One of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations, Catholic Charities, provides services to Little Rock and Pulaski County families. They advocate for social change to reduce poverty, may be able to provide help with meeting basic needs, and support people of all religions. Most resources are offered by local churches.
A number of parish-based ministries across the state and the region provide a means to live out the Church's social teaching. Assistance programs run by the Parish Social Ministry Office will help local churches and parishes develop resources that allow them to address and help qualified families with basic needs.
The Catholic Charity Ministry office works closely with the Social Action Office. Emergency financial assistance, prison counseling and outreach, disaster recovery, participation in Catholic Relief Services' programs, volunteering at food pantries and other similar activities are all examples of parish social ministries.
The Little Rock Catholic Charity’s “Emergency Assistance program” is limited in nature, and depends on available funds and donations. Pulaski County residents, and families across Arkansas, may be assisted on a case by case basis. Individuals may be able to obtain information and referral services to diocesan offices, parishes, churches and non-profit service organizations that help people in crisis. Individuals may be able to receive rental assistance, money to pay utilities if someone is faced with disconnection, food, or medications.
Healthcare is offered from the Westside Free Medical Clinic. The center serves patients who are unable to afford routine health care, and who are also 18 years of age and older. Professional volunteers provide limited primary care, health screenings and education. Nurses, volunteer health care providers and other professionals are available most Wednesdays and one Tuesday evening a month at 5 p.m. Services are by appointment only, and Spanish interpreters are available.
All patients of the Catholic Charity clinic are treated with respect, care, and love by volunteer medical professionals. Pharmacy services and/or free or low cost medications are available to established clinic patients. Westside is one of the only free clinics in Pulaski County Arkansas that offers health care services specifically in Spanish, and the center can help assist Arkansas’ growing Hispanic population. The community clinic frequently conducts other services too, such as prevention and awareness workshops. These are done to encourage patients to play an active role in their own well-being and health.
The Social Action Office fosters advocacy and action on behalf of justice and peace within the Diocese of Little Rock. Case managers from the office serve as a voice for the low income and working poor. Programs can also aid seniors and the disabled by offering community involvement, justice, education, and advocacy. Services offered by the social action programs are below.
Advocacy — The Catholic Charity Social Action Office supports legislative activity and programs. They will advocate the various activities in the Diocese of Little Rock to help ensure rules and regulations are for the common good. Representatives from the office also interacts with state senators and representatives to educate them on the Church’s position.
Immigration and Refugee Services can provide counseling and support to individuals and families who are eligible for immigration benefits and who cannot afford to pay for private or legal advice. One of the main goals of Little Rock Arkansas Catholic Charities Immigration Services is to work for solidarity in our community by welcoming foreigners and strangers in the spirit of the Gospel. Some services may be offered with a minimal fee. Case managers can help people apply for resources, including housing and government assistance. The programs will assist and advocate for immigrants and refugees to attain social integration, family unity, and economic independence.
Information and referrals – Unfortunately Catholic Charities does have limited funding and resources, and they can’t help everyone who needs it. So they can often provide people with information on other options. Many centers can provide data on programs such as LIHEAP (for utility bills), section 8 vouchers for rent, food banks, and other programs that can help pay for and meet their basic needs.
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