizabeth Lutas Center offers direct assistance to keep families together. For more than 30 years, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has worked closely, the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), especially in the East New York community. Catholic Charities has five programs with ACS, three for general prevention and two for family treatment rehabilitation. Working with the core principle of families being the foundation of society, CCBQ case managers work directly with families to develop a long-term plan that best meets the client’s needs.
Click here for full press release. For a complete media kit on this event, contact Kristin Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.