Buffalo and Western Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Case managers from Catholic Charities in Erie County New York can help people address their emergency needs. Advice and services are offered at the Central Intake location in downtown Buffalo. They also have several other offices around the county and western New York as indicated below. Many people are first time clients who are contacting Catholic Charities.

Social workers, volunteers, and staff members will try to make a quick assessment, and also eventually address the root cause of poverty or why someone is struggling. If the needed emergency need is not something that can be directly handled by Catholic Charities (as their resources are limited) they will refer people to another department or government programs which handles the service. Or they will direct people to an appropriate community resource or non-profit in Buffalo or Erie County.

If possible and when appropriate, the non-profit Catholic Charities offers emergency assistance including rental help, food, prescription medications, housing and heating costs.

The Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund is administered by Catholic Charities. It is a voluntary, non-profit program that was created to provide emergency financial assistance and cash grants for paying energy or heating bills. Aid is offered to the elderly, low income, handicapped, elderly, disabled, or those with medical emergencies. The unemployed in Buffalo New York may also qualify. This energy assistance program was designed to provide help in a crisis, and it is only offered to those individuals truly facing an emergency heating crisis such as a disconnection or lack of heating oil. Any support is offered on a first come, first serve basis to those who qualify. Applicants must also have used up all of their HEAP benefits, and have shown a past history of paying their bills on time. (716) 856-4494

Free or low cost food and meals are offered from food banks and pantries. Catholic Charities of Erie County has organized and maintains service centers throughout the region, including in Lackawanna, the Perry Projects, as well as in both East and South Buffalo. Each center has emergency food pantries, offers meals and groceries, and also provides information and referrals. Trained volunteers and case managers from surrounding congregations and parishes minister to those in need through these centers and food pantries.





Lots of Clothes Store and Ladies of Charity offers both clothing and is a ministry for low income and concerned girls and women. The non-profit organization works with Catholic Charities and sponsors a variety of assistance programs for those who in need. The non-profit will also operate a used clothing store called Lots of Clothes in Buffalo, which offers free winter coats, school and work uniforms, and other items.

Western New York Holiday Partnership is also partly run and administered by Ladies of Charity. They are a partner organization in the Buffalo News’ Neediest program. They work with other organizations to help fulfill the Christmas toy wishes of clients of Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and other organizations. For example, Ladies of Charity can contribute funds to purchase toys, gifts, and materials from which they make enough mittens, hats, and scarves to provide a set for each child. The Christmas Toy Program can also provide holiday joy and gifts to children. Other seasonal programs include:

  • Clothing Program - Clients who have a referral can shop for free in the Lots of Clothes store. Pick up winter coats and other needed attire.
  • Bookbag Program runs from August through September. Free book bags, school supplies, and other items are provided to those children in need.

Fresh Start is for those who were evicted and/or are homeless. The service provides basic household goods for those who have experienced home displacement and need a place to stay.

Apply for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) at the Catholic Charities intake centers. This is a federal government funded nutrition program which provides low cost food, nutrition education and referrals for breastfeeding women, eligible pregnant women, and children and infants under 5 years of age.

Pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children have special nutritional needs, and this is where WIC can help. Thousands of Erie County and western New York families enroll every year. It provides extra food to help people stay healthy.

Immigration and refugee programs are offered. This include employment services and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. It is offered for all newcomers in the area. Catholic Charity clients receive free or low cost employability assessments, job counseling and referral, placement and follow-up services. Learn about resources in Buffalo and the region. The organizations provides eight levels of ESL instruction daily. All assistance offered was designed to meet the needs of the immigrant and refugee population, emphasizing employment and life skills.





The Erie County Catholic Charities' Department of Education and Workforce Development provides job readiness skills, educational instruction, high school equivalency preparation, job training, employment assistance and life skills training to Buffalo residents. Qualified people can get help with job interview skills instruction, whole class job readiness skills training, resume writing, job search resources and networking, and general career exploration.

Senior assistance is offered from Comprehensive Care Program. It is an  intensive case management service that is focused on providing viable solutions to the elderly and senior citizens over 60 years of age. Get options and support to help stay in your home.

  • Albion Office, 243 S. Main St., Albion, New York 14411, call (585) 589-7477
  • Arcade Office, 417 West Main Street, SS. Peter & Paul R.C. Church, Arcade, NY 14009, primary telephone: (585) 492-0407
  • Batavia Office, 25 Liberty St. Suite 7, Batavia, New York 14020, call (585) 343-0614
  • Cheektowaga Office, 3719 Union Rd. Suite 214, Cheektowaga, New York 14225, main telephone: (716) 681-7394
  • Dunkirk Office, 425 Main St., Dunkirk, NY 14048, dial (716) 366-3533
  • Fulton St. Office, 170 Fulton Street, Buffalo, New York 14204, main number is (716) 853-4456
  • Hamburg Office, 40 Main St., Hamburg, NY 14075, call (716) 648-6515
  • Jamestown Office, 560 West Third St., Jamestown, New York 14701, telephone: (716) 484-9188
  • Kenfield, 188 Oakmont Ave., Buffalo, NY, (716) 835-6894
  • Kenmore Office, 3370 Delaware Ave., Kenmore,  New York 14217, main telephone: (716) 877-8822
  • Lackawanna Office, 33 Wilkesbarre Ave., Lackawanna, New York 14218, dial (716) 822-6877




  • Lockport Office, Bewley Bldg. Suite 450, Lockport, NY 14094, main telephone: (716) 433-0246
  • Main/Bryant Office, 1298 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14209, (716) 882-9193
  • North Tonawanda Office, 1465 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda,  NY 14120, call (716) 282-2351
  • Olean Office, 2636 West State St. (Suite 301), Olean, New York 14760, dial (716) 372-0101
  • Southtowns Office, 40 Main St., Hamburg, New York 14075, (716) 648-6515
  • Warsaw Office, 4 W. Buffalo St. Suite B, Warsaw, NY 14569, call (585) 786-3440
  • Washington St. Office, 525 Washington St., Buffalo, New York 14203, (716) 856-4494
  • Wellsville Office, 3458 Riverside Dr., Rte. 19, Wellsville,  NY 14895, main telephone: (585) 593-2015
  • West Seneca Office, 839 Mill Road, West Seneca, NY 14224, primary telephone: (716) 681-7394
  • West Side Office 412 Niagara Street, Buffalo, New York 14201, call (716) 854-3622


By Jon McNamara

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