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Finger Lakes region Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Family Centers that are operated by Catholic Charities offers dozens of assistance programs and social service resources across the Finger Lakes region. Low income families in the counties of Ontario, Seneca, Tompkins, Ontario and nearby areas can all apply for assistance. Food, case management, referrals, housing for the low income/homeless, resettlement services, employment assistance for individuals and much more is administered.

Livingston County Catholic Charity center  provides a wide variety of assistance. Examples of the programs administered include a food pantry; the Community of Caring counseling services for young mothers; SSI/SSD disability applications; Emergency rental and housing for homeless families; In-home services for the elderly and disabled; employment counseling services for individuals facing difficulties finding a job; and a youth mentoring service. 34 East State Street, Mt. Morris, New York 14510, call (585) 658-4466

The main Finger Lakes location serves the needy in the counties of Ontario, Cayuga, Yates and Seneca. Various social service programs are offered. There are also churches and Catholic Charity offices in Auburn, Geneva, and Canandaigua. Some of the resources available include emergency financial assistance. The locations even operate and process applications for HEAP and SSI-assistance programs in Cayuga County. Other programs include TANF Case Management, parenting programs, a free community lunch program, and referrals. 94 Exchange St., Geneva, NY 14456. Telephone (315) 789-2235

Catholic Charities of Wayne County – Resources available include College Bound, which is a program to help young people achieve their academic goals. The center also operates a food pantry and Food Sense, a discounted source of quality groceries and healthy food. The location offers free clothing through its Community Clothing Center in Wolcott. The charity can coordinate transitional housing to migrant workers. Financial assistance is available, principally for those who need rent help, people facing eviction, or those behind on their utility bills. 1141 East Union Street, Newark, NY 14513. Telephone (315) 331-4867

Tompkins/Tioga runs the Good Samaritan Center. This Catholic Charity program offers free clothing, linens, and personal-care items to the low income. Limited financial assistance for basic needs such as housing may be offered. Case workers also assist with Food Stamp enrollment and enrollment in the NYS Child Health Plus/Family Health Plus programs. If the center can't help you then get referrals to other local non-profit agencies in the Finger Lakes region. Catholic Charities also provides immigrant support; nutrition, education, and outreach.





In Tioga County only, Catholic Charities also operates the Tioga Outreach Center. This offers eligible residents with short-term financial assistance for immediate crises. At the same time clients can work with a case manager on long-term support and guidance. This is achieved from advocacy, referrals to government entitlement programs, and one-to-one support. Another service is the YES Mentoring Program, which helps children and students succeed by offering mentoring in school work, employment, and  life skills.

Locations are Tompkins County Office, 324 West Buffalo St., Ithaca, NY 14850. Phone (607) 272-5062 as well as a center at Tioga County Office, 139 Roki Blvd., Nichols, New York 13812. Call (607) 414-1023

Steuben County Catholic Charity administers wide-ranging anti-poverty and substance abuse services. The location also runs the Kinship Family and Youth Services. Some of the anti-poverty programs include prescription assistance, short-term financial assistance, free food pantries, a program known as Bridges out of Poverty and Nutrition Outreach and Education. Additional assistance programs include Bath Community Child Day Care Center, Healthy Families Steuben, Supportive Home Parent Enrichment and adoption services. 23 Liberty Street, Bath, NY 14810, phone (607) 776-8085

Chemung and Schuyler Counties are served by the same Catholic Charity organization. Together they offer some of the following anti-poverty resources. They focus on promoting healthy individual and family life. The charity agency works with churches and others to ensure that people have adequate shelter, food, clothing, and medical care. The key to stability is also the ability to achieve a decent standard of living, so employment resources are available. Every day people get free groceries and food, rent assistance/shelter, and after school care. Case managers can also offer permanent and transitional housing. 215 East Church St., Elmira, New York 14901, call (607) 734-9784. The Schuyler County Office is based at 607 North Franklin St., Watkins Glen, NY 14891. Telephone (607) 535-2050

Many of the Finger Lakes Centers run what is known as a Poor Fund. When Catholic Charities has money in the fund they will purchase food gift cards from a local supermarket for the low income. They may also have gasoline cards from a local service station so people can get to an interview or medical appointment.

Holiday assistance is also available from Catholic Charities. Sites participate in the Community Dinner at Christmas program, which is a service that relies on volunteers and parishioners to participate as well. Sharing gifts and feeding the hungry is essential, especially around the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Meals on Wheels program can even bring gifts and food to seniors and the homebound in many counties such as Ontario and Wayne. Some sites have Christmas Angel Trees. These will allow parishioners the ability to select tags off the tree to purchase gifts for needy children in their local school.





St. Theresa’s Church in Stanley is a partner organization. They support Friendship House, which is a local food pantry. It also is involved in the collection of food and clothing as well as seasonally fresh produce for the low income. They may also have clothing, such as scarves, hats, and other winter items as well as health kits.

The Catholic Charity Helping Hands Funds can offer emergency financial assistance in Finger Lakes. This will be made available to those in need by contacting one of the local parish offices. The funds and grants go directly to vendors to assist with paying for expenses such as rent, utility bills, medical costs and other emergency needs.

School Supplies are usually offered starting in late summer or early fall. People from the community donate Back-to-School items to the charity. The items are then distributed by local schools to needy children and students in the community.

Migrant Farm Workers of Cayuga County can receive household/kitchen and miscellaneous supplies. They may also be able to pick up winter clothing and blankets which is part of the "Share the Warmth" program. Catholic Charities of Ithaca also participates.

Catholic Charity centers and churches in the Finger Lakes New York region

Schuyler Catholic Community
St. Mary Our Mother Parish, Horseheads, telephone - (607) 739-3817
St. Mary’s, Elmira, (607) 734-6254
Our Lady of the Valley, Hornell, call (607) 324-0410
Holy Family Elementary School, Elmira
The Parishes of Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick Blessed Sacrament, Elmira
All Saints Parish, Corning, (607) 936-4689
Tompkins County Cluster Parishes (Holy Cross, Free ville, St. Anthony, Groton, All Saints, Lansing)
St. Francis of Assisi/St. Hyacinth Parish Cluster St. Alphonsus, Auburn
Sacred Heart and Saint Ann Churches, Auburn, NY
Holy Family Church, Auburn, call (253) 833-8688
Our Lady of Peace, Geneva
St. Katharine Drexel (Macedon & Palmyra)
St. Michael, Newark, (973) 877-5000




St. Mary's/St. Patrick's, Waterloo/Seneca Falls
St. Michael’s/St. John the Evangelist/St. Patrick (Lyons, Clude, Savannah)
Our Lady of the Lakes (Penn Yan, Dundee, Naples, Prattsburg, Stanley) , call 315-536-7459
Holy Cross, Ovid/St. Francis Solanus, Interlaken (Central FL Catholic Community)
Good Shepherd Catholic Community, Southern Cayuga

By Jon McNamara














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