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Lehigh, Berks, Northampton Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Catholic Charities is a social service agency for the Allentown Pennsylvania region and surrounding counties. The organization provides qualified low income and working poor families with services, emergency assistance, and counseling. While some direct financial assistance may be provided by the Berks and Lehigh County Catholic Charities, more likely they will refer people to other assistance programs and provide case management.

The agency tries to do its part to reduce homelessness in the area. So housing and rent assistance, as well as foreclosure prevention, is provided and is a focus. This can include the following.

  • Direct assistance – When Catholic Charities has funding, some money may be paid out for rent, utility bills, or security deposits, and the funds will need to help prevent an eviction. Or if someone just can’t afford their current home or apartment, the money can be used to help pay for a deposit for a new, more affordable home.
  • Self-sufficiency programs are offered, and may be mandatory. The agency can pay all it can or wants to, but it won’t help if people do not address the cause of their hardship. Housing counseling and case management includes education on the rights and responsibilities of renting as well as budget counseling.
  • Homeowners age 62 or older can receive tips and advice on Home Equity Reverse Mortgage Counseling.
  • Mortgage assistance is available in the form of limited financial assistance and foreclosure counseling. Also receive free guidance to avoid mortgage scams and predatory lending.

Senior assistance, including case management for elderly and older adults is available in Allentown. Social workers and volunteers can help people meet their physical, social, and material needs. Services include support for caregivers, intake, assessment, Benefits CheckUp, referrals, and information on government programs such as Medicare.





Food is provided. Catholic Charities has information on, or can directly provide groceries and meals from an ecumenical soup kitchen as well as regional food pantries.

Catholic Charities specializes in offering Immigration and Refugee services, including Resettlement Programs. Specialists assist with family reunification, legalization of status, English as second language, and citizenship preparation classes at offices in both Lehigh and Berks counties Pennsylvania.

The program provides refugees and newcomers with employment assistance, resettlement, acculturation, and English Language Training. Faith communities, charities, and volunteers are always needed to help with resettlement in the region.

One of the main services offered is information and referral. Social workers and case managers from Catholic Charities are full of wealth and knowledge. They can often provide information and referral and case management services to the needy and low income. They can work with and help individuals and families find benefits and resources across the region, including in the Northampton County and Allentown region. Examples of some common services include food stamps, LIHEAP, summer meals for children, and much more.

Family type programs, including those for children, include Family Group Decision Making or counseling. Through workshops and individuals meetings, family members become empowered to make decisions, access resources and to take responsibility for the best interests of their children. A similar resource for women, including single parents, is Pregnancy Counseling. Learn about places to turn to for medical care, baby supplies, diapers, and formula. The agency realizes how important it is to address the needs of children and infants. These programs are run from Catholic Charity centers in Berks, Northampton and Lehigh counties.

While the agency may have information on public and state of Pennsylvania health care plans, they do offer Outpatient Mental Health Care and well as behavioral health services. This includes prescription medication monitoring, psychiatric evaluation and treatment, all of which is available.




The bottom line is that Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown is a non-profit social service agency for people of all regions and backgrounds in Lehigh and Berks County, as well as nearby areas. The agency offers a wide range of services including individual and family counseling. Some of the financial support focuses on housing counseling, food and nutrition, refugee and immigration services, and more general case management.

The locations are 530 Union Blvd Allentown, Pennsylvania 18109, call (610) 435-1541. Another center is at 400 Washington St Reading, PA 19601, dial (610) 376-7144.


By Jon McNamara

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